Sports Radio News
Buffalo Sports Media Legend Brian Blessing Dies
“According to Matt Youmans, Blessing passed away in Las Vegas where he was working in the sports betting business.”
The city of Buffalo recently lost a legend in sports radio. Brian Blessing, who was best known for his work with Empire Sports Network and former Buffalo Sabres defenceman Mike Robitaille on Hockey Hotline, passed away this past Sunday.
Blessing was very popular in the 90s and early 2000s due to his work on Hockey Hotline as well as working for a number of years with WIVB, including the Bills Super Bowl runs in the early 90s.
According to Matt Youmans of VSiN, Blessing passed away in Las Vegas where he was working in the sports betting business.
The Sabres also tweeted about the news.
Blessing was working for Sportsbook Radio and Vegas Hockey Hotline for the Vegas Golden Knights after he had spent 25 years in Buffalo sports media.
He had an impact on many people, especially in the Buffalo area. His chemistry with Robitaille on Hockey Hotline was unmatched and those who were able to witness his work could sense his love of both hockey and football.
Blessing leaves behind quite the legacy. May he rest in peace.
Will Dundon is a sports media writer for BSM, and producer for ESPN’s 102.5 The Game in Nashville, TN. Additionally, he hosts the Paydirt Sports podcast. You can find him on Twitter @williedundon or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Sports Radio News
106.7 The Fan Extends Deal to Remain Washington Nationals Flagship
“We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future…”
106.7 The Fan has announced it has reached a multi-year extension with the Washington Nationals to remain as the MLB club’s radio flagship.
Nationals fans will continue to hear game broadcasts on the station, and those living inside the club’s broadcast territory will be able to stream the radio broadcasts on the Audacy app.
“Opening Day is finally here and we’re thrilled to celebrate the return of baseball season by extending our partnership with the Washington Nationals,” said Audacy Washington D.C. Senior Vice President and Market Manager Ivy Savoy-Smith. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future and give the team’s fans a front row seat to the action on the field and top storylines throughout the year.”
The Nationals have called 106.7 The Fan home since the 2011 season. Beyond game broadcasts, the station will welcome Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo to The Sports Junkies every Wednesday at 9:00 AM throughout the season. The station will also air segments titled “Nats Insider”, hosted by broadcaster Dan Kolko that feature player interviews and features. Those segments will air all along the Nationals Radio Network.
“We couldn’t be happier to partner with Audacy in bringing Nationals fans even more of the interviews and exclusive access they love,” said Lerner Sports Group COO Alan H. Gottlieb. “From in-depth interviews with execs and top players, to off-the-field profiles and more Spanish and English bilingual content than ever before, Audacy offers a comprehensive look at our ball club from all angles.”
Sports Radio News
Todd Markiewicz Departing 97.1 The Fan
“He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”
Longtime 97.1 The Fan Vice President and Market Manager Todd Markiewicz has announced he is leaving the sports radio station.
Markiewicz has been named the President of the 1870 Society, a Name, Image, and Likeness collective working with Ohio State athletics and Learfield to devise NIL strategy, fundraising, and logistics.
In an internal memo, Tegna Columbus President and General Manager John Cardenas credited Markiewicz for helping to establish the brand as “the powerhouse sports station in the country. He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”
Markiewicz joined the station in 2010. Under his leadership, 97.1 The Fan has routinely ranked as the highest-rated station in the Columbus market.
His final day with the station will be Friday, May 26th.
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports Radio News
Gregg Giannotti: Doug Gottlieb Is ‘Using My Name’ To Deflect Blame From Himself
“I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there.”
Earlier this week, Doug Gottlieb revisited a gaffe he made on the set of CBS’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show a decade ago. On a set that included Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Greg Gumbel, and Kenny Smith, Gottlieb said that he was there to “provide the white man’s perspective.” Gottlieb owned that it was a poor attempt at humor, but Gregg Giannotti takes issue with the FOX Sports Radio host’s version of events that lead up to the televised misstep.
“If you’ll allow me, I’d like to clear my name for a little bit,” Giannotti said on Wednesday’s edition of Boomer and Gio on WFAN.
Gottlieb contends that he tried out a better rehearsed version of the joke in a number of other places before going on television and it was well-received. No one told him it was a bad idea or that if delivered in the wrong way, it could create problems. One of those places, according to Gottlieb, was CBS Sports Radio’s Gio & Jones.
One problem, the show did not exist in 2013.
“Here are my issues with this,” Gregg Giannotti said. “One, I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there. Two, he is placing blame now on whoever he told this to to stop him and say ‘Don’t do this on the set!’”.
Boomer Esiason, Giannotti’s WFAN partner said he can see how Gottlieb overlooked the reality that this joke would not land well with a general audience. Former athletes are used to joking with one another like this in locker rooms. Plus, being on a set with Barkley and Smith may have made Gottlieb think that he would get a little more leeway.
Esiason added that he can see how Gottlieb would assume Gio was there. The show on CBS Sports Radio that he was likely on was MoJo, which featured Brian Jones and Chris Moore. It became Gio & Jones in 2015 when Giannotti came to CBS Sports Radio from 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, where worked in 2013. More surprising to Esiason was the Gottlieb wanted to talk about this a decade after it happened.
“He’s still hanging on this,” Giannotti answered. “The issue I have is that he is using me, saying that he tried it out on me and that I found it hilarious but I should have stopped him from saying the joke when I wasn’t even part of this. I was talking about the god damn Penguins!”