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Dan Le Batard, Dan Patrick: Broadcasting Gives Sean McVay Great Leverage

“The only leverage for them anywhere, whether it’s real or not, is that ESPN wants him for Monday Night Football and they will pay him more.”

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Is broadcasting more valuable than coaching football for NFL head coaches? That’s the question The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz debated on Tuesday’s show.

As the NFL enters its offseason following the end of Super Bowl LVI, arguably the biggest early storyline is whether or not Sean McVay will return as coach of the Los Angeles Rams or go into broadcasting, where he’s drawing interest from at least one, if not more, networks.

Even if McVay intends to return to the Rams for the 2022 season (and he’s signed through 2023), will he give the impression that he’s interested in leaving coaching for TV as leverage for a new, richer contract?

“The idea is no longer far-fetched that Sean McVay and his agents and his team, they cannot get a bigger offer by saying that job in football will pay me $20 million more,” said Le Batard. “The only leverage for them anywhere, whether it’s real or not, is that ESPN wants him for Monday Night Football and they will pay him more.”

(The conversation begins at the 34:44 mark.)

Stugotz then pointed out that Tony Romo makes $17 million a year broadcasting for CBS. That’s twice as much as McVay’s $8.5 million annual salary to coach the Rams, which underlined Le Batard’s point that coaches have no leverage if no other NFL coaching jobs are available. They have to pursue broadcasting positions. It’s the best option their agents have.

On his show Tuesday, Dan Patrick said he heard from a source that McVay and ESPN are showing enough interest in each other that he could make a move to TV. Again, is that McVay exercising leverage? Possibly.

But it appears that ESPN wants McVay and presumably will offer him enough money to seriously consider it. That lines up with what the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand reported on Monday.

Paul Pabst then brought up the salary differences between McVay and Romo. “It’s no longer a pay cut to go to the media,” he said.

Seton O’Connor argued that McVay would be crazy to leave coaching when he’s only 36 and just won a Super Bowl. But Patrick countered that he’s young enough to do Monday Night Football and then go back to coaching if he misses it or gets the right offer, as Jon Gruden did.

Both hosts made the same point: Sean McVay is in a great position right now. But he’s only there because broadcasting is an option. Without it, he’s probably stuck with the contract he has now unless team ownership wants to reward him for winning the Super Bowl. Right now, however, he has a considerable bargaining chip.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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