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Greg Hill: ‘I Am Not Sure As Many People In Radio Still Love Radio’

“Is it possible that some of the people in positions of leadership view radio as no different than any other business?”

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Audacy

Buzz Knight has a storied history in radio both as a programmer and executive. Now, he is working on his own podcast series called Takin’ a Walk. Buzz picks out people he admires to take a walk with and pick their brains. As you may expect, several radio personalities have shown up on the series.

WEEI morning man Greg Hill is the subject of the latest edition of Takin’ a Walk. Knight tells Hill that he always admired how much Hill wanted to be in front of people in order to build an audience. The response is kind of surprising. Greg Hill appreciates the compliment, but wonders if anyone could build a show that way now.

Specifically, Hill talked about a regular stunt he would pull when he was on WAAF. The station was mainly considered a Worcester signal when he started in 1989, but management wanted to have a presence in Boston. Hill would walk from Worcester to Boston in order to build buzz for his show. Along the way, he would shake hands and collect change for food banks in the two cities.

“I look back on those things as kinda being the great days of radio where you didn’t have lawyers involved,” Greg Hill lamented. “You could do things like that and there wasn’t an argument against it. Now, you bring something up you want to do and now there are ten people telling you why you can’t do it.”

The events would take place over the course of 3 or 4 days each time Hill started his walk. For him, it was putting a lesson he learned from his former boss John Garabedian into action.

“Getting to shake hands with people and being able to say ‘hey listen to me tomorrow morning on the radio’ is the greatest way in which to build a radio show.”

Hill says Garabedian taught him to think about hosting a morning show as if it were a presidential campaign. People want to meet the guy they hear on the radio. He said it was like running for president. The more hands you shake, the more fans you will have.

Knight and Hill then begin reminiscing about their relationships with Garabedian. Hill always admired how much the man truly loved radio. He said in his experience, you don’t find many people in management like that any more.

“I still think there are a considerable amount of those people in this business, but I am not sure there are as many as we used to be when we first started,” Hill said.

His observation is worth pondering. As the audio platform diversifies and heats up as an investment opportunity, do you need to really love radio to run a company? Is it possible that some of the people in positions of leadership view radio as no different than any other business? That is certainly a sad way to think about our business, but it may not be far fetched.

Buzz Knight and Greg Hill recorded their conversation as they walked around Boston’s Seaport area. The thirty minute episode features great history lessons, not just on Hill and Knight, but on Boston radio in general.

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.

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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