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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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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

Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’

“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

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What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.

On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.

“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.

“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”

Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.

The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.

“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”

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