Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, broadcasters have had to change the way in which they work. Whether by doing shows remotely and accepting the shortcomings that come with it, wearing a mask at all times in the facility, or taking frequent COVID-19 tests, the pandemic has required the industry to rethink the way it does business concurrent with stark changes in consumption trends.
Keeping oneself healthy, along with the spaces in which they work and interact with other people, has been a central focus throughout the pandemic, and radio is no exception. However, the physical space of a radio studio is not always deep-cleaned on a daily basis and can sometimes be filled with clutter and other materials that serve as an impediment to the comfort of producers and on-air talent.
Seldom is any radio broadcast space spotless – even the ones that are visible via a radio show’s simulcast on television or a streaming platform. That is something Clinton Yates of 710 ESPN Los Angeles would like to change.
With the first day of spring approximately one month away, Yates, who has been filling in this week for Allen Sliwa on Travis and Sliwa, voiced his concerns to co-host Travis Rodgers and the show producers about the cleanliness of the 710 ESPN Los Angeles studios after deep-cleaning them akin to a “spring cleaning” prior to Wednesday’s show.
“There are piles and piles of crap – headphones, pieces of paper, books, boxes, cords – and I was just like, ‘I’m sorry. This environment – I have to clean up a little – I have to tidy this bad-boy up,’” said Yates. “So yes – I deployed a little Lysol. I definitely wiped down a couple of things because I was moving stuff around.”
Rodgers then came up with the idea for a deep-cleaning and labeling session at the studios so people would know how to keep the space neat and organized. This got Yates thinking about ways he could maximize the opportunity in realizing his aspirations of maintaining a clean studio space while creating engaging content for social media.
“We should have a [session] where we come in, we organize everything and then we label it and then we have an instructional thing where we teach people, ‘This is where this stuff goes. This is all you have to do – just follow the checklist so the studio stays tidy,’” said Yates. “I would genuinely do this for a bit on social [media] if someone would join me. The full time lapse; we could detail the studio and organize things.”
After discussing trying to keep the studios clean, Yates arrived back at work Thursday morning, and with Rodgers working remotely, was immediately questioned whether he had engaged in another deep-cleaning of the space.
“I’m not in-studio, and that brings me right to kind of where I wanted to start this entire thing,” Rodgers said to open Thursday’s show. “Did you get out the power washer, the mop, what did you do because I was not in your way this morning to deep-clean the studio?”
“Since yesterday [when] I cleaned it, apparently the memo was gotten [and] nothing was added,” replied Yates. “This was a relatively clean space when I got here which is a good thing, so I’m happy about that.”
Rodgers proceeded to tell Yates that Mason and Ireland co-host Steve Mason was concerned about Yates, specifically because of the fastidious nature in which the studio was cleaned and the meticulous manner of the towel he folded. Mason called out Yates between shows for cleaning the studios, something Yates was taken aback by.
“I was like ‘Oh no. He was listening,’” said Yates. “It was embarrassing, but we’re good.”
“We are here to embarrass each other; [that’s] basically the role of these programs,” responded Rodgers.
Derek Futterman is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. In addition, Derek serves as a production manager, broadcaster, voiceover artist, technical director, audiovisual editor, and media engineer for Hofstra University’s WRHU. He has also worked on New York Islanders radio broadcasts. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @DerekFutterman.
Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM
An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.
WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami, according to sources.
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. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.
Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.
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.
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.
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.”
Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video
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.
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”.