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Craig Carton: Jeff Passan ‘Views Himself As Untouchable’

“He called out Passan for not being objective in his coverage of the lockout.”

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Craig Carton and Jeff Passan have a history of biting back and forth at one another. It should come as no surprise then that on Monday, Carton laid into the ESPN reporter for admitting that he inserted himself into negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA.

Carton said that many fans regard Passan as one of, if not the best baseball insider working today. The WFAN afternoon host doesn’t think that is true necessarily. He called out Passan for not being objective in his coverage of the lockout.

“He’s anti-owner. So his coverage of the lockout is skewed towards the player, not skewed towards objectivity,” Carton said of Passan. “And for me to back that up, just go look at any of his tweets regarding the lockout and they are all pro-player and even accuses the owners of malfeasance in their handling of the labor dispute.”

The goal of the comments doesn’t seem to be defending MLB owners. Rather, Craig Carton seems to have more to say about Jeff Passan than about baseball. He described Passan as “egotistical and views himself as untouchable”.

He went on to lambast Passan for calling the owners’ offer to the players last week a “shit sandwich” and encouraging players not to sign it. It is an admission Passan made on the ESPN Daily podcast and has since apologized for.

“You may remember a week ago, they spent 12-15 hours late into the night on Monday night trying to get a deal done,” Carton said. “And Tuesday morning when [Passan] woke up and he saw the deal, and his words not mine, he called players, he called players’ agents, and he told them ‘you can’t possibly sign this bleep sandwich.'”

ESPN has since scrubbed the audio from the podcast.

Carton said that the comments prove that Jeff Passan is not capable of being objective.

“It turns out that he is nothing more than a shill for the players, that hates the commissioner and by proxy, all the owners.”

Were their consequences for Passan’s admission? While ESPN hasn’t commented publicly, Carton believes their are. He points to Passan’s lack of Twitter activity as evidence that he may have been suspended by ESPN.

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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