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Joe Cowart: Kirk Herbstreit Doesn’t Watch Enough NFL Football To Be Amazon Analyst

“I don’t want a guy that doesn’t excel in the NFL game to get that much money to tell me what I am looking for in an NFL game. I don’t!”

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With Troy Aikman off the board, Amazon is reportedly locked in on ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit for Thursday Night Football. Herbstreit is best known for his work on ESPN’s college football coverage, but he is undeniably the biggest name available and has called a few NFL games in the past.

Still, that isn’t enough for some critics, including Joe Cowart of 1010XL in Jacksonville. On Monday’s edition of XL Primetime, the station’s midday show, he expressed his disbelief at the idea of Herbie calling NFL games with regularity.

“A lot of people have laughed at the idea of Kirk Herbstreit even doing NFL football,” he said.

Joe Cowart said that he can’t see the NFL wanting someone who isn’t “an NFL guy” on one of its primetime broadcasts. When colleagues told Cowart that all that matters is that Herbstreit is a football guy, he pushed back, suggesting that these are just rumors and may never become reality.

“This is probably an agent power play,” Cowart said. “There’s nothing wrong with that either. It drives me a little crazy when you sit there and think…I don’t want a guy that doesn’t excel in the NFL game to get that much money to tell me what I am looking for in an NFL game. I don’t!”

Cowart says that Kirk Herbstreit is undeniably popular. That is what makes him valuable to Amazon. He also said he isn’t sure that is enough for Herbstreit to “deserve” the gig. He compared it to someone taking Dick Vitale from ESPN to have him work on NBA games.

The biggest swing Joe Cowart took came when one of his co-hosts said that Herbstreit watches the NFL and knows what is going on in the league. Cowart said that he isn’t sure that is true. He assumes that Herbstreit spends Sundays and Mondays watching what he missed on Saturdays.

While all of his colleagues disagreed with Cowart and pointed out that ESPN has turned NFL games over to Kirk Herbstreit each of the last two seasons, Cowart remained steadfast. He said it is easy to prepare for a single game.

“I don’t think he watches the NFL game except for that week. He hones up and does it that week,” Cowart declared.

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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