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San Diego Padres, Audacy Name Sam Levitt New Radio Pre- And Postgame Host

“Since I started broadcasting baseball as a college student and throughout my time in the minors, it’s remained my goal to be part of a Major League broadcast team.”

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The San Diego Padres will have a new voice leading pre- and post-game coverage on their radio flagship broadcasts this season. The team announced on Monday that Sam Levitt will be the studio hosts for Padres games on 97.3 The Fan (KWFN-FM).

“I’m incredibly excited to join 97.3 The Fan and the Padres Radio Network,” Levitt said in an official release from Audacy.

“Since I started broadcasting baseball as a college student and throughout my time in the minors, it’s remained my goal to be part of a Major League broadcast team. I’m extremely grateful to both 97.3 The Fan and the Padres organization for believing in me. I look forward to covering a team that has World Series aspirations, while interacting with San Diego’s outstanding fanbase on radio, social media and beyond.”

Jesse Agler will continue as the Padres’ lead radio play-by-play voice alongside analyst Tony Gwynn Jr. Don Orsillo and Mark Grant call the TV broadcasts for Bally Sports San Diego, and Eduardo Ortega and Carlos Hernandez call Spanish-language broadcasts on XEMO (860-AM) and Fox Deportes.

Levitt has been the play-by-play broadcaster and director of broadcasting for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s worked in that role since 2019, the inaugural season for the Sod Poodles. His performance earned him Ballpark Digest’s 2021 Minor League Broadcaster of the Year award.

In addition to experience calling minor league baseball for the Corpus Christi Hooks and Gateway Grizzlies, Levitt has hosted Loyola Chicago men’s basketball pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage for Learfield IMG College. He’s also called play-by-play on Big Ten Network, NBC Sports, and ESPN+.

Levitt is also active on social media, something that’s increasingly important in engaging fans and reaching younger audiences. He currently has more than 375,000 followers on Tik Tok, most recently taking fans behind the scenes with his college basketball work during March Madness.

“We could not be prouder of Sam and all that he has done for the Sod Poodles organization,” said Amarillo team president and general manager Tony Ensor. “He has played an integral part of making the Sod Poodles one of the most recognized and highly regarded brands in all Minor League Baseball.

“We have no doubt that he will do the same for the San Diego Padres organization once again. He has helped lay the groundwork for the best broadcast in MiLB to continue here in Amarillo for years to come.”

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.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

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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