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Dave Pasch Explains Why He Makes His Award Voting Public On Wolf & Luke

“I usually say, ‘Here’s how I voted,’ to be transparent. Had I listed all of my votes for each ballot yesterday, I don’t think there would have been as much vitriol from Suns fans.”

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Members of the media, when working or living within a specific locality, are implicitly expected by fans to vote for guys on their local team rather than looking at the complete landscape of the league to determine who is most deserving of each regular season NBA honor. It isn’t fair, but it is a reality. There was a significant backlash to Arizona Cardinals play-by-play announcer and NBA reporter Dave Pasch, after he revealed on Twitter that he voted for Marcus Smart to win defensive player of the year over Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges.

Not all voting members of the media choose to publicize their ballots. On Tuesday, Pasch joined Wolf & Luke on Arizona Sports 98.7 to explain why he continues to publicize his awards votes each year, even if it has meant vociferously hearing the opinions of fans.

“I like to do that… every time they announce an award winner,” said Pasch. “I usually say, ‘Here’s how I voted,’ to be transparent. Had I listed all of my votes for each ballot yesterday, I don’t think there would have been as much vitriol from Suns fans.”

Pasch did not leave Bridges off of the ballot entirely, selecting him as the runner-up to win defensive player of the year honors. While he voted for various other players and personnel from the Phoenix Suns organization in other awards categories, including Monty Williams as the winner of coach of the year. He says that none of the decisions he makes are based on factors solely outside of their qualifications pertaining to the award(s) for which they are nominated.

“None of us that are among the 100 voters take this lightly,” said Pasch. “All of us do our homework. I watch a lot of games and call a lot of games – and again, I’m not trying to defend myself. I’m just stating here that I think all of us make our decisions based on who we think should win – not on where we live or what team we root for.”

These awards are not bereft in their impact, as they carry significant financial implications, especially for players who are consistently nominated. Indeed, the voting members of the media know that their decisions could make a significant impact as to whether an individual player receives bonuses stipulated in their contract, or whether a player can become eligible to receive more lucrative contracts earlier in their careers.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, for example, was left off of the three All-NBA teams in last year’s voting, and in so doing, was unable to take advantage of a rule allowing him to be paid a higher percentage of the salary cap. The rule, colloquially known as the “Derrick Rose Rule,” was added to the collective bargaining agreement following the 2010-11 lockout, and it cost Tatum $6.5 million in the average annual value of his salary under his new five-year extension, a total of $32.6 million through the life of the deal.

Despite the Phoenix Suns having the best record in the NBA during the 2021-22 regular season and winning the Western Conference last season, show co-host Ron Wolfey believes the team does not receive enough respect from the national media. In turn, he surmises that this inherent “lack of respect” has led to the organization being overlooked and neglected in league coverage. Nonetheless, Wolfey respects the vote and opinion of Pasch, a member of the media he affirms possesses substantial integrity.

“The one thing I know about you, my brother, is [that] you vote with your heart in your mind,” said Wolfey. “And not only that – you have more integrity in your pinky than I’ll ever have in my entire life. I know the guy you are, and because of that, I respect you greatly.”

Wolfley’s co-host agreed.

“I wish everybody would be transparent like that and put their votes up there because yours are pretty much in line,” he said to Pasch. “Whether people agree with your first or second choice, there was nothing crazy there, but [in] some years you clearly have somebody out there vote just completely off the wall and then they’re not ever held accountable for it.”

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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