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Changes Come To 107.5 The Game

Jason Barrett



Starting Monday, one familiar voice for Midlands’ sports fans will be missing from WNKT-FM, 107.5 The Game. Meanwhile, another familiar voice (and face) will join the lineup of Columbia’s top-rated sports-talk station, though not for the first time.

Departing is Michael Haney, co-host for 107.5’s “Halftime” show. He’s headed to Nashville with a goal of getting into the music industry. Coming on board is longtime WOLO-TV 25 sports director/anchor Tim Hill. He’s slated to team with Jay Phillips in the station’s 1-4 p.m. time slot.

In each case, Haney and Hill said it’s about fulfilling a dream.

Start with Haney, a 107.5 regular since the station signed on in November 2007. The Columbia resident and 2003 USC graduate shared a microphone with Phillips for three hours each weekday, and then produced (and occasionally shared a microphone on) Heath Cline’s “Gametime” show from 4-7 p.m.

Haney said he’ll relocate the week after Labor Day to Music City, where he hopes to work with singers and songwriters.

Patrick Davis, a Camden native and writer of songs for, among others, Darius Rucker, Jewel and Lady Antebellum, “has been a mentor for me,” Haney said. “We’ve talked about this for years.

“This is my window,” he said. “The longer I wait … I don’t know if the opportunities will be there.”

Haney’s move opened a spot for Hill, who until 2008 augmented his local TV presence by serving as half of the “Matt & Tim Show” for SportsRadio 1400 The Team. That ended seven years ago when Barrie (now with ESPN) moved to Dallas. Hill said he never lost his love for the freedom of live radio and has filled in as a guest host at 107.5 on several occasions.

“I love (TV), don’t get me wrong,” he said, “but it’s a completely different thing than radio. You get instant feedback (from listeners) in radio like no other format. If you want to have your finger on the pulse of sports issues, this is the only way to get it.

“(Taking on the radio job) was an easy call. I’m not worried about burning out; I’ve juggled it before, and anyway,” he added, laughing, “I know Jay will do 95 percent of the work.”

Hill’s desire to get back into talk radio – it helps, he said, that WOLO-TV is just down Gervais Street from 107.5’s studios – made things easier for WNKT’s program director Brent Johnson, who said Dave Adair will take over Haney’s afternoon producer’s role, while Jennifer Jensen replaces Adair in the mornings.

“Tim adds something to the show with his great quick wit. It’s a win for all of us,” Johnson said. “And TV-25 is excited, too. With both of us doing cross-promotion, it’s a good, good thing.”

Haney also sees his move that way, even if he’s taking the bigger risk. Still, at 34 and single, he says, this is the time to do what he’s doing.

“The music business has been a passion of mine for a long time,” he said. “Music is the only thing that could pull me away from sports.”

His past suggests as much. After earning his USC broadcasting degree, Haney says he walked into the office of Phil Kornblut, longtime host of “SportsTalk” on the S.C. Radio Network, and “told him I’d work for free” to get a foot in the door. He later worked at an Anderson radio station, where he was “selling my own ads and sleeping on a couch” while commuting to Columbia to work weekends.

Johnson, though, understands why Haney is moving on. “Being originally a music guy myself, I’ll be living vicariously through him,” he said. “He’s following his dream.”

Hill also feels that way about his move. “The back-and-forth (of radio) is what I enjoy the most, talking with random people (that) I had no idea I’d be talking with five seconds before. … That’s the fun part, what I miss in TV.”

Haney says he’s “proud of what we did here, and we kind of caught USC in its golden age,” citing the Gamecocks’ back-to-back College World Series victories (2010-11) and 33 wins in three football seasons (2011-13).

“It’s been fun every single day,” Haney said, and smiled. “I mean, we got to talk sports all day long.”

Credit to The State who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Charles Barkley: ‘I Want to Be on TV Less’

“His contract with Warner Bros. Discovery runs through 2024-25.”

Jordan Bondurant



Charles Barkley

It’s possible you could see Charles Barkley appearing occasionally on CNN.

Reports from The Wall Street Journal and Variety this week indicate the cable news network is close to finishing a deal that would have Gayle King on the network. Rumors have said that the network would like to have Barkley join her, but Barkley says nothing is decided on his end.

In an appearance on Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports on Tuesday, the Suns legend and NBA on TNT analyst said he and King are friends so this wouldn’t be a situation where the duo would be coming in green.

“I’ve gotten to know her well through the years through my relationship with Oprah (Winfrey) and she’s just cool,” Barkley said. “I said, ‘I would consider doing a show with Gayle, one day a week starting in the fall.'”

But Barkley, 60, reiterated what he’s made known for a while now: he doesn’t plan on sticking around in the TV business for too much longer. His contract with Warner Bros. Discovery runs through 2024-25. So this CNN opportunity could be pretty limited in scope, which is what Charles desired.

“It’ll only be one day a week if I decide to do it,” Barkley said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be on TV more. I want to be on TV less.'”

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Sports Radio News

John Kincade: Thursday Night Football Flex Vote About ‘Licking Jeff Bezos’s Boots’

“For these billionaires to be licking his boots? Embarrassing. They can’t do this. It’s obnoxious.”




John Kincade

A report claims that at the NFL owners meetings, a proposal to give the league the ability to implement flex scheduling for Thursday Night Football was proposed. 97.5 The Fanatic’s John Kincade was flabbergasted at the idea.

The proposal would allow the NFL to move scheduled games in the final weeks of the season from Sunday to Thursday. The league would also have to change the rule that teams could only play one Thursday Night Football game per season to accommodate the change.

During The John Kincade Show Tuesday, the host claimed that even considering the idea was simply a matter of the owners kowtowing to Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, whose company — Prime Video — broadcasts the package.

“They’re licking Jeff Bezos’s boots,” Kincade said. “I can only imagine buddies running trips and fans go ‘Ok, I’m going to the Eagles game on Sunday. I’m flying in Friday, spend two nights in a hotel, and fly out Monday’. Oh no you’re not, the game’s been moved to Thursday night. This is freaking ridiculous, and shining Bezos’s shoes is freaking embarrassing. For these billionaires to be licking his boots? Embarrassing. They can’t do this. It’s obnoxious.”

Kincade continued by marvelling at the idea even being floated to the public.

“To me, it’s just such a dumb idea. But sometimes those things happen in sports.”

The 97.5 The Fanatic host is not the only sports media member who has shared their displeasure with the proposal this week. Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King aired similar sentiments, saying “We can all agree this seems insane.”

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Sports Radio News

Mike Francesa: BetRivers Podcast Is Enough For Me Right Now

“I’ve had a couple offers in the last couple of months. I’ve turned them all down. Anybody that’s asked me for steady work or to do something Monday through Friday I’ve said no.”

Jordan Bondurant



Mike Francesa

If you were hoping to catch Mike Francesa hosting a daily TV or radio show in the future, that ship has likely sailed.

Asked by a listener on his Mike Francesa Podcast if he would go back to doing a show on television similar to his Mike’d Up program on NBC New York, Francesa said it’s not in his future.

“I would doubt it,” he said on his Monday episode. “At this point, I’m not as visible. So it wouldn’t make as much sense as having me now as it would then. And frankly, I’m doing what I do now, and I love doing it.”

Francesa reunited with his former WFAN co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on ESPN’s First Take back in January, but Mike said the podcast he’s doing for the BetRivers Network checks all the boxes of what he’s looking for work-wise at the moment.

“It’s actually enough,” he said. “I’ve had a couple offers in the last couple of months. I’ve turned them all down. Anybody that’s asked me for steady work or to do something Monday through Friday I’ve said no.”

“It would have to be something very unusual for me to do on a regular basis,” he added.

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