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Johnson Leaves The Beast For Bucks

Jason Barrett

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The entertainment factor on Milwaukee Bucks telecasts is moving up several notches.

That much is clear after league sources indicated that former star forward Marques Johnson will be a key part of the telecast team and well-known Fox Sports announcer Gus Johnson also will have a role on Fox Sports Wisconsin telecasts during the 2015-’16 season.

Marques Johnson, who has been a lead college basketball analyst on Fox Sports for 15 years and a studio analyst for Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers broadcasts, will leave his home base in Los Angeles to do 55 Bucks telecasts this season.

Gus Johnson is scheduled for 20 games. Veteran play-by-play broadcaster Jim Paschke will be back for his 30th season, while former Buck Jon McGlocklin will work about 25 games.

Sidney Moncrief will not return as a color analyst on the telecasts but will continue to have a role with the club, a team spokesman said.

Marques Johnson said he is very excited to be coming back to the team for which he starred from 1977 through 1984. Johnson was a big part of some talented Bucks teams and averaged 21.0 points in his seven seasons in Milwaukee, the fourth-best mark in franchise history.

“It just felt right,” the 59-year-old Johnson said in a phone interview Monday night. “I feel like a prodigal son.”

Johnson has worked on a CBS morning talk radio show in Los Angeles for the past year and said he told his bosses, “This is the only situation I would have not stuck with the radio show.”

Even though both Johnsons have worked for Fox Sports, they have never worked together on a game call.

“I talked to Gus a couple weeks ago and he was really gung-ho about me doing it,” Marques said. “We’re looking to have a good time and provide some serious entertainment.”

Gus Johnson returns to call NBA action for the first time since 2010 after spending the last five years calling various sports for Fox networks, including soccer, college basketball, college football and boxing. He was the primary radio voice of the New York Knicks from 1994 to 2010 while working for the Madison Square Garden (MSG) network.

Marques Johnson said he knows a number of the Bucks players from covering them in their college days, including O.J. Mayo when he was at Southern Cal, Jerryd Bayless at Arizona and Khris Middleton at Texas A&M.

“This (Bucks) team reminds me of the green-and-growing Bucks when I was a rookie in 1977(-’78),” Johnson said. “We upset Phoenix in the first round (of the playoffs) and took David Thompson and Denver to seven (games) in the second round.”

The Bucks went on to win five division titles in Johnson’s seven years in Milwaukee.

“The vision of the ownership group (Wes Edens and Marc Lasry), everything is first-class,” Johnson said. “They’ve got some big plans.

“My main concern is I don’t break down and cry on that first broadcast. I’m afraid I’ll shed a tear; it will be so emotional.

“I’m tickled pink to be coming home.”

Credit to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie Reveal Contributors To New WIP Morning Show

“Angelo for many, many years has had a wonderful team. And obviously we’re indebted to what he did for all the years putting everything together.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The Philadelphia Eagles postseason run will determine how much longer Angelo Cataldi hosts his morning show on 94 WIP. While hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie wait in the wings to take the reins from Angelo, they took time on Wednesday to reveal the rest of the cast of contributors and fill-in hosts for the new WIP morning show.

“Angelo for many, many years has had a wonderful team. And obviously we’re indebted to what he did for all the years putting everything together,” DeCamara said. “We want to just sort of duplicate it at a similar level of success and longevity. And to do that you want to put together a group that you really believe in and want to have a great shot with and entertain people for years.”

DeCamara and Ritchie revealed that longtime morning contributors Rhea Hughes and Joe Weachter will continue to serve in their capacities. DeCamara said he’s excited to work with such a tenured producer and have him and producer James Seltzer collaborate.

“Everybody cares about Joe, because he’s been such a huge part of Angelo’s show for so many years behind the scenes as the producer,” DeCamara said. “He’s gonna be producing this show in addition to helping James out. And we got ambitious plans for social media and ways we can get Joe involved in all sorts of ways to help present our show to the public. So that’ll be a big part of it.”

WIP newcomer Devan Kaney will also be a regular on the morning show. DeCamara also announced Philly sports media legend Ray Didinger will also be heard at certain points.

As for insiders and contributors to discussions on the Philly sports teams, it was announced former Phillies TV analyst Ruben Amaro, former Phils announcer Ben Davis, former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner and Ron Jaworski will be in the lineup.

Ritchie said having someone like Amaro on to talk baseball is going to be a great chance to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

“You know so much, and I feel like I’m gonna learn so much from you,” he said. “And I think we’re all so fortunate.”

Additionally, comedian Joe Conklin will be added to keep things lively and fun.

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Sports Radio News

Steak Shapiro Apologizes, Says He Didn’t Think Stetson Bennett Criticism Was ‘That Inflamatory’

“You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history.”

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Wednesday’s edition of The Steakhouse was one Atlanta sports fans were waiting for. Late Tuesday night, Steak Shapiro took to Twitter to promise that he would address Stetson Bennett IV’s reaction to his criticism of the way the quarterback behaved at Georgia’s National Championship parade on Saturday.

“The notion is that Steak was basically roasted,” he said of the coverage the social media spat received. “He was put on the grill and taken to task.”

Shapiro had tweeted that he did not think it was a good look for Bennett to be on his phone during the championship parade and that his speech seemed more about settling old grudges than it was about celebrating the team or the fans. In a message on Twitter, which began by addressing Shapiro as “Mr. Med Rare”, Bennett explained that he was using his phone to play music in the car he was riding in. He was not ignoring the moment or the fans.

After giving Bennett credit for coming up with a funny nickname, Steak Shapiro said that he was surprised that the quarterback took the criticism so personally.

“My job is to give an opinion. I didn’t think it was that inflammatory. I didn’t think it was that dramatic.”

He added that has no problem with Stetson’s disdain for the media. He just thought the parade should have been about the fans and the accomplishment rather than Stetson Bennett IV trying to settle old grudges. Still, Shapiro wanted to make it clear that he does not hate the Georgia quarterback. He remains one of Bennett’s most vocal fans.

“On three or four occasions, I was lambasted because I said I thought he was the greatest player in Georgia history, and I said that before he won the national title,” Shapiro said. “I said that when they had the undefeated regular season, and then people started saying ‘stop saying that about Stetson’ or ‘Stetson’s overrated’. I just kinda had his back the entire year and probably had his back the last two years. I just didn’t think Saturday was a great day. That is what I have been saying, and I stand by it. I just didn’t think it was a great-looking day.”

Steak Shapiro did offer an apology to Bennett. He said that if the quarterback was just trying to play music on his phone, that isn’t that big of a deal, and if he had known that is what was happening, his reaction may have been different.

“My bad,” he concluded. “You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history. You’re one of the iconic sports figures — maybe number one — in a town of Hank Aaron, and Chipper Jones, and Domonique Wilkins, and Matt Ryan, and Deion Sanders. You’re probably number one all time.”

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Sports Radio News

Brian Gebhardt to Serve as Program Director of Sactown Sports 1140

“Learning under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti helped prepare Gebhardt for the next step.”

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Sactown Sports 1140 has found their next program director. After an extensive search, GM Steve Cottingim and Bonneville Sacramento’s Group Director of Programming Chad Rufer have found their next leader in Atlanta, GA, tabbing Brian Gebhardt to guide the brand’s programming department.

Gebhardt heads west to join Bonneville Sacramento after enjoying over seven years of success at 92.9 The Game. He has served recently as the Executive Producer of the ‘Andy & Randy’ show featuring Randy McMichael and Andy Bunker. During his time with the Atlanta sports station, Gebhardt has learned under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti. Those experiences prepared Gebhardt for the next step, as did working with numerous on-air talents who have helped The Game become a model of consistency in Georgia.

“Brian’s experience working with both premiere talent and professional sports franchises will help us help the Sactown Sports brand grow both on-air and on-line ,” said Cottingim.

“Brian demonstrated to us a real passion for leading extraordinary talent,” shared Rufer. “We are very confident that he will help us grow Sactown Sports into Sacramento’s premiere sports brand.”

“I can’t wait to get started and I am beyond excited to be working with Bonneville,” added Gebhardt.  

The hiring of the Georgia native as new PD allows Nick Cattles to focus exclusively on hosting the station’s afternoon show, a role he’s wanted to invest more time. Cattles joined Sactown Sports in November 2021 and has pulled double duty since arriving in Northern California. He hired Ramie Makhlouf as his afternoon drive co-host and the duo have built a solid foundation in afternoons. Having the ability now to focus solely on the show should allow Cattles and Ramie to elevate their program even more.

The first day on the job for Gebhardt will be Monday February 3rd. Depending on what develops with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC playoffs, there’s a possibility he could be walking into two straight weeks of Super Bowl planning. Regardless, Gebhardt has a new market to learn, a new team to meet, a new company to deliver results for, and an opportunity to take a big step in his radio career.

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