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Redskins and ESPN 980 Look To Build a Better Business

Jason Barrett

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The Redskins and Red Zebra broadcasting — the Daniel Snyder-controlled network of local radio stations — will have a closer business relationship under a new management structure created this month, according to the team.

Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean left the company and will not be replaced, while Redskins Executive Vice President Terry Bateman, the chairman of Red Zebra, will take a more active role in running the stations.

Carmean told employees at ESPN 980, the team’s flagship station, about his departure early last week. Bateman then addressed employees on Friday, explaining the justification for the move.

“The message is we’re trying to create a better business; that’s all there is to it,” Bateman said in an interview in his Redskins Park office Tuesday afternoon. “We’re not changing the content of the radio station.”

A station employee asked Bateman last week if the team will exert more control over ESPN 980’s content; listeners and employees of rival station 106.7 The Fan have asked the same question on social media. Bateman said Tuesday there would “absolutely not” be increased control of the station’s content.

“The team is not really any more closely involved than it was before,” he said Tuesday. “Everybody knows what the ownership structure of the team and the station was before; it’s exactly the same now. There’s not any difference. So the only thing we’re doing really is working closer on the business relationship. …

“If the Redskins stink it up on Sunday, then it’s your job to tell the truth about what’s going on, right?” he said he told the station’s employees. “You’ve got to talk about it, because otherwise you’ve got zero credibility. If you take it to a personal level and start assaulting somebody’s character, I don’t care if you’re a radio talk-show host or a software executive or anybody else; that’s inappropriate. It’s just human decency. So keep the line there.”

Bateman said the “big driver” of the radio stations is Redskins game broadcasts and surrounding programming, and that it makes sound business sense for the business staffs to work together. Red Zebra will be able to sell Redskins assets — like television commercials and FedEx Field signage — while Redskins staffers will be able to sell radio time. They will also share sales information, and work together to take care of clients.

“We’re going to really create synergy between the two groups and work closer together,” he said. “We’ll be able to just create a more comprehensive marketing package for our clients, make it easier for them to buy the whole thing, and just create a better business environment, better client service. And honestly, hopefully it will mean more revenue for the organization.”

To read the rest of the article visit the Washington Post where it was originally published

 

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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