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How Joe Ovies Climbed The Triangle’s Ladder

Jason Barrett

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Studio E is no bigger than a dorm room, yet has the distinct atmosphere of one. Papers lay scattered about the desks, multiple basketball and football schedules line the walls of the studio and several used mugs congregate in the center of the desks producing that all too familiar aroma of freshly brewed coffee grinds.

Two men work fervently around three extended microphones, moving back and forth from responding to tweets, to writing what seems to be shorthand that seldom people could understand in a notebook. Two televisions hang on the wall: one tuned into a broadcast of ESPN’s “College Football Live” while the other shows a press conference airing on the Golf Channel.

A large digital clock sits behind a large window displaying the time in hours, minutes and seconds in red numbers, slowly keeping track as the two men worked. A lone spotlight in the ceiling served as the lone source of illumination as it hung over the center of the room.

The large “On Air” light clicks on at 3 p.m., both men put their headphones on and approach the microphones and the daily broadcasting of the “Adam & Joe Show” begins.

Joe Ovies, along with his co-host Adam Gold, has been in charge of the aforementioned show for the last six years, but in order to find where his career in radio began, you have to look back just under two decades or so.

About 17 years ago, in the winter of 1998, Ovies signed up to be a DJ at 88.1 WKNC, the student-run radio station at NC State, during his freshman year.

“I’ve always had a fascination with radio,” Ovies said. “So I figured I’m at State, my freshman year, I’ll DJ. I like making mix tapes and playing music, so I’ll give it a shot.”

Ovies began doing news readings before moving on to operations director during his sophomore year. Then at the start of his junior year, an opportunity presented itself, and Ovies could not pass it up.

“The [general manager] at the time left school,” Ovies said. “So they needed a new GM and I applied for it, and I was the GM of WKNC from late ’99 through graduation in ’01.”

When reflecting on his tenure at WKNC, Ovies recalled fond memories he made at the student radio station in Raleigh. Highlighting former coworkers who’ve gone on to bigger and better things, Ovies said WKNC is “like any other club at State” as far as the networking benefits and experiences you come across.

“I got the opportunity to attend [the Collegiate Music Journalists] conference in New York,” Ovies said. “It was probably the first time, when I was in school, that I had to do something adult. You had to plan the trip, you had to get the registration and you had to manage a group of kids. Then you had to go to New York, go to those conferences, networking. It was like the first kind of ‘real-world adult stuff’ I did while at school.”

But the best part of working at WKNC was not the networking, or the trips or hosting the radio shows, but rather something many would have taken from granted.

“Just generally hanging out, you know?” Ovies said. “It was cool to hang out with like-minded kids, and listen to music, and talk about music, and do production and DJ and those types of things. We had a lot of fun.”
Ovies continued in the radio business after college for reasons that may seem unorthodox.

“I got into radio because it was a job,” Ovies said. “Seriously, part of radio and part of journalism is getting your foot in the door, I mean that’s that way with most jobs in this field.”

In college, Ovies started out as a computer science major, but then found himself changing to business management with a concentration in information technologies.

“When it was my senior year, I didn’t pursue any of the stuff I was in school for,” Ovies said. “I didn’t do any internships because I was so into the radio stuff I was doing.”

Eventually, Ovies decided to look for a job in the radio business, so he applied to the sports talk radio station that he was listening to at the time called 850 The Buzz.

He started out working Saturdays and Sundays running the boards at the station, screening calls, doing updates and picking up shifts where he could. He gained enough experience to the point when the next full-time job opened up in 2002, Ovies was hired full-time as the producer of his soon-to-be co-host Adam Gold’s show.

“I already kind of new the environment and knew what to do,” Ovies said. “And they said ‘All right, let’s make you full-time,’ and then other things come like new shows and opportunities.”

In 2005, the station needed a new morning show, and Ovies put himself in a position to host as he had been doing just that for a Saturday morning show. Eventually, Ovies was teamed up with Adam Gold, and they moved to ESPN 99.9 The Fan at Capital Broadcasting in 2009, and he’s been there ever since.

“It’s a challenge in the best possible way,” Gold said when asked what it’s like working with Ovies. “I’m serious, 10 years ago I was predictable, and I don’t think I’m predictable anymore. Working with Joe has kept me younger and the best possible thing for what we do. It’s a much fresher sounding show that’s ours.”

 

To read the rest of the story visit The Technician where this story was originally published

Sports Radio News

1140 The Bet Cancels ‘The Playmakers’

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

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In another cut from Audacy, 1140 The Bet has cancelled The Playmakers on their Las Vegas station.

The show, hosted by Lindsey Brown and Adrian Hernandez, aired from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

Brown tweeted the news, saying “Sadly I have been informed that yesterday was our final show. I am thankful for the people it brought into my life & the experiences we created I am incredibly proud of our work & the boundaries we are eager to push in sportz radio. Today is a tough day. Tomorrow is on the way.”

Hernandez followed up by tweeting “I can’t put into words right now how I feel right now but in my radio journey from College in Tampa to Phoenix and now Las Vegas you were the best teammate I’ve ever had in radio and more importantly a great person. I appreciate and will miss you Badass Brown.”

According to the station’s website, it will replace The Playmakers with You Better You Bet from the BetQL Network.

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Sports Radio News

1250-AM The Fan in Milwaukee Reportedly Cancels Local Programming

The station is streaming CBS Sports and has removed the local daily lineup from the 1250 AM The Fan website.

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1250 AM The Fan

Stunning sports radio news out of Milwaukee. 1250-AM The Fan has suddenly removed all of its local programming and switched over to CBS Sports Radio.

The news came as a shock to local listeners but even more surprising to the station’s staff. Here’s a tweet from Evan Heffelfinger noting that today was “everyone’s” last day at the station.

The station’s stream is currently airing CBS Sports Radio. The local daily lineup has also been removed from the 1250 The Fan website although show podcasts still remain.

In regards to the station’s talent, most have been quiet since the news began to trickle out. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that recent NFL Hall of Famer and former Green Bay Packer LeRoy Butler was part of the cuts. Bart Winkler, Tim Allen, and Gary Ellerson are expected to be out as well.

One host who may remain involved is Steve ‘Sparky’ Fifer. Fifer was part of the midday show, and also helped behind the scenes. According to sources, he’s likely to contribute off-air and with additional brand projects. The rest will have an opportunity to explore opportunities should any become available at 97.3 The Game, ESPN 94.1, WTMJ or any other local outlets.

Upon learning of the news, a few former 1250 hosts, Mike Wickett and Cliff Saunders, took to social media to share their sadness.

Ryan Maguire, who served as the PD of 1250 The Fan from 2006-2009, and is currently the PD of crosstown rivals ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ, provided his perspective.

One host who left before the station was dismantled was former afternoon man Ramie Makhlouf. The longtime Milwaukee voice exited in June to join Sactown Sports 1140.

This is a developing story and as more information becomes available we’ll pass it along. 1250-AM The Fan is owned by Audacy, which just announced plans to reduce 5% of its programming staff.

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Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher: Fred Roggin Rant ‘Is Why Everyone Thinks Radio Sucks’

“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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A recent piece in the L.A. Times painting the picture of why the sports radio audience in Los Angeles is smaller than that of Boston struck a nerve locally.

And when AM 570 LA Sports host Fred Roggin tried to explain why Boston does so much better with listeners, Fred Toucher couldn’t contain himself.

Let me give it to you in a nutshell real, real quickly,” Roggin said in a clip that played during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Tuesday. “The implication here is that you don’t care. Do they have as many Latinos living in Boston? I don’t think so, and if you look at the ratings, they don’t. We’re a melting pot, we’re very different here. Sports is a niche audience.

Toucher and company laughed at the sound byte before Toucher laid into Roggin.

“Does that mean that Latinos don’t like sports?” he asked. “To do well in Los Angeles, you have to adapt to the market, you jackass! Latinos have to listen to ya.”

Roggin and co-host Rodney Peete sounded even more out of touch in the clip by saying that part of the reason more people listen to sports talk in Boston is because of weather and an affinity for baked beans. Additionally, there’s just more to do in LA versus Boston.

“He is under the impression that the east coast is really something else,” Toucher said. “But he’s painting the east coast as if like no one lives out here. Like New York City and Philadelphia are these minor flyover states. It’s really funny.”

Toucher understood Roggin taking the time to go on the defensive, but he just couldn’t get over the way in which the defense was presented.

“I understand defending yourself, but then there’s like desperation,” he said. “What do you care if the station in Boston does better than you? What does it matter to you?! Clean up your own business! Jesus Christ!”

“This is the first time I think I’ve ever heard the northeast described as like toothless hicks that like got nothing better to do,” Toucher added.

Toucher finished his point by piling on the hosts further, saying that if their show aired anywhere else, it would fail.

“This is why everyone thinks radio sucks,” Toucher said before the rest of the Roggin clip was played.

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