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Program Director Dan Zampillo Leaving ESPN 980

Jason Barrett

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2015 was a tumultuous year for Red Zebra Broadcasting’s ESPN 980 in Washington DC. Unfortunately, 2016 is starting off in similar fashion.

Program Director Dan Zampillo is leaving his position with the radio station to pursue other interests. He was unavailable for comment but according to sources he’ll be staying on for a little while during the station’s transition.

Zampillo joined ESPN 980 in late April after former Program Director Chuck Sapienza resigned following a chaotic situation with station ownership. Sapienza made a decision to hire a new local morning show hosted by Jason Reid and Chris Paul titled “The Man Cave”. Before the show could hit the airwaves though, Redskins ownership intervened and pulled the plug on it. Sources state that a few members of the Redskins hierarchy were especially not pleased with Reid who had been a critic of the team during his tenure at the Washington Post.

After two weeks of criticism and the resignation of Sapienza, an understanding was reached and the show was permitted to debut on March 30th. However, it would be short lived as Reid and Paul were handed their walking papers on October 28th, just seven months after taking over the morning slot. The station cited poor ratings as the reason for its decision.

Then to add insult to injury, the radio station parted ways with General Manager Rick Carmean in December. Carmean had spent 8 years with the company, including the past 5 overseeing all of its radio business. Ownership announced they were going in a different direction and utilizing more involvement from team executives. Redskins Executive Vice President Terry Bateman, Redskins Play by Play voice Larry Michael, and Sales Manager Steve Johnson were brought in to help run the company business.

For Zampillo, his run in DC ends sooner than expected. Prior to joining ESPN 980, he spent time programming SiriusXM’s NBA and Bleacher Report channels. He’s also served as PD of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, and as APD for WGN in Chicago. No word yet on what his future plans are but interested parties can reach him by email at dzampillo@gmail.com.

 

Sports Radio News

BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week

“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”

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BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII. 

Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.

The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.

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Sports Radio News

Stan Norfleet To Replace N.D. Kalu On SportsTalk 790 in Houston

“My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

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Change is afoot at SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Chris Gordy will have a new co-host in middays as N.D. Kalu exits and Stan Norfleet comes aboard for Next Up.

Kalu, a former Houston Texans defensive end, has decided to leave radio behind. Instead, he will focus on his real estate business.

“N.D. is a tremendous talent and one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He will be missed,” said iHeartMedia Houston’s head of AM programming, Bryan Erickson.

Stan Norfleet comes to Houston after most recently being on WFNZ in Charlotte. He is no stranger to Texas, though. He finished his college football career at Texas Southern University. He also worked in the sales departments for both the Rockets and the Texans.

“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” Stan Norfleet said in a press release. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

In addition to his time on air in Charlotte, Norfleet has also been heard on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and seen on Raycom’s regionally syndicated ACC Network. He is also a former columnist at BSM.

“Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does,” said Erickson. “He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.”

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Sports Radio News

Mark Sanchez Jokes ‘Tom Brady Is Going To Ruin My Career For a 2nd Time’

“I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”

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Photo: Getty Images

Now that Tom Brady is done on the field, it is only a matter of time before he makes his way to the broadcast booth. Before the 2022 season began, FOX announced that Brady had signed a ten-year deal with the network that will put him in the top NFL play-by-play booth and make him a brand ambassador.

That has created speculation and uncertainty for Greg Olsen, the current analyst on FOX’s top NFL crew, but it won’t stop there. The effects will almost certainly trickle down. Mark Sanchez was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and joked that he knows his place is a little less certain now than it was last week.

“I guess thanks for ruining the trajectory of my career for the second time, Tom,” Sanchez said with a smile. “I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”

Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games during Tom Brady’s Super Bowl drought. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the then-Washington Redskins during his ten-year NFL career.

He began his broadcasting career in 2019. He was first with ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst for college football. Before the 2021 NFL season, he moved to FOX, where he joined Kevin Kugler in the broadcast booth.

With a few years and plenty of reps under his belt, Mark Sanchez is a broadcast veteran. He joked that that will give him some clout over Tom Brady when the GOAT makes his FOX debut.

“Hopefully he doesn’t get too annoyed with the hazing we put them through as rookies here at FOX. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too annoying for him.”

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