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Under The Radar in Sports Radio 7/15/16

Jason Barrett

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While you were busy taking in the sunshine during your mini work vacation or burying your brain in Twitter to stay informed on the latest news surrounding NBA Free Agency, developments were unfolding throughout the sports radio universe. Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what’s been flying under the radar in the world of sports radio.

A reminder, if you have a news tip to share in the future, send the details to me via email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Under The Radar:

  • The Golden State Warriors radio contract is up for grabs and sources say Entercom and Cumulus are both vying to land the team’s rights. After consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and landing Kevin Durant in free agency, Golden State stands to earn a large increase. The big question is whether they will terminate a longstanding relationship and sacrifice having the majority of their games air on KNBR‘s powerful signal in favor of more money, consistent clearance and more inventory control on 95.7 The Game.
  • Budget cuts have impacted 94.9 The Game in Nashville. The radio station has parted ways with its morning show, ‘A to Z Sports‘ featuring Austin Stanley and Zach Bingham. ESPN Radio’s ‘Mike and Mike‘ will air in its place as well as on the company’s second signal 102.5 The Game. Whether that’s a short-term or long-term move is unclear.
  • Former Green Bay Packers Offensive Lineman Mark Tauscher has signed on to host a weekday talk show for Good Karma’s ESPN Wisconsin. Tauscher will team with Jason Wilde for a new program titled “Wilde and Tausch“. The show will air weekdays from 9a-11a on Good Karma’s ESPN Milwaukee and ESPN Madison stations.
  • 107.7 The Franchise has parted ways with John Rohde. The former columnist who had been part of the morning show was informed his contract wasn’t being renewed a few weeks ago. He’s been replaced by Andrew Gilman and former Sooner football player Rufus Alexander.
  • With Kevin Graham gone as PD of WEEI in Boston, the radio station is turning to Joe Zarbano, Ben Kichen and Carlson Mozdiez to handle day to day programming issues in the interim. The three men share a combined 27 years of experience with the radio station and are highly regarded.
  • Congratulations is in order for 610 Sports’ afternoon team of Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison. The two members of ‘The Drive‘ recently signed new agreements with their employer Entercom Kansas City.
  • Jeff Rickard, who has hosted shows nationally for ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, and SiriusXM has added Executive Producer stripes at 93.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. He signed on with the radio station in his new role in April.
  • Former NBA veteran Ryan Hollins, and former University of Memphis big man Will Coleman will take turns hosting this week on 92.9 ESPN in Memphis. They’ll be filling in for weekday host Gary Parrish as part of what the station is positioning as ‘GP Show Celeb Week‘.
  • Daniel Ogden is leaving 95.7 The Game in San Francisco as producer of the midday show. Ogden, spent the past year and a half producing Greg Papa and John Lund’s show. Lund left last month to join KNBR. No word yet on where Ogden is going or who will replace him.
  • Townsquare Media has strengthened its Tuscaloosa sports brand ‘The Tide‘ by moving it on to a stronger signal. The company has moved the station from 99.1 to 102.9, a move that increases the station’s reach by 3-5x. It will now be positioned on-air and online as ‘Tide 102.9‘.
  • Former Atlanta/Charlotte/Miami host Mark James filled in for Joe Rose on WQAM in Miami on July 4th. That same day he also stepped in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network.
  • Wisconsin radio host Mike Heller is filling in all of this week on ‘The Dan Patrick Show’.
  • Matthew Barnaby has hosted his final show on SiriusXM’s NHL Network.

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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Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: AppleTV+ Shouldn’t Have Answered The Phone For YES Network Trade

“This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week.”

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Craig Carton

A report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post claimed YES Network, owned in-part by the New York Yankees, made several offers to AppleTV+ in regards to its scheduled broadcast of the Yankees and Boston Red Sox as Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. WFAN host Craig Carton was dumbfounded by the proposals.

Carton originally blamed the Yankees greed for the game airing on AppleTV+, before co-host Evan Roberts set him straight.

“Because the New York Yankees sold their rights to everybody with a blank check in front of them, they are now faced with the reality that their greed is gonna result in a momentous, historical moment not being broadcast by their broadcast team,” Carton said.

“If you wanna blame every owner, and say ‘Hey, you all signed off on it’, I understand where you’re coming from on this. But Major League Baseball made the decision to cut a deal with AppleTV+,” Roberts countered.

Carton then pointed out how preposterous the idea was for YES Network to either air the game in conjunction with AppleTV+, or for Yankees television play-by-play announcer — and New York afternoon radio competitor — Michael Kay to call the game for the streaming platform.

“Memo to YES, and the New York Yankees, who own a piece of the YES Network: If I’m AppleTV+ — and whatever that check was that I wrote, it was big — this is the moment for me,” Carton said. “This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week. If you’re AppleTV+, why would you even answer the phone if the YES Network calls?”

“Sometimes a guy calls you in Fantasy sports and says ‘I want your best player’, and you don’t even make a counter offer because you’re like ‘There’s literally nothing on your roster that would make me agree to this trade’,” Roberts hypothesized. “If I’m AppleTV+ — let’s play the negotiation game — is there anything that could be offered to you that would make you give up the exclusivity?”

“No! That’s what you paid for!”, Carton exclaimed. “Great luck! It worked out where you’re most likely gonna have a game on AppleTV+ where something historical is might happen!”

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