Sports Radio News
Under The Radar in Sports Radio 7/11/16
Once again news is being made throughout the sports radio format. Here’s the latest information we can provide. If you or your radio station have a future news tip or story you’d like to pass along, please email JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
- According to sources, Andrew Siciliano will soon be named the play by play radio voice of the Los Angeles Rams. Siciliano has done an excellent job on the Red Zone Channel and NFL Network and has prior radio experience in Los Angeles working for FOX Sports Radio and ESPNLA 710. He also worked as a sports radio reporter earlier in his career in Chicago. His ascension to the play by play position with the Rams has been expected for quite some time. The team utilized him to call pre-season games on television in St. Louis during the past few seasons.
- One person who isn’t expected to be part of the Rams radio broadcast team is Eric Dickerson. The Los Angeles Rams legend was the odds on favorite to be named the team’s radio analyst and talks with the team did take place, but the Hall of Fame running back is planning to explore a different role instead. Multiple sources say Dickerson will join AM 570 LA Sports as a contributor for the 2016 NFL season. Details about his role remain unclear. With Dickerson out of the picture, the names Jim Everett, Jerome Bettis, and Maurice Jones-Drew have been mentioned as possible options in the analyst role.
- Staying in Los Angeles, ESPN is expected to confirm the addition of Max Kellerman to ‘First Take‘ where he’ll replace Skip Bayless and square off daily with Stephen A. Smith. Kellerman’s departure leaves a hole in afternoon drive on ESPNLA 710. No word yet on who will partner with Marcellus Wiley on the radio program or on ‘SportsNation‘ with Wiley and host Michelle Beadle. ESPN is said to be considering internal and external options.
- A tip of the cap to the team at 790 The Ticket in Miami for their work surrounding the departure of Dwyane Wade. When the story broke late last Tuesday night, local programming was scheduled to end at 10pm. Recognizing the importance of the story, The Ticket went live and local throughout the overnight. Josh Friedman and Chris Perkins extended their show to Midnight, Zack Duarte stepped in to host from midnight to 5:30am, and Dan Le Batard, who was on vacation, took a break from his break to host his show Wednesday morning. The station also had social media posts and on-air promos updated in a timely fashion.
- We’re 2 weeks late on highlighting this story but it’s one worth sharing. Scott Kaplan of the Mighty 1090 in San Diego took part in the “Race Across America” which began in Oceanside, CA and ended in Annapolis, MD. Kaplan’s team “Team Pony Express” biked across the country in 6 days, 2 hours, and 47 minutes, raising over $150K for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) in the process. Kaplan shared his daily journey with local listeners on social media. Although “Team Pony Express” initially finished 2nd, they ended up taking top honors due to a disqualification.
- In Houston, on-air promos have hit the air to highlight a brand new local program debuting soon on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 KGOW-AM. “Nate and Creight“, which features local personalities Nate Griffin and Patrick Creighton, will take over weekdays from 1p-3p starting on July 18th. The two men had been hosting part-time for local competitor Sports Radio 610. 610 is currently looking for PT talent to fill their void.
- AM 1300 The Zone in Austin, TX provided a nice surprise last week to their morning audience. With regular co-host Sean Adams off for a few days, Chip Brown spent two of them working with special guest co-host WWE superstar Mark Henry. The two-time Olympian, and former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, is a Texas native and currently resides in Austin.
- Last November, Tim Montemayor left 1320 KFAN in Salt Lake City where he was program director and the morning drive host to move to Phoenix. His wife landed a great job resulting in a family relocation. Since then ‘Monty‘ had taken a break from hosting shows on a regular basis, but that changed last week when NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 in Phoenix added Tim and his son Jake to their weekday lineup. The father and son duo are now hosting a daily 1-hour show from 10a-11a.
- Mike Maniscalco was let go by Buzz Sports Radio in Raleigh two weeks ago and as he looks for his next permanent gig he’s helping out a former employer. Maniscalco will fill-in on FOX Sports 910 in Richmond, Virginia for two days this week as morning host Wes McElroy enjoys a few days off.
- Our condolences to the friends and family of Tennessee sports radio host Gary Haskew who passed away recently at the age of 74. “Dr. Basketball” as he was known on WGOW 102.3FM died of a massive heart attack. He spent over 25 years talking sports on the Chattanooga airwaves.
- The Hudson Valley Renegades minor league baseball team have hired a member of baseball broadcasting royalty. New play by play radio voice Josh Caray, is the grandson of Harry Caray, son of Skip Caray, and brother of Chip Caray. He began his new role calling the team’s games in mid-June. In addition to calling Renegades games, Josh serves as the play by play voice for Stony Brook University men’s football and basketball.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Jay Williams Calls Listener, Forces Him To Pay Their $1000 Lakers Bet
“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”
If you owe Jay Williams money, he is going to find you. Just ask Rob, a listener in Orlando who bet the ESPN Radio morning man that the Lakers would advance to the NBA Finals.
Last week, Rob called Keyshawn, JWill and Max and bet Williams $1000 the Lakers would eliminate the Denver Nuggets. Williams said if that happened, he would pay Rob $1500.
Obviously, that is not the way things played out. On Tuesday morning, Jay Williams called Rob demanding payment.
“He owes me my money,” he said. “So you know what we do? We got Detective Pat on the call today. Pat, let’s give this man a call. See if this guy picks up, trying to run away from giving me my money.”
The show’s associate producer Patrick Costello called the number Rob left last week. On the first attempt, the listener did not pick up. Williams vowed to keep up the pressure on social media and national radio and television until he got paid.
“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”
“You know, getting that money is a wrap, Jay,” Keyshawn Johnson said through laughter. “I told you that.”
The show made one more attempt to connect with Rob before having to turn things over to Greeny. This time, the Lakers fan picked up and acknowledged that he had to pay. He offered to make a donation in Williams’s name.
“I’ll send you my bank account here privately, and then I will send it to the charity of my choice,” Williams agreed.
Rob agreed to the arrangement. Williams asked him if he wanted to apologize for doubting the basketball analyst’s prediction of the Lakers’ demise.
“Apologize? I need the Lakers to apologize to me after that performance,” Rob said. “Because Jesus Christ, that was horrible. That was bad.”
Sports Radio News
Stoney & Jansen on LeBron James Retirement Talk: ‘NBA Needs Offseason Stories’
“I think we pick and choose with him. I think I’ve been too hard on him and I’m kind of realizing that.”
As the Los Angeles Lakers exited the court after being swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, a grim reality set in across the basketball world regarding the future of forward LeBron James. Widely regarded as one of the best players to ever suit up, James is the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, a 19-time All Star selection, four-time MVP, and four-time NBA champion.
During his postgame media availability on Monday, he stated that he had to seriously think about his future, undoubtedly referencing retirement. James just completed his 20th season in the Association and continues to play at a high level, but is going to think about walking away from the game after falling short of the NBA Finals this year.
“He’s been a pretty good soldier for the game,” said Tom Milikan, morning show producer and assistant program director at 97.1 The Ticket. “There’s been some things I haven’t agreed with him [on] that he’s liked or tweeted or whatever. I think he’s had some ignorance, but I think that applies to every single athlete out there that’s great.”
Throughout his NBA career, James has been the subject of criticism. The ESPN special he participated in titled The Decision saw him reveal he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. He is also a frequent subject across the network’s programming, including on Get Up, First Take and NBA Today.
“I think we pick and choose with him,” Millikan said. “I think I’ve been too hard on him and I’m kind of realizing that.”
Show co-host Mike Stone read messages from the 97.1 The Ticket text line during the show, many of which criticized James for being a “flopping” player desperate for any semblance of attention since he will not be in the NBA Finals. One text suggested his revelation of weighing retirement was done intentionally, surmising that he has a film documentary crew around him and coming back stronger than ever would make for a great story.
“The league needs some offseason stories,” Millikan said. “From what I know, the free agency class is not all that great this year – and one of the big names is Kyrie Irving, and that’s toxic. It’s sort of like, ‘Hey, maybe they’re generating buzz or trying to do the whole Brady thing.’ So be it – I’ve seen it 15 times in my life.”
Stone recognized that athletes like James are genuinely once-in-a-generation type talents, and that his time in the NBA has been defined by more than what he has done on the court. James has also been an immense advocate for greater causes, including social issues, youth education and community affairs. Whenever he decides to call it a career though, fans should rest assured that James has truly given the game everything he has.
“I want to see the best that they have for as long as possible,” show co-host Jon Jansen said of star athletes. “If they end up playing too long, so be it. I don’t care. Then I know I’ve [seen] it all.”
Sports Radio News
Danny Parkins: NFL Teams ‘Don’t Really Care About Your In-Stadium Experience’
“In one year of Al Michaels complaining about the games, they’ve changed two huge rules around it.”
On Monday at the NFL Owners’ Meetings, flex scheduling for Amazon Prime Video’s presentation of Thursday Night Football was approved 24-8. Games can only be flexed between Weeks 13 and 17 with 28 days notice required. Additionally, a maximum of two games can be flexed per season, with the entire operation being on “a trial basis.”
“In one year of Al Michaels complaining about the games, they’ve changed two huge rules around it,” said Danny Parkins on 670 The Score as the news broke Monday. “[The] first rule already happened, and the Bears are one of the teams that either benefit or are victimized by the rule depending on your interpretation. You can play on multiple Thursdays this year. You can’t play multiple road Thursdays, but the Bears have two Thursday night games – in Washington and home against Carolina.”
In an effort to broadcast compelling action on a national stage, the National Football League did not give all of its 32 teams at least one game on national television this season. Conversely, the New York Jets, complete with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will be featured on national television for the maximum of six times, including two matchups on Thursday Night Football. The Jets, along with the Chicago Bears, dissented from voting in favor of flexible scheduling, but Parkins assumes it has nothing to do with the fans.
“My guess is [it is] because they already have two Thursday night games,” Parkins said. “Maybe they’re just altruistic and they care about fans and travel and all that, but I bet you that they said, ‘Well, we’re playing in Week 5 in Washington and Week 10 at home against Carolina. We don’t want to risk Bears-Browns or Bears-Falcons being flexed into Thursday Night Football later in the season and end up with three Thursday night games.’”
Many football fans and media professionals have pushed back on granting the property any type of flex scheduling because of the negative impact it has on injury prevention, something that is not as pronounced with other properties solely because of the day of the week. Sunday Night Football on NBC was previously the only property with flex scheduling ability, and Monday Night Football on ESPN is being granted that ability between Weeks 12 and 17 with at least 12 days notice.
“They don’t really care about your in-stadium experience – they don’t,” Parkins said of the league. “As long as you watch on TV, they’re thrilled because that’s where they make a huge, ungodly percentage of their money – more so than any of the other sports.”