ESPN Radio didn’t have to search far for Kevin Calabro’s replacement on NBA radio broadcasts on ESPN Radio. The network has promoted from within by naming Marc Kestecher its new lead play-by-play commentator for the NBA on ESPN Radio starting with the 2016-17 NBA season. ‘Kesty’ as he’s known to industry friends will team up with analysts Jon Barry, PJ Carlesimo and Kara Lawson to call regular-season, All-Star and playoff games. He will work with Hall of Famer Hubie Brown on the NBA Conference Finals and the NBA Finals.
Kestecher, has spent 17-years at ESPN and will continue to call NFL, college football and college basketball games on ESPN Radio. He will also remain a studio host for a variety of ESPN Radio programming, including the pre- and post-game shows for the College Football Playoff Semifinals and Championship, and work select ESPN TV events.
“When I arrived at ESPN Radio 17 years ago, one of my goals was to work our NBA games alongside Hall of Famers Jim Durham and Dr. Jack Ramsay, which I was able to do for more than a decade,” said Kestecher. “It is with great honor that I will occupy JD’s seat, which was filled so brilliantly the last few seasons by Kevin Calabro.”
Tim McCarthy, Senior Vice President/GM Audio Play-by-Play said, “It is always gratifying when a commentator who grew up as part of the ESPN Radio team earns an opportunity such as this. Marc has successfully covered every area of play-by-play for ESPN Radio and we are so proud as he takes the helm of one of our marquee series – the NBA on ESPN Radio.”
Kestecher joined ESPN in 1999 as an ESPN Radio SportsCenter update anchor. Prior to arriving in Bristol, Kestecher worked as an anchor, reporter and talk show host for WKNR in Cleveland (1996 – 1999), and as sports director for WPTR/WROW in Albany, NY (1992 – 1996). He also called Albany Patroons (CBA), Albany Firebirds (Arena Football, and University of Albany football and men’s basketball games, as well as men’s basketball for St. Rose College (1993-1994).
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.
Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys
“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.
“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”
Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.
Danny O’Neil is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously hosted morning and afternoon drive for 710 ESPN Seattle, and served as a reporter for the Seattle Times. He can be reached on Twitter @DannyOneil or by email at Danny@DannyOneil.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.