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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – September 6, 2016

Jason Barrett

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Another edition of Under The Radar takes a look at some of the news you might have missed from across the sports media universe. A reminder that if you have personnel, promotional, or a brand success story to share, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

  • Former 97.5 The Fanatic midday host Sean Brace has landed a sports anchoring position with FOX 29 in Philadelphia. Brace begins his venture into sports television starting September 9th.
  • Despite Detroit Sports 105.1 folding, Rico Beard has landed on his feet. The former midday host announced that he’s taken over as host of “The Spartan Beat” on 92.1FM in Lansing. The show airs from 6p-7p and debuts on Tuesday September 6th.
  • Eric Messersmith has exited 101 ESPN in St. Louis where he was working primarily in a behind the scenes role in order to accept a position as an on-air talent at the new 590 The Fan KFNS operated by Tim McKernan. Messersmith will work on the 2p-4p show with Joe Roderick and Howard Balzer.
  • ESPN 980 evening host Tim Murray has been named the new studio host for Navy football radio broadcasts this season. Murray will host the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows on the Navy radio network.
  • 670 The Score in Chicago is holding auditions to find its 2016 Fantasy Football Expert. The radio station will be present at the Illinois Media School for a number of tryouts, and a final decision will be made by judges at a September 20th event. The will appear every Sunday on The Score during Joe Ostrowski’s show from 8-9a CT.
  • Congrats is in order for Brady Farkas who was named the new Program Director of ESPN 101.3 in Burlington, Vermont. Farkas had been working in Albany, NY for 104.5 The Team as a producer and on-air contributor. His first day of duty is Tuesday September 6th. He joins a radio station which recently installed Arnie Spanier in afternoon drive.
  • With Farkas heading to Burlington, 104.5 The Team has filled his void by promoting Zach Bye. Bye will produce “Big Board Sports with Rodger Wyland” and contribute on-air. Bye is already familiar with Wyland from having worked with him on University of Albany football and basketball broadcasts.
  • TNA Wrestling voice Josh Matthews had been hosting a weekend show on 102.5 The Game in Nashville. Matthews though has announced that the two parties have agreed to part ways. He says to stay tuned for future news regarding the Josh Matthews Show.
  • Staying in Tennessee, Marky Billson is hosting shows all of this week on WEMB 1420 in the Tri-Cities area. Billson previously worked for the radio station in the 1990’s and will be hosting the 12p-2p shift.
  • ESPN has added a new play by play broadcaster for the SEC Network. Courtney Lyle is joining the network and she’s expected to be involved in calling basketball, softball, and volleyball games.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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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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