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Under The Radar – October 31, 2016

Jason Barrett

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The latest developments that you may have missed throughout the sports media world. As always, if you have news to share or something to promote, feel free to pass it along via email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Jim Celania of 610 The Fan (WFNZ-AM) is retiring after nearly 20 years at the radio station. Celania recently hosted the morning show alongside Chris McClain. He previously worked with Gary Williams on the Morning Sports Page. Celenia said “I had two highly prepared lead hosts in Gary and Mac and many others allowing me to just be me, but now it’s time to go. I will miss it more than it will miss me. If I made you think or laugh then I guess I did ok.”

Former CBS Radio President Dan Mason is keeping busy in sports media circles. Mason, who currently serves as Senior Advisor for iHeartmedia, will be calling a handful of college basketball games on television for the CBS Sports Network. He was also added recently as an analyst on the Horse Racing Radio Network. HRNN programming can be heard on Sirius 93, XM 93, online and podcast at horseracingradio.net, and on select HRRN affiliates.

Clay Travis wrote a column which focused on the continued decline in subscribers at ESPN. This led to a response from the worldwide leader. Nielsen, the company which supplies ratings data for radio and television companies has since removed their November 2016 Cable Network Coverage Universe Estimates (versus the prior month) citing an unusual change. The company says they take the accuracy of their data very seriously and are conducting a thorough analysis to determine whether or not there was an issue.

Prior to the start of the World Series, 670 The Score program director Mitch Rosen took to his station’s website to thank listeners for their support during the past 25 years. You can read Rosen’s piece by clicking here. The Score’s Chris Tannehill also put together an excellent production piece to summarize the Cubs season and get local fans ready for the matchup with the Indians. You can hear it by clicking here.

102.5 The Game in Nashville has a brand new program director and they didn’t have to look far to find him. Ryan Porth has been promoted from the station’s APD role to the top spot. Station General Manager Jana Hampton says “Ryan exceeded expectations as the APD and has proven himself worthy of the elevated role. He brings energy, understanding, knowledge, and a plan to win. The competition wasn’t even close.”

Jeffrey Wright has been hired by 92.9 ESPN in Memphis. He’ll serve as Executive Producer of the Geoff Calkins Show, and as a contributor to the station’s local programming. Wright spent the past four years in Oxford, Mississippi covering Ole Miss for the Yahoo/Rivals network and hosting the Oxford Exxon Podcast, the largest daily podcast in the Southeast.

Staying in Nashville, 104.5 The Zone doesn’t have the radio rights to the Predators but that isn’t stopping them from tapping into one of the team’s most popular new additions. P.K. Subban has been added as a weekly contributor and will join the station’s afternoon show 3HL every Wednesday.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford is down to a few finalists for its vacant program director position. A final decision is expected soon. Former PD Tim Spence left in order to take the reigns at Denver Sports 760. Both stations are owned and operated by iHeartmedia.

Longtime Golden State Warriors radio producer R.C. Davis has joined 95.7 The Game as a producer of the station’s weekday NBA show. The program “NBA This Week” is hosted by John Dickinson and Matt Steinmetz.

Congratulations is in order for Arizona Sports 98.7FM midday host Vince Marotta who has taken over duties as the P.A. Announcer of the Phoenix Suns. Marotta replaces Kip Helt.

Chris Herring has left his position as the New York Knicks beat reporter at the Wall Street Journal to join ESPN where he’ll serve as a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight and as a national NBA reporter for the True Hoop Network.

Sports Radio News

Barstool’s Big Cat Ribs Silvy For Spending Vacation Trying to Connect With Jay Cutler

“He texted him the minute he landed!” Waddle said.

Jordan Bondurant

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It’s summer, and of course that means it’s vacation season.

ESPN 1000 host Marc Silverman is among those taking time this summer to vacation. Silvy was spending this week in Nashville celebrating his 10-year wedding anniversary.

But Barstool Big Cat, making his regular weekly appearance on the show with Silverman’s co-host Tom Waddle and Pat Boyle, couldn’t help but joke Silvy.

“It’s no surprise that Silvy is on vacation,” Big Cat said. “The guy lives for vacation. Does he even work?”

The trio kept the bit going, adding that Silverman prioritized getting in touch with Jay Cutler over spending time with his wife celebrating their anniversary.

“He texted him the minute he landed!” Waddle said.

“He probably was like, hey Ally why don’t you go do something, I’m gonna meet up with Jay,” Big Cat added. “He picked Nashville for a reason! He wanted to be closer to Jay.”

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Sports Radio News

Rich Eisen Calls Out Patriots Media for Asking Bill Belichick About Tom Brady Tampering

“It makes no sense to ask him that question to begin with,” he said. “And what do you think his answer is going to be?”

Jordan Bondurant

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Training camp is only getting started, but it appears folks in the New England Patriots media corps are in mid-season form.

In his daily training camp press conference, Pats head coach Bill Belichick took questions from reporters inquiring about his knowledge of former quarterback Tom Brady being tampered with by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

In typical Belichick fashion, his response to those questions was “We’re just focused on training camp.”

Rich Eisen took issue with the way the reporters asked Belichick about the situation.

“I know it’s a tough job. I know being on the beat is not easy,” he said. “But you cannot ask this man yes or no questions, certainly when you’re asking him about potentially explosive, controversial items like this one.”

Eisen just thought it was a silly line of questioning to begin with, because it’s not like Belichick would be honest.

“It makes no sense to ask him that question to begin with,” he said. “And what do you think his answer is going to be?”

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Sports Radio News

Vancouver Canucks Still Don’t Have a Radio Partner

The team and Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver were talking about a renewal of their rights deal earlier this year, but talks have stalled out.

Jordan Bondurant

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Vancouver Canucks

With a little more than a month before the start of preseason games in the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks are currently without a radio home.

A report for The Province in Canada indicates the team and Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver were talking about a renewal of their rights deal earlier this year, but talks have stalled out.

There’s a possibility the two sides could come to an agreement in the coming weeks, but should that not happen before the start of the 2022-23 season, the team could opt to stream game audio online.

The Canucks wouldn’t be the first team or the only team to exercise that option. Currently the L.A. Kings and the San Jose Sharks are streaming games online.

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