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iHeart Launches 105.7 The Zone in Columbus

Jason Barrett

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The cat is finally out of the bag. After a month of speculation, the news is official, iHeart is entering the sports format in Columbus. The company has flipped 105.7 The X to Sports Radio 105.7 The Zone.

The station launched Monday afternoon at 3pm with Bruce Hooley hosting his brand new show. The program includes Maddie Spielman (the daughter of former NFL LB and current FOX Sports NFL Analyst Chris Spielman) and producer Eric Rieser who previously worked for 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Hooley though will not stay in PM drive. Instead, he’ll move to mornings starting next week. The morning show is also expected to be syndicated on other iHeart stations, most likely in the state of Ohio and/or surrounding regions.

The Zone also announced in their press release that another co-host will be added at a later date. On the air they’ve been teasing a “player to be named later”, adding more fuel to the fire that the new addition will be former Ohio State and NFL Linebacker and former Columbus sports radio host Chris Spielman.

Hooley, spent the past five years hosting for ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland. He left the radio station last month and had been anxiously waiting on the sidelines for the opportunity to launch the new show. Prior to working for WKNR, he occupied the Columbus airwaves for nearly seven years, so he’s very familiar with the market.

In addition to Hooley’s local show, The Zone will feature the full Fox Sports Radio line up, including The Dan Patrick Show, The Rich Eisen Show and The Herd with Colin Cowherd. The radio station will also offer special reports from Matt McCoy, longtime 610 WTVN Sports Anchor, and serve as Columbus’ radio home for Cleveland Cavaliers and Cincinnati Bengals games.

“Columbus has one of the best sports fan bases in the country and they finally a have a new destination for Columbus based sports and entertainment radio in the morning, plus the best national line-up available the rest of the day,” said Michael McCoy, Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Columbus.

Full Programming Lineup:

Bruce Hooley                           6a-9a

Dan Patrick Show                    9a-12p

Rich Eisen Show                      12p-3p

The Herd w/ Colin Cowherd  3p-6p

Jay Mohr Sports                       6p-9p

JT The “Brick”                            9-11p

Jason Smith                              11p-2a

Sports Radio News

Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement

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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.

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Sports Radio News

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.”

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Tom Rinaldi

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.

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Sports Radio News

Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders

“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”

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Boomer and Gio

Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.

“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”

“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.

After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.

“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.

Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.

“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.

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