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Under The Radar – December 5, 2016

Jason Barrett

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Here’s the latest sports media news making waves across the country. If you have a news tip to pass along or something exciting taking place inside your company and want to share it, please send your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Big news out of New York City. Three key members of the New York Daily News‘ sports section are moving on. Longtime sports media columnist Bob Raissman, and baseball reporters Anthony McCarron and Andy Martino have elected to take buyouts from the newspaper. The Daily News saw its circulation plunge double digits in 2016, and new co-publisher and co-chairman Eric Gertler is looking to trim 6 million dollars in payroll according to the New York Post. The newspaper is also said to be looking to downsize its office space.

Last week, Steve Bunin announced he’d be leaving SB Nation Radio to return home to Seattle and join KING as a morning news anchor. To fill Bunin’s vacancy SB Nation Radio is conducting a nationwide search to find the right partner to join weekday host Sean Salisbury. The network has confirmed that Kayce Smith, Craig Shemon, Patrick Creighton, Brien Straw, Danny Mata, Fred Davis and Dave Shore will earn opportunities to audition. Others could be added as well. The plan is to exhaust all options before making a permanent decision on the network’s new afternoon host.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford have hired their next Program Director. An official announcement is expected soon. The iHeartmedia station had been searching for a new leader after former PD Tim Spence returned home to Denver to program Denver Sports 760 and newstalk station KHOW. Both Denver stations are owned and operated by iHeart, which means Spence has remained with the company.

Congratulations is in order for Landry Locker, who has agreed to join Sports Radio 610 in Houston as the new producer for MaD Radio, featuring Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Locker stays with CBS, exiting his current position as morning show producer of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Locker is a Texas native and the opportunity allows him to return to his home state while continuing his career on another top notch morning show.

With Locker exiting Cleveland, 92.3 The Fan Program Director Andy Roth is in the market for a new producer to work with his talented morning team of Ken Carman and Anthony Lima. The job posting is available in our jobs section. You can reach it by clicking here.

BSM sends its best wishes to WQAM midday host Orlando Alzugaray who had a health scare last week and was forced to miss a week of action on the Miami sports station. “The Big O” underwent surgery and is expected to return to his show this week. Robert Littal of Black Sports Online is filling in on Monday’s show.

With the holidays approaching, Marc James will be stepping in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network. James will host Rome’s program next Monday December 12th and Tuesday December 13th. He’ll also host the show December 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th.

WJR Lions pre/post game host and former Detroit Sports 105.1 weekday host Sean Baligian has been chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes to provide play by play of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 31st. The game will air on FOX Sports Carolina, the team’s local television home. Baligian says it’s a one game assignment but he’s hopeful of doing more play by play assignments in the future.

Former FOX Sports Radio and 670 The Score morning host Mike North has launched a daily podcast. “Mike North: Sticks and Stones” will post weekdays around 9:30am CT. The podcast will be available on Gow Media’s Podcast Arena network, AudioBoom, iTunes, and North’s website.

Speaking of new podcasts, former NBA player turned TNT NBA Analyst Chris Webber has entered the digital space with a new program available on Podcast One. “Fearless or Insane” debuted on Tuesday November 29th. The plan is for a new episode to drop every Tuesday.

Staying in the digital arena, former 95.7 The Game in San Francisco weekday hosts Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are taking their podcast program on the road. The duo will broadcast live from The BrickYard in San Francisco at 7pm PT on December 14th. The duo are also filling in on KNBR 1050 Tuesday from noon to 3p PT.

Former 102.5 The Game in Nashville Program Director Jeremy Bennefield has landed on his feet, and didn’t have to relocate to do so. Bennefield has accepted an opportunity at Nashville’s leading newspaper The Tennessean.

A new afternoon show has launched on 103.1 The Team in Columbus, MS. “The Drive with Steve and The Professor”, features Steve Rogers and Glenn “The Professor” Lautzenhiser, and now airs weekdays from 4p-6p ET. The show debuted on November 28th.

Townsquare Media has pulled the plug on ESPN Evansville 105.3. The station has flipped to Christmas Music and is being rebranded as My 105.3 WJLT. The station will switch to an AC format after the holiday season.

A round of applause for 1010XL in Jacksonville who raised over $115,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund last Tuesday. The station’s previous high was $92,000 which they raised last year. The Jay Fund is a local Jacksonville charity which was founded by Coughlin in 1996 and it’s purpose is to assist local families battling childhood cancer to make ends meet financially. For more information click here.

Sports Radio News

Larry Bowa Warns Angelo Cataldi Fans Will Boo First Pitch If It’s Not a Strike

“Angelo Cataldi made Bowa promise to frame the ball so that whatever he throws looks like a strike to the crowd.”

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The Philadelphia Phillies are set to honor the career of Angelo Cataldi on July 24. The WIP morning legend will throw out the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park that afternoon. Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa will be behind the plate.

Bowa joined Cataldi on air Thursday morning to offer some advice. He told Cataldi that if the team asked him today, Bowa could still throw a strike from the mound. He was going to help Cataldi try to do the same.

He was concerned that Cataldi may not have any friends to practice with. After Cataldi assured the former manager that he had someone that was at least willing to pretend, Bowa gave him some tips.

“First of all, you start out at about 30, 35 feet while you preparing for this,” Larry Bowa said. “Make sure you throw every ball chest high. Throw a four-seam fastball. Do that three or four days then backup to 50, 55 feet. Do that a couple of days, and then finally you get on the mound.”

There was a word of warning for Angelo Cataldi. Larry Bowa said he once served as the catcher for a ceremonial first pitch from Mike Schmidt, widely regarded as one of the very best to ever put on a Phillies uniform.

Schmidt chose to throw from the mound and bounced it. Bowa doesn’t want Cataldi to make the same mistake.

“If you go to the mound and you don’t throw a strike, if you bounce it, I’m gonna tell you, you know this area better than anybody in the world. You will get booed off that mound,” he said. “So, if I were you, I would get right at the edge of the dirt there and throw a nice strike and everybody will give you a nice standing ovation and everything like that.”

Angelo Cataldi made Bowa promise to frame the ball so that whatever he throws looks like a strike to the crowd.

“I need you to get it to me on a fly, Ang,” Bowa responded.

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Sports Radio News

Dave Tepper Leaves Altitude Sports Radio To Become PD of News Radio KOA

“ The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. She was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018.”

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There’s a big change taking place in Denver radio. Dave Tepper has left Altitude Sports Radio to become the new program director for Newsradio KOA. The position became available after iHeart Denver recently parted ways with programmers Greg Foster and Tim Spence.

The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. Egger was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018. She left to take the reigns at iHeart in December 2020. Tepper will be responsible for all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence, as well as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Rockies Region.

“We are very excited Dave will be leading our incredible team at KOA,” said Turnbeaugh. “Dave’s track record, vision and leadership is exactly what we need as KOA continues to evolve as Colorado’s, News, Talk and Sports leader.”

Altitude Sports Radio went through a lineup revamp early on under Tepper before settling in the past few years. The station built its morning show around Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, afternoons around Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl, and middays around Ryan Harris, Scott Hastings, and Josh Dover. The station also moved from 950 AM to 92.5 FM, and added an affiliation with VSiN.

At KOA, Tepper will work with both sports and news talk programming. He’s familiar with both formats having previously managed 1620 The Zone and News Talk 1290 KOIL in Omaha. Tepper also previously programmed ESPN 97.5 in Houston, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network Studio Coordinator and National Network Producer for Westwood One’s broadcasts of the College World Series. He has also worked on-air as a sports talk host in Houston and Austin, TX after starting behind the scenes at KLSX and KABC in Los Angeles.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks,” said Tepper. “My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once in a lifetime step.”

Altitude Sports Radio hasn’t announced a timeframe for when it expects to hire a new leader.

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Sports Radio News

Travis Demers Steps Away From Rip City Radio 620

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Jordan Bondurant

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Travis Demers

Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Travis Demers is going to be taking some time to enjoy being around his family.

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Demers clarified that he will still be calling Blazers games and be involved with the team’s radio production, but he’s going to take this opportunity to be more involved in the lives of his kids.

For now, Doing will fly solo hosting Rip City Drive. iHeartRadio Portland has not announced whether a replacement will be hired.

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