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Sports Radio News

The Latest Sports Media News and Notes

Jason Barrett

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A couple of quick news items you may not be aware of from the sports media universe. Consider it a second shorter version of the Under The Radar column, right before the holidays. Here’s the latest.

  • 17 years and 4 months. That’s how long Boers and Bernstein have occupied the airwaves on 670 The Score in Chicago. With holiday vacations coming up, and Terry Boers exiting the radio station in early January, the popular duo are wrapping up their final show together today. Who the station inserts into afternoons with Dan Bernstein in the future remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain, Boers and Bernstein had one hell of a run. Congratulations to both men on their success over the past 208 months.
  • With FOX Sports 1 looking to add a live morning show in 2017, the first test run will be given to Nick Wright and Cris Carter. The two men will work together December 26-30, filling in for Colin Cowherd on The Herd. FS1 boss Jamie Horowitz told Mike McCarthy of the Sporting News that he’d prefer the morning show originate from New York instead of Los Angeles. The new show is likely to air 6a-9:30a and Horowitz is hopeful it will rate well and serve as a strong lead in to Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, the same way Bayless and Sharpe’s show has helped increase viewers for Cowherd’s program.
  • Speaking of FOX Sports 1, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, the network had strong interest in Bomani Jones who recently signed a new contract with ESPN. Deitsch says FS1 hoped to feature Jones on both radio and TV. He’ll now have an opportunity to increase his profile on the four letter network after the company announced it would develop additional projects for Jones in the future.
  • Alpha Media in Portland continues to increase its Seattle influence. The company has announced that its sports station 750 The Game will become Portland’s home for Seattle Mariners baseball starting in 2017. Alpha OM Bruce Collins says “we are thrilled to be Portland’s home for Mariners baseball. The Seattle Mariners have a strong following in Portland, and the future of this organization is extremely bright.”
  • In Houston, SportsTalk 790 is adjusting the hours of a few of its shows. Starting January 2nd, The Proper Gentlemen featuring Lance Zierlein and Matt Thomas will end an hour early and broadcast from 6a-9a. In The Trenches with Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu will shift from 10a-12p to 9a-11a. The Bottom Line with Adam Clanton and Sean Jones will move from 12p-3p to 11a-2p, and Josh Innes’ afternoon program slides from 3p-7p to 2p-6p.
  • WGR in Buffalo came under fire after Bills general manager Doug Whaley appeared on the station’s morning show last week and during the course of a twenty minute interview wasn’t asked about Bills head coach Rex Ryan‘s future. Jeremy White and Sal Capaccio conducted the interview, and White acknowledged that although Whaley’s history of avoiding conversations of a similar nature gave him reason to believe that Whaley wouldn’t have added anything to the discussion, he probably should have asked so the audience wouldn’t feel he avoided the subject. The beauty of live radio, you live and learn something new each day.

Sports Radio News

Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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