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Under The Radar – January 3, 2017

Jason Barrett

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A couple of tidbits from the sports media world. If you have a future tip or news story to pass along, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Good news for sports radio listeners in Detroit. 97.1 The Ticket afternoon host Terry Foster is returning to the airwaves alongside his longtime partner Mike Valenti. Foster had been battling some health issues and had been off the station. Jeff Riger had filled in for Foster with Valenti. Foster is scheduled to return Tuesday afternoon.

670 The Score is now officially 25 years old. The Chicago sports station celebrated its birthday on Monday January 2nd. As The Score prepares for its next 25 years, it’ll begin the journey by saying goodbye to longtime drive time host Terry Boers. Terry will host his final show on the radio station this Thursday.

Speaking of celebrations, Arizona Sports 98.7 also recently enjoyed 10 years on the air. The station originally launched the sports format in January 2007 on KTAR 620AM before moving to the FM dial in January 2014.

In the Mile High City, a couple of moves have been made at Mile High Sports 104.7FM and 1340AM. The station has announced the addition of Ryan Edwards, who will team up with Danny Williams weekdays from 9a-11a MT. Sean Walsh has also been added to the lineup and will host a new show weekdays from 2p-4p MT.

Fletcher Johnson has announced he’s departing 750 The Game in Portland. Johnson had been part of the afternoon show alongside Noah “Chop” Homsley. Johnson says that after seven years with the station and a rise from intern to drive time host he’s ready for a change.

With Johnson exiting afternoons at 750 The Game, the station has announced they’ll pair Homsley with former 710 ESPN Seattle midday host Justin Myers who has been working for The Game in a part-time role. Myers and Homsley will rebrand their afternoon show as “The Irregular Guys“.

A tip of the cap to Mike Florio who stayed on the air on NBC Sports Radio for six hours on Black Monday to navigate all of the NFL coaching news. With a number of local stations airing holiday programming that day, it was a smart move by Westwood One to offer additional hours of Florio’s show, and an even wiser move by Florio to invest the extra time on-air.

If you missed it, Dana White revealed that lead UFC announcer Mike Goldberg has worked his final broadcast with the company. Goldberg called the action on the UFC 207 pay per view alongside his longtime partner Joe Rogan. White is said to have heavy interest in hiring Jim Rome to call future fights. No deal between the two parties has been reached yet.

Dio Garcia has left 940 WINZ where he served as the producer of the Andy Slater show. Garcia had worked on the show for the past five years, including stints at two different stations.

Congratulations to Syracuse alum Michael Silver who has landed a producer job with Sports Radio 930 in Jacksonville.

George Balekji has agreed to become the new sports anchor for Action 12 News KODE in Joplin, MO and Pittsburg, KS.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a new beat reporter covering them in 2017. Trevor Sikkema has signed on with Pewter Report to cover the team throughout the year.

Former Patriot Ledger high school sports reporter Matt Cook has accepted a new opportunity with the Metrowest Daily News where he’ll contribute as a multimedia sports journalist. The publication is based out of Framingham, MA.

Sports Radio News

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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