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Andy Pollin’s 25-Year Run Ends at ESPN 980

Jason Barrett

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What a ride it’s been for Andy Pollin. The longtime Washington D.C. sports personality has occupied the airwaves of ESPN 980 in the nation’s capital for close to twenty five years, but on Thursday, he learned that the journey had come to an end.

Pollin, who had been teaming with Steve Czaban in afternoon drive since last May, was notified that he had done his final show on the station. His contract was set to expire in February, and the company had not displayed an interest in retaining his services.

Czaban and Pollin had previously hosted together for 13 years, before Chris Cooley replaced Pollin in the summer of 2013. That change led Pollin into morning drive, a slot now occupied by Cooley with Kevin Sheehan.

After being told of the decision to part ways, and not granted a final opportunity to talk to the audience, it would have been understood if Pollin was bitter. However, he took the high road when talking to the Washington Post about the situation.

“I’m not in any way bitter about this,” Pollin said. “I’m disappointed that it wouldn’t continue. I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn’t happen. That’s life.”

Czaban on the other hand said he was gutted by the decision, and credited the success of his career to Pollin.

“I have no doubt Andy has more chapters to write in his broadcasting and journalism career here in D.C.,” Czaban wrote on Twitter. “I would hire that guy tomorrow. I’ll miss him tremendously as a sounding board on all things sports, radio — and life.”

Ironically, the afternoon show with Czaban and Pollin had recently experienced some positive news in the ratings. When we last looked at the D.C. numbers in late November, the show had grown from a 2.7 to 4.4 and was involved in a tight race with 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes.

Although Pollin’s name will attract the headlines, he wasn’t the only talented performer to receive grim news from 980 officials. The station also informed two of their promising young personalities, Nick Ashooh and Tim Murray, who had hosted the evening program “DMV Gametime”, that they were casualties of station budget cuts.

Murray has confirmed via Twitter that he will continue being part of the SB Nation Radio morning show, which he works on along with Scott Linn and Steve Solomon. Ashooh is looking for his next opportunity and can be reached here.

Sports Radio News

ESPN 97.5 Host Vanessa Richardson Named New Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

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Vanessa Richardson

The Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season and it’s a familiar name in Houston sports talk radio.

Vanessa Richardson, co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, announced that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

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Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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