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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – June 13, 2017

Jason Barrett

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If you missed any of the latest sports media developments, we’ve got you covered. If you have personal or station news to share and would like to be included in a future column, please pass along your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to the news.

According to The Province, Rogers Media has found its program director to lead its new Vancouver sports radio station. Craig MacEwen is expected to take the reigns and lead the brand new Sportsnet 650. The station landed the radio rights to the Vancouver Canucks in March and is expected to launch as a full service sports radio brand this fall.

After five and a half years in Phoenix, Neil Larrimore has exited as program director of FOX Sports 910 and News/Talk 550 KFYI. Filling Larrimore’s position is Aaron Trimmer, who moves to the desert from Richmond, VA where he programmed FOX Sports 910 and Newsradio 1140.

Meanwhile, one of Trimmer’s former colleagues is taking on a new project. FOX Sports 910 host Wes McElroy has added writing duties for Fan Rag Sports. The Richmond based host wrote his first piece for the website last week and it focuses on the Washington Redskins. Click here to read it.

A tip of the cap to 102.9/750 The Game midday host Justin Myers. The Portland talk show host last week shared a powerful and emotional personal story at the start of his show last week about his history as a child abuse victim. The discussion came up after it was discovered that Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich had molested a six-year old girl while he was in High School. If you can afford 15-20 minutes it’s worth listening to. Click here for it.

ESPN 700 has found its replacement for Sean O’Connell in afternoons. The radio station has added former 1320 The Fan host Kyle Gunther. The Salt Lake veteran has joined forces with Tom Hackett weekdays from 2p-6p MT.

In Milwaukee, 105.7 The Fan has added Cody Grant as producer of Chuck and Winkler‘s morning show. The program airs locally weekdays 6a-10a CT.

Times Herald Record sports writer Justin Rodriguez has announced he will begin hosting a weekly radio program on WALL-AM 1340 in the Hudson Valley area of NY. The show will debut on Monday June 19th at 7p ET and focus primarily on high school sports.

Vince Ferrara deserves a congratulations. The Knoxville radio host on WNML has been added as a play-by-play announcer by the SEC Network. He’s expected to call select games for the network. The additional work won’t preclude him from hosting his radio program.

In other play by play news, congratulations to Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti. The team recently announced they’d signed Beneti to a new multiyear agreement which calls for an expanded role in the broadcast booth. He replaced Ken Harrelson as the team’s television voice for home games in 2016 and is expected to take over on a full-time basis starting in 2019.

Another recipient of good news is play-by-play announcer Josh Appel. After calling games for Florida International University and the minor league baseball team the Clearwater Threshers, Appel is moving to a larger stage. Sports USA Media has hired Appel full-time to call NFL and college football games.

Duke University will have a new voice calling Blue Devils football and men’s basketball games soon. North Carolina native David Shumate has agreed to join the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network and become the school’s new play-by-play announcer. He starts officially on July 1st.

A new host will anchor the Inside Michigan Football radio show this season. WXYZ Sports Director Brad Galli has been charged with leading the weekly conversation with Wolverines Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan play-by-play voice Jim Brandstatter previously hosted the show but said he chose to give up the assignment due to the increased demands of his position and weekend travel schedule working with Michigan and the Detroit Lions.

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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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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