The middle of July may not be a hotbed for the world of sports, but the sports media industry continues to produce it’s fair share of news and notes. Here’s the latest items we have for your reading pleasure. To be included in a future column please send your personal or company’s news, press release or other relatable items to us via email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
A major story to keep your eyes on moving forward is what happens with FOX Sports television and digital star Katie Nolan. The network was said to have big plans for her on television but with Jamie Horowitz now gone from FS1, it’s expected that she will jump to ESPN when her contract expires later this year. Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News addressed that issue and a few others related to FS1’s future in his latest column. To read it click here.
For all of the hits ESPN has taken in the past for controversial decisions surrounding the ESPYS, it’s only fair to give them credit when they hit an absolute homer run. That’s exactly what they’ve done this year by announcing that legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully had been selected as this year’s recipient of the Icon Award. The award will be presented by actor Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad”. The award is given out to individuals whose careers have left a lasting impression on the sports world. The ESPYS air Wednesday night at 8pm ET on ABC. Peyton Manning serves as the special guest host.
WFAN has announced its fill-in schedule this week for afternoons. Evan Roberts and Chris Christie occupy Mike Francesa’s seat Monday-Tuesday, Evan and Mike Valenti of 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit work together Wednesday and Thursday, and Valenti hosts opposite Chris Simms on Friday. With Roberts sliding up for the majority of the week into afternoons Joe Beningo is joined in middays by Brian Custer, Gregg Giannotti and Kim Jones, before reuniting with Roberts for Friday’s program.
Continuing with the WFAN audition process, Bryan Curtis of The Ringer asked Francesa if Chris Christie could replace him and what challenges the New Jersey Governor would have to overcome in order to do the job successfully. To read Mike’s responses click here.
Congratulations is in order for Rick Schultz. The former Hudson Valley Renegades announcer and upstate New York radio host has been named the new Sports Director for Fordham University’s WFUV Radio. Schultz is a former student at the school and says he’s looking forward to continuing the school’s tradition of training and developing top sportscasting professionals.
If you missed it in last week’s column, BSM has a few upcoming projects that will require additional contributions from industry members. If you have a passion for sports radio, an ability to write, a good ear, and want to increase your profile in the business, send an email by clicking here.
FOX Sports 640 in Miami has rebranded as 640 The Hurricane. The station made the switch after announcing it had landed the play by play rights for Miami Hurricanes college football. Program Director Paul Mason says the station wants to present an edgier and more aggressive attitude and the name fits perfectly with that strategy and the addition of the Hurricanes. 640 also carries the New York Yankees, Florida Panthers and NFL games.
Genesis Communications has added Rock Riley to afternoons. The Tampa sports media veteran has previously hosted shows on WDAE and 98.7 The Fan. He’ll be heard weekdays 3p-6p ET on 1040 The Team in Tampa and 1080 The Team in Orlando.
107.9 The Franchise in Tulsa has struck a deal with Oral Roberts University to become the new flagship radio station for Golden Eagles Men’s basketball. Games will also be carried on 1270AM. Adam Hildebrandt will continue to call the action.
Things are trending upward for DK Sports Radio in Pittsburgh. The digital broadcast which features former Pittsburgh and Boston sports radio host Tim Benz has revealed it will add additional programming and a live stream in September. For more details click here.
92.9 ESPN in Memphis has named Bennett Doyle the Executive Producer of the Jason & John midday show. Doyle will double as the station’s Sports Director of Social Engagement and Web. He’s been with Entercom-Memphis since January 2013, serving as Promotions & Events Manager for all of the company’s local radio stations. Additionally he’s worked as a weekend and overnight personality since October 2016 on FM100 (WMC-FM).
Former WPDH-FM morning show contributor Colonel Craig Flowers has landed a weekend show on 104.9 The Horn. Flowers can be heard Saturday mornings at 9am CT.
The end of the line has been reached by ESPN New Hampshire. Absolute Broadcasting has flipped the sports station to Oldies Radio WGAM.
Sacramento hosts Rex McNeil and The Phantom (formerly of the Rise Guys) have teamed up on a new sports podcast titled #The30. The show is available on Soundcloud and can be located by clicking here.
Congratulations to Mike Ferrin who is celebrating 10 years with SiriusXM. Ferrin hosts for the satellite company on MLB Network Radio. He also is part of the Arizona Diamondbacks radio broadcast team, hosting pre and postgame shows.
Barrett Sallee has confirmed that he is joining CBS Sports to cover college football for the network. Sallee has previously contributed for Bleacher Report, FOX Sports, MLB.com, CNN and Scout.com. In addition to the new opportunity with CBS he’ll continue to host on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel and the SEC Smothered and Covered Podcast.
After twenty years in journalism Mark Snyder is ready for a new adventure. Snyder has announced his departure from the Detroit Free-Press. He added that the newspaper has set the standard for writing in his home state and across the country and he’ll continue to support it as a reader but he’s moving on from the sports media industry.
Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP
“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”
Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.
One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”
More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”
Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”
An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.
“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.
“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.
Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”