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Under The Radar – July 10, 2017

Jason Barrett

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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.

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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