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Under The Radar – July 24, 2017

Jason Barrett

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It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but another week passes, and the sports media news cycle keeps on spinning. Although this week was a little slower than the past few. A reminder, you can have your individual or company news featured in this article by forwarding any pertinent information to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now here’s the latest developments.

Vice Sports has become the latest digital brand to overhaul its writing team in favor of video content. The company is parting ways with 2% of its 3,000 employees as it becomes heavier focused on original video programming. Among the cuts were Aaron Gordon, Jorge Arrangure, and Patrick Hruby. To read more about it click here.

Adrian Wojnarowski may not have been able to raid the entire Vertical staff and take them with him to ESPN, but that doesn’t mean the network isn’t committed to adding to its NBA reporting team. Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com have agreed to join the company as NBA Draft Analysts. The Draft Express website had produced millions of readers over the past 14 years, but with their new opportunity at ESPN, Givony and Schmitz plan to produce all of their content exclusively for ESPN and its multiple platforms. Archived material will remain available on the Draft Express website.

Also heading ESPN’s direction is Nick DePaula. The former feature writer for The Vertical, and creative director and Editor-In-Chief for Sole Magazine and Nice Kicks, has signed on with the network to provide additional coverage on hoops and athlete’s footwear.

Darius Rucker has decided that calling into sports talk shows isn’t enough. The county music star has reached an agreement with SiriusXM to host a new golf show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. The show will be titled “On Par with Darius Rucker” and it’s slated to debut Wednesday July 26th. The show will air monthly once its officially launched.

Congratulations to SportsNet 590 The Fan program director Dave Cadeau who has been elevated by Rogers Media to National Format Director. In addition to continuing to program the Toronto sports radio station, Cadeau will assist other sports radio properties under the Rogers umbrella.

Longtime Nashville sports talk show host George Plaster is returning to the local airwaves. A new program is being developed and will air on Classic Country WSM-AM. The show won’t interfere with Plaster’s position of Associate Director of Athletics at Belmont University. Plaster previously hosted on 102.5 The Game.

WQAM’s Ant Calatayud is bound for Bristol. The Miami radio producer is moving to Connecticut in August to join ESPN where he’s expected to contribute to the network’s Podcenter team.

Atlanta sports radio station 680 The Fan gave former Bills and Falcons wide receiver Peerless Price an opportunity to host last week. Price stepped in alongside fellow former wideout Brian Finneran and radio host/anchor Sandra Golden. Lead host Steak Shapiro had time off.

iHeartmedia has taken the plunge into the sports format in Tucson, Arizona. The company has launched FOX Sports 1450 featuring FOX Sports Radio network programming. The station also is the local home for Tucson Roadrunners minor league hockey.

The Baltimore Ravens have announced a new nine-part podcast series which will dive into the lives of the Harbaugh family. Man of the Crowd is hosted by Sarah Ellison and features more than 25 interviews with family members, friends, co-workers and reporters, offering fans a better understanding of what makes the Harbaugh family tick. For more information click here.

While some in the media begin to write obituaries for written content, others are taking advantage of the opportunity to add talented writers to their websites. The Athletic are the latest to do so. After previously hiring Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson to spearhead their Bay Area coverage, Kawakami revealed that Phil Taylor, John Middlekauff, Dieter Kurtenbach, Danny Leroux and Bay Area Sports Guy have been added as contributors.

Former Sports Illustrated writer Greg Bedard is also taking a more prominent role in overseeing a digital brand. Bedard has launched BostonSportsJournal.com, which includes Sean McAdam, Christopher Price, and Brian Robb and focuses primarily on the Boston sports scene. The website’s model replicates what Dejan Kovacevic installed in Pittsburgh with DKPittsburghsports.com. Kovacevic’s brand has amassed over 38,000 subscribers while adding strong corporate advertising support. Bedard is hoping to accomplish the same with his new digital venture.

Sticking in the San Francisco area, NBC Sports Bay Area recently launched a new show, Giants Outsiders, featuring Grant Brisbee and Therese Vinal. The show is thirty minutes in length and offers viewers an entertaining and fresh take on Giants games with an emphasis on viewer interaction via Twitter and Facebook. The show is also synced with Facebook Live to produce a unique interactive experience.

Sports Radio News

Angelo Cataldi Bans Andy Reid’s Voice From WIP Morning Show

“25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

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As Super Bowl LVII approaches, many storylines have emerged. One includes Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid facing off with the team he coached for 14 years, the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid is a beloved figure in NFL circles, but 94WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi couldn’t hold back his disdain for the coaching legend.

On Tuesday morning, Cataldi mentioned he couldn’t believe Reid was so highly regarded in NFL media circles. The longtime host said Reid was never truthful during interviews.

After playing clips that included Reid saying the Eagles “were a good team” and how the Chiefs “would need a good game plan” to grab a victory, Cataldi took issue with the generalities Reid spoke with. When asked what he expected from an NFL head coach, Cataldi compared Reid to current Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.

“I was expecting something like Nick gives me every time,” Cataldi said. “I hate Reid ’cause he never won me the Super Bowl, I hate Reid that it took him six years to get there, it took Nick two, and I hate Reid because he never bothered to share a damn thing. If you’re out there, with 25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

Cataldi — who admitted “I don’t like the man, and I’ve never liked the man” — said he received more than 300 emails about Reid, noting he didn’t realize he was “widely regarded as the all-time Andy Reid critic” in Philadelphia.

The 94WIP host added listeners will not hear the voice of the “phony, fraud” Reid any longer on his morning show.

“I do not control the other dayparts here. I don’t control the newsroom. I’m done playing anything said by Andy Reid. ‘Cause I learned over 14 years it’s a waste of time.”

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Sports Radio News

Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution

“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

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Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.

“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.

A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.

“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.

The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.

“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”

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Sports Radio News

Mully & Haugh: Mike Florio Had Perfect Response About NFL Games Being Fixed

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There were questionable calls — both made and not — that played into the eventual outcome of the AFC Championship Game. Cynics have pointed to the officiating in the game’s final quarter as proof that NFL games are fixed. On 670 The Score, Mully & Haugh praised Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio for his response to those accusations.

“I always assume it’s incompetence and not corruption,” Florio said when asked about whether or not the league purposely got the matchup it desired. “The NFL does not rig its games. I will say that loudly, and I will say that clearly. Sometimes I will add ‘because I don’t think the NFL would be sufficiently competent to rig its games if it wanted to. That’s why I think they don’t even try.”

Florio then added that being lied to all the time doesn’t mean you’re being lied to all the time, adding that the NFL does need to be proactive against games being fixed, rigged, or altered after the expansion of legalized gambling.

Later in the program, Mulligan and Haugh returned to the discussion about whether or not a conspiracy was at play when Mulligan levied his praise for the Pro Football Talk founder.

“I thought Mike Florio handled that very well,” Mike Mulligan said. “They’re too incompetent to have a conspiracy. It’s true!”

When asked about whether the NFL would actually want to alter the outcome to pit the Chiefs against the Eagles, Haugh said it’s just not realistic.

“That’s a leap you can’t make. It’s not logical. It’s logical to think the referees stink and their incompetent,” David Haugh said. “They have proof of that. To me, it’s a bridge too far to say they wanted a certain team to win because it makes a better matchup or its better for the league. That, to me, makes no sense and is based on no fact at all.”

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