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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – January 23, 2018

Jason Barrett

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Most sports radio stations are preparing for next week’s buildup to the Super Bowl. Some are invading Minneapolis to operate on radio row. Others are avoiding the cold and working out of their home studios. Although that may be the focus, it doesn’t mean the news wheel stops spinning. If you’d like to be included in this column in the future, send your information via email to JB******@hv*.me. Now here’s the latest activity in sports media circles.

Bad news to report out of Chicago. Cumulus Media has opted out of their multi-year agreements with the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls. Each team has aired their games on WLS AM 890. Cumulus filed for bankruptcy and as part of the process, have chosen to return a number of Chicago stations to their previous owner Merlin Media. How this will affect the Bulls and White Sox radio partnerships is unclear at this time.

Elsewhere in the windy city, 670 The Score‘s Danny Parkins is trying to make a difference. The Score midday host turned the Chicago Bulls draft night decision of selling off Jordan Bell to the Golden State Warriors into a positive. Parkins had a number of shirts customized with the text “3.5 Million” added on the back. That amount signifies what the Bulls received back for the talented rookie. The shirts are being sold for charity with a portion of the profits going to benefit Feed My Starving Children.

An interesting piece of news was shared in an article last week on the Sports Business Journal‘s website. John Ourand reported that ESPN is cutting back on travel to Minneapolis this year. The network is reportedly reducing the amount of ESPN Radio shows sent to the Super Bowl host city to provide coverage leading up to the Super Bowl.

Well wishes go out to Sports Radio WIP‘s Joe DeCamara. The Philadelphia midday host recently missed a number of shows due to being hospitalized with internal organ issues. DeCamara has since returned to hosting his daily program with Jon Ritchie. With the Eagles Super Bowl bound, DeCamara would have likely had doctors working on him during commercial breaks to make sure he was able to operate behind a microphone over these next two weeks.

101 ESPN afternoon host and former major league baseball pitcher Brad Thompson is earning a little more air time on St. Louis Cardinals television broadcasts this season according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Thompson is expected to work as the team’s color analyst alongside play by play man Dan McLaughlin for 15 games. Regular analyst Al Hrabosky is reducing his workload for the 2018 season. Tim McCarver and Ricky Horton will also continue contributing as analysts to Cardinals telecasts.

SiriusXM‘s PGA Tour channel has announced a few additions. John Cook, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour, and golf analysts and former collegiate golfers Angela Garcia and Hally Leadbetter have signed on to host shows on the channel. Cook will be heard every Tuesday 7p-8p ET. Garcia and Leadbetter will host a show together every Monday 8p-9p ET.

After 15 years on the Dayton sports scene, Mark Neal has chosen to leave WING-AM ESPN 1410. Neal told the Dayton Daily News that he and his wife have decided to take different career directions, which will pull him him away from the radio station he’s spent the past 18 years at.

A tip of the cap to San Jose Sharks radio voice Dan Rusanowsky. The exceptional Bay Area play by play man recently called his 2,000th regular season Sharks contest.

Also out of the Bay Area, Martin Gallegos has announced he’s signed on full-time as the Oakland A’s beat reporter for the Bay Area News Group (Mercury News/East Bay Times.)

Last but not least, Michael Bish has landed a show on FOX Sports Radio 1340 in Richmond, Virginia. The program is scheduled to debut in February!

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106.7 The Fan Extends Deal to Remain Washington Nationals Flagship

“We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future…”

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106.7 The Fan has announced it has reached a multi-year extension with the Washington Nationals to remain as the MLB club’s radio flagship.

Nationals fans will continue to hear game broadcasts on the station, and those living inside the club’s broadcast territory will be able to stream the radio broadcasts on the Audacy app.

“Opening Day is finally here and we’re thrilled to celebrate the return of baseball season by extending our partnership with the Washington Nationals,” said Audacy Washington D.C. Senior Vice President and Market Manager Ivy Savoy-Smith. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future and give the team’s fans a front row seat to the action on the field and top storylines throughout the year.”

The Nationals have called 106.7 The Fan home since the 2011 season. Beyond game broadcasts, the station will welcome Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo to The Sports Junkies every Wednesday at 9:00 AM throughout the season. The station will also air segments titled “Nats Insider”, hosted by broadcaster Dan Kolko that feature player interviews and features. Those segments will air all along the Nationals Radio Network.

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with Audacy in bringing Nationals fans even more of the interviews and exclusive access they love,” said Lerner Sports Group COO Alan H. Gottlieb. “From in-depth interviews with execs and top players, to off-the-field profiles and more Spanish and English bilingual content than ever before, Audacy offers a comprehensive look at our ball club from all angles.”

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Todd Markiewicz Departing 97.1 The Fan

“He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

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Longtime 97.1 The Fan Vice President and Market Manager Todd Markiewicz has announced he is leaving the sports radio station.

Markiewicz has been named the President of the 1870 Society, a Name, Image, and Likeness collective working with Ohio State athletics and Learfield to devise NIL strategy, fundraising, and logistics.

In an internal memo, Tegna Columbus President and General Manager John Cardenas credited Markiewicz for helping to establish the brand as “the powerhouse sports station in the country. He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

Markiewicz joined the station in 2010. Under his leadership, 97.1 The Fan has routinely ranked as the highest-rated station in the Columbus market.

His final day with the station will be Friday, May 26th.

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Gregg Giannotti: Doug Gottlieb Is ‘Using My Name’ To Deflect Blame From Himself

“I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there.”

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Earlier this week, Doug Gottlieb revisited a gaffe he made on the set of CBS’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show a decade ago. On a set that included Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Greg Gumbel, and Kenny Smith, Gottlieb said that he was there to “provide the white man’s perspective.” Gottlieb owned that it was a poor attempt at humor, but Gregg Giannotti takes issue with the FOX Sports Radio host’s version of events that lead up to the televised misstep.

“If you’ll allow me, I’d like to clear my name for a little bit,” Giannotti said on Wednesday’s edition of Boomer and Gio on WFAN.

Gottlieb contends that he tried out a better rehearsed version of the joke in a number of other places before going on television and it was well-received. No one told him it was a bad idea or that if delivered in the wrong way, it could create problems. One of those places, according to Gottlieb, was CBS Sports Radio’s Gio & Jones.

One problem, the show did not exist in 2013.

“Here are my issues with this,” Gregg Giannotti said. “One, I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there. Two, he is placing blame now on whoever he told this to to stop him and say ‘Don’t do this on the set!’”.

Boomer Esiason, Giannotti’s WFAN partner said he can see how Gottlieb overlooked the reality that this joke would not land well with a general audience. Former athletes are used to joking with one another like this in locker rooms. Plus, being on a set with Barkley and Smith may have made Gottlieb think that he would get a little more leeway.

Esiason added that he can see how Gottlieb would assume Gio was there. The show on CBS Sports Radio that he was likely on was MoJo, which featured Brian Jones and Chris Moore. It became Gio & Jones in 2015 when Giannotti came to CBS Sports Radio from 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, where worked in 2013. More surprising to Esiason was the Gottlieb wanted to talk about this a decade after it happened.

“He’s still hanging on this,” Giannotti answered. “The issue I have is that he is using me, saying that he tried it out on me and that I found it hilarious but I should have stopped him from saying the joke when I wasn’t even part of this. I was talking about the god damn Penguins!”

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