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Sports Radio News

Under The Radar – February 13, 2018

Jason Barrett

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Another week of activity to bring you up to speed on from the sports media world. If you have personal or brand related news to share please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to this week’s news.

Lost in the chaos of Super Bowl week was the news that Chris Mannix has ended his radio program on NBC Sports Radio. No word on what Mannix has planned next, although he did appear on FOX Sports 1‘s “First Things First” and stepped in to host “The Dan Patrick Show” which airs on FOX Sports Radio. NBC Sports Radio has turned afternoons over to “Calling The Shots with Keith Irizarry.” Details of the new afternoon show are not available yet on the network’s website.

Elsewhere on the national circuit, Peter Burns has landed a new weekend program on ESPN Radio. “Best Week Ever with Peter Burns” made its debut this past weekend and will air each Sunday morning 7a-9a ET.

Barstool Radio has added former Oakland A’s pitcher, ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst and current Barstool contributor Dallas Braden to its weekday lineup. “Dialed In with Dallas Braden” now airs weekdays from 2p-4p ET and includes comedian Steven Brody Stevens and Patrick “PCon” Connor who also works for KNBR in San Francisco. Barstool President Dave Portnoy says Braden’s addition will complete the radio channel’s lineup for the time being.

A new weekly soccer podcast, Alexi Lalas’ State of the Union, has been launched by FOX Sports. Episodes are expected to run 45-minutes and premiere every Tuesday at 5am ET. The first episode featured a preview of the U.S. Soccer Presidential election.

In less positive news, the sports radio world lost a good guy behind the scenes. Remote engineer and technical producer Kevin Ingles passed away last week. Ingles was a dedicated and well liked member of the ESPN Radio family. He also spent time working for CBS Radio. He was 36 years old.

In the big apple, Ray Martel has been named the new Executive Producer of the 710 WOR New York Mets Radio Network. As part of his new responsibilities, Martel will work on Mets broadcasts with Howie Rose, Josh Lewin, Wayne Randazzo and Chris Majkowski. He’ll also work with Pete McCarthy and Sal Licata on “WOR Sports Zone.”

WGN AM 720 is said to be pursuing the radio rights to the Chicago White Sox which recently became available. In the meantime, the station has inserted Joe Brand and Andy Masur into their weekend schedule offering sports updates.

For the first time in a decade, a woman is leading a program on KFAN 100.3. KFAN has added “Overtime with Carly Zucker” to its weekly schedule. The show debuted last Thursday and will be rotated in the evening hours around game schedules. To hear the debut episode which featured Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen click here.

1500 ESPN in Minneapolis is taking longtime personality Patrick Reusse off of Saturday’s in order to keep his involvement focused on M-F. Reusse previously had Friday’s off and co-hosted “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” with Judd Zulgad. Taking his spot on the Saturday show will be 1500’s Vikings reporter Matthew Coller. Reusse will now be featured M-F in afternoons working with Joe Soucheray.

Shifting to Seattle, Gee Scott is getting an opportunity to expand his horizons. The on-air host and contributor on 710 ESPN Seattle is moving to evenings on NewsTalk station KIRO 97.3 FM. Both KIRO and 710 are owned by Bonneville International.

Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia in Seattle has switched affiliations from CBS Sports Radio to FOX Sports Radio on its second sports station in the market 1090 AM. The station is being branded as 1090 KJR. The weekday lineup features FSR’s on-air personalities giving the KJR brand a live and local outlet on 950 and a national flavor on 1090.

Congratulations to Justin Kinner on being named the new program director and afternoon host at ESPN WING 1410 AM in Dayton, Ohio. Kinner started with the station in 2014 and takes over the position previously occupied by Mark Neal.

The same courtesy goes out to Frank Fowler who has been hired by SiriusXM in Washington DC as a producer. Fowler will join the satellite company’s sports programming department in early March. He’ll primarily be working on the SEC Radio channel.

Waco’s ESPN Central Texas 1660 AM and 99.1 FM is shuffling its sports talk lineup. The station will air ESPN Radio’s “Wingo & Golic” from 5a-9a. The “Voice of the Bears” John Morris moves from the afternoon to the morning and hosts from 9a-10a. Butch Henry joins Ward Whites for “The Opening Drive” from 10a-12p. “Unnecessary Roughness” with Craig Smoak and Qiant “Your Boy Q” Myers shifts from noon to 3p, followed by “You Make The Call” with David Smoak and Paul Catalina airing from 3p-6p.

In writing circles, news continues to revolve around The Athletic who are stockpiling talent across their various platforms. The sports website has added longtime sports columnist and 101 ESPN morning host Bernie Miklasz to the company’s St. Louis platform. To read Miklasz’s first piece click here. The company also snagged exceptional baseball writer Jayson Stark. The former ESPN baseball writer will begin writing for the site on April 1st.

One piece highly recommended is the column Doug Gottlieb wrote for The Athletic. The FOX Sports Radio host and FS1 on-air analyst and contributor opened up about some of the mistakes he made in college and how they’ve helped shape his life.

And ESPN is losing a talented scribe. Andrew Marchand has announced he’s departing as Senior Writer in order to join the New York Post as a sports media columnist.

Sports Radio News

Steak Shapiro Apologizes, Says He Didn’t Think Stetson Bennett Criticism Was ‘That Inflamatory’

“You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history.”

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Wednesday’s edition of The Steakhouse was one Atlanta sports fans were waiting for. Late Tuesday night, Steak Shapiro took to Twitter to promise that he would address Stetson Bennett IV’s reaction to his criticism of the way the quarterback behaved at Georgia’s National Championship parade on Saturday.

“The notion is that Steak was basically roasted,” he said of the coverage the social media spat received. “He was put on the grill and taken to task.”

Shapiro had tweeted that he did not think it was a good look for Bennett to be on his phone during the championship parade and that his speech seemed more about settling old grudges than it was about celebrating the team or the fans. In a message on Twitter, which began by addressing Shapiro as “Mr. Med Rare”, Bennett explained that he was using his phone to play music in the car he was riding in. He was not ignoring the moment or the fans.

After giving Bennett credit for coming up with a funny nickname, Steak Shapiro said that he was surprised that the quarterback took the criticism so personally.

“My job is to give an opinion. I didn’t think it was that inflammatory. I didn’t think it was that dramatic.”

He added that has no problem with Stetson’s disdain for the media. He just thought the parade should have been about the fans and the accomplishment rather than Stetson Bennett IV trying to settle old grudges. Still, Shapiro wanted to make it clear that he does not hate the Georgia quarterback. He remains one of Bennett’s most vocal fans.

“On three or four occasions, I was lambasted because I said I thought he was the greatest player in Georgia history, and I said that before he won the national title,” Shapiro said. “I said that when they had the undefeated regular season, and then people started saying ‘stop saying that about Stetson’ or ‘Stetson’s overrated’. I just kinda had his back the entire year and probably had his back the last two years. I just didn’t think Saturday was a great day. That is what I have been saying, and I stand by it. I just didn’t think it was a great-looking day.”

Steak Shapiro did offer an apology to Bennett. He said that if the quarterback was just trying to play music on his phone, that isn’t that big of a deal, and if he had known that is what was happening, his reaction may have been different.

“My bad,” he concluded. “You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history. You’re one of the iconic sports figures — maybe number one — in a town of Hank Aaron, and Chipper Jones, and Domonique Wilkins, and Matt Ryan, and Deion Sanders. You’re probably number one all time.”

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Sports Radio News

Brian Gebhardt to Serve as Program Director of Sactown Sports 1140

“Learning under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti helped prepare Gebhardt for the next step.”

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Sactown Sports 1140 has found their next program director. After an extensive search, GM Steve Cottingim and Bonneville Sacramento’s Group Director of Programming Chad Rufer have found their next leader in Atlanta, GA, tabbing Brian Gebhardt to guide the brand’s programming department.

Gebhardt heads west to join Bonneville Sacramento after enjoying over seven years of success at 92.9 The Game. He has served recently as the Executive Producer of the ‘Andy & Randy’ show featuring Randy McMichael and Andy Bunker. During his time with the Atlanta sports station, Gebhardt has learned under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti. Those experiences prepared Gebhardt for the next step, as did working with numerous on-air talents who have helped The Game become a model of consistency in Georgia.

“Brian’s experience working with both premiere talent and professional sports franchises will help us help the Sactown Sports brand grow both on-air and on-line ,” said Cottingim.

“Brian demonstrated to us a real passion for leading extraordinary talent,” shared Rufer. “We are very confident that he will help us grow Sactown Sports into Sacramento’s premiere sports brand.”

“I can’t wait to get started and I am beyond excited to be working with Bonneville,” added Gebhardt.  

The hiring of the Georgia native as new PD allows Nick Cattles to focus exclusively on hosting the station’s afternoon show, a role he’s wanted to invest more time. Cattles joined Sactown Sports in November 2021 and has pulled double duty since arriving in Northern California. He hired Ramie Makhlouf as his afternoon drive co-host and the duo have built a solid foundation in afternoons. Having the ability now to focus solely on the show should allow Cattles and Ramie to elevate their program even more.

The first day on the job for Gebhardt will be Monday February 3rd. Depending on what develops with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC playoffs, there’s a possibility he could be walking into two straight weeks of Super Bowl planning. Regardless, Gebhardt has a new market to learn, a new team to meet, a new company to deliver results for, and an opportunity to take a big step in his radio career.

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Sports Radio News

DNVR Sports Files Injunction Against Bonneville Over Denver Sports Brand

“We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community.”

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After Bonneville International unveiled new branding for its Denver Sports properties, digital outlet DNVR Sports has filed an injunction to stop the radio company from utilizing the brand and logos.

In a Twitter thread, ALLCITY Network CEO Brandon Spano claimed DNVR Sports has already seen listeners, viewers, and readers confuse the two brands. “We can’t allow someone that represents the exact opposite of us to damage the goodwill of our brand or create confusion in the community,” Spano tweeted.

“Our branding was created purposefully, to be different from the way sports networks traditionally looked,” he said in another tweet. “To represent the city of Denver in a simple way while removing us from the gloss and pretentiousness of sports media. To create something that brings people together.”

Spano added that ALLCITY sent Bonneville a cease-and-desist letter last week, but claims the company failed to respond, so an injunction has been filed.

The Denver Sports branding utilized by Bonneville — which encompasses 104.3 The Fan and ESPN Denver — features a black and white city skyline as well as the Rocky Mountains inside a hexagon with block lettering. The DNVR Sports logo is a rectangle, similar to the city of Denver flag, with the sun centered between the mountain peaks and a block “DNVR” below the rectangle.

The complaint filed by StudioIP LLC — the law firm representing ALLCITY — claims the branding used by Bonneville constitutes “trademark infringement, unfair competition, trade dress infringement, dilution by tarnishment, and tortious interference arising out of Bonneville’s trademark infringement of Plaintiff’s trademarks,” according to Westword.

Bonneville has denied any wrongdoing, saying the accusations “have absolutely no merit, and our legal counsel is preparing a formal response. Denver Sports remains committed to delivering the most in-depth and inclusive local sports content for all Denver sports fans.”

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