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Under The Radar – May 28, 2018

Jason Barrett

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It’s been a while since we passed along some UTR news. A few of these stories you may be aware of, some you might have missed, and a couple are brand new. Regardless, it never hurts to stay informed about what’s happening across the sports media business.

A reminder that it helps us a ton when you’re able to share information about yourself or your brand. We track down a lot of things thru researching and sourcing but if it’s going to become public news anyway, you might as well alert the industry in addition to your social media following. To have your news included in this column, send an email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now here’s the latest!

Congrats goes out to Gregg Henson. The veteran sports radio host and program director has left Lincoln, Nebraska where he was hosting on Alpha Media‘s News/Talk station KFOR in order to join Entercom as program director of News/Talk WRVA and FOX Sports 910 in Richmond, Viriginia. Henson has already relocated and began his new assignment.

Another recipient of a PD promotion is Rob Thompson in San Antonio. The afternoon co-host of “The Blitz,” which includes Jason Minnix, was given the keys to the station’s programming department. Thompson’s station, ESPN 1250, is owned and operated by Alpha Media.

Word on the street is former 95.7 The Game program director Don Kollins is getting ready to tackle a new challenge. Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on Kollins’ next assignment.

San Diego’s new FM sports station 97.3 The Fan has found the program director it’s been looking for. An official announcement will be made in the near future.

In Miami, Brian “The Beast” London has been elevated to Assistant Program Director of WQAM and 790 The Ticket. London remains involved on-air as well, co-hosting in middays on The Ticket alongside Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard. Both Miami sports stations are owned and operated by Entercom.

Further up the coast in Virginia, Nick Cattles has decided to leave his hometown of Boston to return to where he established himself as an afternoon drive host. Cattles has exited 98.5 The Sports Hub where he was a nightly contributor to Adam Jones‘ show to head back to Max Media’s ESPN Radio 94.1. Cattles’ return unfortunately means the end of Jeff Pantridge‘s run in Virginia Beach. Jeff is looking for his next opportunity and can be reached by clicking here.

Although Cattles’ exit leaves The Sports Hub down a staff member, the station did recently make a move adding Ty Anderson as a full-time contributor.

It’s good to see Rob Ellis back behind a microphone in Philadelphia. The sports radio veteran has returned to Sports Radio WIP. He was last heard in middays on 97.5 The Fanatic.

Ellis’ former home 97.5 The Fanatic has also made some moves. The radio station has paired Geoff Mosher and Devon Givens in evenings on the 6p-9p shift. Joe Tordy gets the call to host weeknights from 9p-12a.

After officially becoming a radio free agent, former 670 The Score talk show host Jason Goff will be doing a few shows this week in Charlotte on WFNZ. Goff will be working the midday shift alongside Chris Kroeger.

In other Chicago related news, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a piece looking at the local battle between ESPN 1000 and 670 The Score. To read the article click here.

Although we don’t much on monthly ratings since quarterlies matter most, there were a few items worth passing along from the April book in Chicago. The return of the Chicago Cubs paid dividends for The Score but surprisingly Waddle and Silvy on 1000 pulled a 4.9 in PM drive which was equal to The Score’s share. That’s of interest because it marked the first month of Danny Parkins and Dan McNeil working together in afternoons (McNeil was sidelined for a while with vocal cord issues) and the Cubs cut into some portion of the afternoon schedule for ten dates during the month. In mornings the news wasn’t as positive for 1000 as Golic and Wingo were soundly defeated by Mully and Hanley.

Another ratings story worth sharing comes from Salt Lake City. 1280/97.5 The Zone finished the month of April 1st with Men 25-54 with just above an eight and a half share. The rise of Donovan Mitchell and another Utah Jazz playoff run certainly didn’t hurt business. The Zone’s closest competitors KSL and X96 trailed the Salt Lake sports talker by more than a full ratings point.

Jake Bockoven has signed off at 93.7 The Ticket in Lincoln, Nebraska. The station gave him a sendoff in early May. No word yet on what Bockoven has planned for his future. The Ticket has added Michael Snow to afternoons alongside Brett Kane to fill Bockoven’s position.

Another host with ties to 93.7 The Ticket is in the market for a new opportunity. Mike Welch was let go in Kansas City where he had been working on the morning show with Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler for 610 Sports. To get in touch with Welch about future openings you can reach him by clicking here.

Welch isn’t the only person in Kansas City to have their situation change. After 18 years with Sports Radio 810 WHB, Danny Clinkscale has left the station due to what he labeled on Twitter “downsizing.” Clinkscale says he’s not finished working in the format and is appreciative of having a chance to spend close to two decades working for one employer.

Cincinnati sports radio listeners now have another local program to listen to. Kentucky Sports Radio featuring Matt Jones has been added in the market on 1360AM FOX Sports Radio. Jones’ show originates out of Kentucky and is heard in 41 markets and throughout 4 states.

The Star-Telegram produced a great read on 105.3 The Fan‘s afternoon team, Ben & Skin. To become more familiar with their sports radio journey click here.

Continuing with profile pieces, Newsday in New York published a piece on Mike Francesa’s producer Brian Monzo. To get a better read on Monzo’s career click here.

In South Carolina, 105.5 The Roar has added a new weekend program. Kelly Gramlich has been given a hosting opportunity on Saturday mornings at 10am.

ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City has named Mitch Harper as the station’s Executive Producer. Harper is expected to work closely with midday host, program director and Utah play by play voice Bill Riley.

Behind the scenes support has been added as well at Orange and Blue 760 in Denver. PD Tim Spence has hired Michael Coover to serve as the station’s Executive Producer. Coover returns to Denver where he previously worked for 104.3 The Fan. He had recently been working as a talent booker for Envision Networks in New York City.

Speaking of 104.3 The Fan, a tip of the cap to the station’s digital team which put together a fantastic video featuring local listener, Corporal Jason Rump, who served in the military and listened to the station regularly while serving overseas. The serviceman presented hosts Zach Bye and Brandon Stokley with an American flag which flew on a base in Afghanistan. To see how the station honored Corporal Rump and made use of the flag click here.

Kudos to 710 ESPN in Seattle who tried something different in morning drive on Memorial Day. With Brock Huard and Mike Salk off, 710 turned mornings over to two women, Lydia Cruz and Stacy Rost. Cruz hosts weekday mornings from 6a-7a and Rost writes for the station’s website MyNorthwest.com.

Congratulations is in order for Sports Radio 1560 afternoon host Mark Moses. The Florida based talk show host received the Radio Alumni of the Year award from his alma mater Western Illinois University.

Longtime voice of the San Jose Earthquakes Hal Ramey returned to the booth on Saturday, calling the Quakes game as part of a special Saturday Retro night match. Quakes games air in the Bay Area on KNBR 1050.

Nate Bukaty was on the receiving end of a welcomed phone call. The 810 WHB host was called on to pinch-hit on FS1‘s coverage of Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus Crew SC. Bukaty called the opportunity to perform before a national audience a childhood dream come true.

Sticking with soccer, ESPN 94.9 The Game 2 in Nashville will carry at least 20 matches featuring the United Soccer League’s Nashville SC. The Game is owned and operated by The Cromwell Group.

99.9 The Fan in Raleigh went all in on the ACC Baseball Championship tournament, which featured games involving the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Duke. The Fan aired a total of twelve games, while it’s sister station 620 The Ticket carried six. The Fan’s Adam Gold who co-hosts the afternoon show, contributed to the play by play along with Baseball America’s Michael Lananna, UNC baseball play-by-play mane Dave Nathan, and Duke baseball voice Chris Edwards.

Congratulations to Maria Marino. The SiriusXM and NBC Sports Radio anchor and FNTSY Sports Network host and analyst has been added as a contributor on SNY. Marino made her debut on the channel last week.

The Washington Post recently published an excellent profile on Barstool Sports personality PFT Commenter. If you haven’t seen it you can read it by clicking here.

The Athletic is continuing its hiring spree. The sports website has added former ESPN and Sports Illustrated scribe and personality Rick Reilly, well known college football reporter Bruce FeldmanStephen Cohen as senior editor in Seattle, and Ryan Clark as a beat reporter for the Colorado Avalanche.

One talented writer who The Athletic has yet to scoop up and is now available is Alex Marvez. Marvez’s time at Sporting News has unfortunately come to an end. He remains involved still on radio with SiriusXM and said on Twitter that he’s not sure when/where he’ll write again but given his talent and track record it’d be surprising if other groups weren’t interested in retaining his services.

If you want to enjoy a good read on what it takes to climb the ladder in sports media, check out this piece on Leanne Cozart. It captures her stops at ESPN, NFL Network, the Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, and 95.7 The Game.

Yahoo Sports is bolstering its NFL coverage with the addition of Terez Paylor. Paylor has signed on as the website’s senior NFL writer.

Rising baseball writer/reporter Chris Cotillo is taking on a new challenge. Cotillo has signed on with MassLive.com as the website’s Boston Red Sox reporter. He starts his new assignment on May 29th. The Boston outlet has also added Matt Vautour as a sports columnist. Vatour spent twenty years writing for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

In case you missed it, ESPN decided to end the experiment of utilizing a public editor. Jim Brady left his post in March. The network has decided to discontinue the position.

The Los Angeles Times has lost Lindsey Thiry. After four years with the paper, Thiry is joining ESPN to cover the Los Angeles Rams.

And finally, NBC Sports Chicago has hired Bryan Perez. Perez will contribute to NBC’s Chicago Bears coverage.

Sports Radio News

Dave Tepper Leaves Altitude Sports Radio To Become PD of News Radio KOA

“ The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. She was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018.”

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There’s a big change taking place in Denver radio. Dave Tepper has left Altitude Sports Radio to become the new program director for Newsradio KOA. The position became available after iHeart Denver recently parted ways with programmers Greg Foster and Tim Spence.

The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. Egger was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018. She left to take the reigns at iHeart in December 2020. Tepper will be responsible for all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence, as well as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Rockies Region.

“We are very excited Dave will be leading our incredible team at KOA,” said Turnbeaugh. “Dave’s track record, vision and leadership is exactly what we need as KOA continues to evolve as Colorado’s, News, Talk and Sports leader.”

Altitude Sports Radio went through a lineup revamp early on under Tepper before settling in the past few years. The station built its morning show around Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, afternoons around Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl, and middays around Ryan Harris, Scott Hastings, and Josh Dover. The station also moved from 950 AM to 92.5 FM, and added an affiliation with VSiN.

At KOA, Tepper will work with both sports and news talk programming. He’s familiar with both formats having previously managed 1620 The Zone and News Talk 1290 KOIL in Omaha. Tepper also previously programmed ESPN 97.5 in Houston, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network Studio Coordinator and National Network Producer for Westwood One’s broadcasts of the College World Series. He has also worked on-air as a sports talk host in Houston and Austin, TX after starting behind the scenes at KLSX and KABC in Los Angeles.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks,” said Tepper. “My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once in a lifetime step.”

Altitude Sports Radio hasn’t announced a timeframe for when it expects to hire a new leader.

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Sports Radio News

Travis Demers Steps Away From Rip City Radio 620

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Jordan Bondurant

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Travis Demers

Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Travis Demers is going to be taking some time to enjoy being around his family.

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Demers clarified that he will still be calling Blazers games and be involved with the team’s radio production, but he’s going to take this opportunity to be more involved in the lives of his kids.

For now, Doing will fly solo hosting Rip City Drive. iHeartRadio Portland has not announced whether a replacement will be hired.

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Sports Radio News

Dan Le Batard: Hank Goldberg Was a Legend But Terrible To Many People

“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’…I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive.”

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Many mourned the passing of Hank Goldberg on Monday. He was a longtime, loud voice in Miami radio on WIOD and even longer with WQAM. He was also a familiar face to ESPN viewers.

Dan Le Batard, beginning in 1990, was also a loud voice in Miami as a columnist with the Miami Herald. He and Goldberg had a strong, often bitter, rivalry that played out in the eyes of the public.

On The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Le Batard commented on the passing of Hank Goldberg and his comments were an “honest” discussion of the two’s history.

“More than merely a legend, I can say this honestly, if not for Hank Goldberg, this would not exist (referencing the now podcast). All of it. The Hank Goldberg coaching tree, the best thing it birthed, sits right next to me. It has belched out little other radio talent but Stugotz is the lasting legacy of what Hank Goldberg did.”

The podcast goes on to tell the story of Stugotz, once the executive producer for Hank Goldberg, needing looking talent when he was part of a group that launched WAXY-AM also known as 790 The Ticket. Stugotz never forgot how much Goldberg did not like Le Batard. Goldberg would read Le Batard’s columns on air and react to them weekly with vitriol. Stugotz got an idea to counter-program Goldberg’s and WQAM’s ratings dominance.

“Because he would talk about Dan so much when I was the executive producer of his show,” Stugotz said, “I figured ‘hey I got to hire this guy to go against Hank Goldberg… if I can get Hank to go against Dan or Dan go against Hank then Dan would have a daily platform to snap back if he wanted to.”

Le Batard would join WAXY and the back-and-forth that came mostly from Goldberg’s frequent bashing of the columnist, now had two sides. Le Batard, who well aware of how his comments may seem, tried to tame the waters some.

“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’ or buries Hank Goldberg. I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive,” Le Batard opined. “He was truly terrible to so many people…you want to talk about this honestly? He was a legend, yeah. And he was an asshole to a whole lot of people”.

Stugotz added more context. “Hank didn’t like you (Le Batard) because Hank had an ego and you were a perceived threat”.

Le Batard referenced stories he didn’t want tell about Goldberg “playing defense” on his career but did say that Goldberg’s impact on the city was undeniable.

“Hank Goldberg in this town, did create a sports voice that helped make us more national. And made gambling a little more normal. And Hank Goldberg in this town, before anyone else, was a big shot in this town…”

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