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Under The Radar – June 14, 2018

Jason Barrett

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We’re back with another installment of UTR, the things that have occurred in sports media that you may not have been aware of. To have your information included in this column in the future, send any information about yourself or your brand to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now, on to the latest news!

Back to Numbah One! Mike Francesa‘s first full month on WFAN helped the New York sports radio station rebound in the ratings in afternoon drive. As reported by Newsday, Francesa finished 1st with a 6.8. The Michael Kay Show remained strong as well, placing 4th with a 5.5. FAN’s afternoon increase also benefited the morning show with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti who were tied for 3rd with a 5.6.

A pretty huge feat was accomplished in the May ratings book in the Bay Area. With the Golden State Warriors continuing to be a godsend to local sports radio, 95.7 The Game took advantage of their increased listening opportunities. For the first time in station history, The Game beat KNBR head to head in mornings. Joe, Lo and Dibs, which features Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley won the month against Murph and Mac with a 5.5 to 5.2. The same feat took place in middays where Daryl “The Guru” Johnson and Matt Steinmetz knocked off KNBR’s Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger 5.6 to 4.9. KNBR’s Fitz and Brooks and Tolbert and Lund won their head to head battles against Greg Papa and Damon Bruce, and the M-F 6a-7p matchup (5.8 to 5.6) but the race has certainly intensified between the Bay Area’s top two sports radio brands.

101 ESPN in St. Louis became the second local sports station to form a partnership with VSiN. 670 The Score in Chicago were the first to take the plunge in April. St. Louis’ top ranked sports station has added action updates from the Vegas based sports betting content company, and a weekly appearance by a member of the VSiN on-air staff.

In Dallas, Chris Arnold is no longer contributing daily to G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan. The Dallas radio personality remains involved with the station, making appearances on the show and contributing to other station programs. The Fan’s popular midday show now features Gavin Dawson, Jeff Cavanaugh, Mike Bacsik and Luscious Harris.

Announced recently in the big apple, Shaun Morash, who works with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio, has taken the reigns as producer of CMB on WFAN. The weekday program hosted by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott airs in New York weekdays from 1pm-3pm ET. Morash’s role with Amendolara’s program will not be affected.

Changes have taken place in Oklahoma. The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is now airing simulcasted local programming in both markets. The recent changes include adding John Hoover and Colby Powell in evenings from 6pm-8pm, and former NFL players Kelly Gregg and Gabe Ikard and co-host Jerry Ramsey taking over the noon to 3pm slot in both markets.

Well wishes go out to Tony Bruno and Gerry Vaillancourt. The two veteran sports radio hosts recently underwent surgeries but are said to be in good spirits and on the trail to recovery.

After spending time working for 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Allen Yates has confirmed he’s leaving the station to join ESPN.

Across town from The Fanatic, Sports Radio 94 WIP has made a behind the scenes move. Tim Kelly has revealed that he’s landed a position with the Philadelphia sports talker.

Arizona Sports 98.7 FM has hired a new producer for Doug and Wolf‘s morning show. Erin Maloney, who had been working with Burns and Gambo in afternoons as their Assistant Producer earns the internal promotion.

60 years in any business is a long time, but in sports broadcasting its practically unheard of. Yet that’s what Jim Leahy accomplished in Honolulu. The longtime sportscaster has announced his retirement. During his career, Leahy worked for a few local radio stations and served as the voice of the University of Hawaii’s baseball team, among other jobs during his lengthy career.

Congratulations is in order for Brian “The Beast” London and Alex Donno. The South Florida sports radio personalities earned some ink from the Miami New Times. London was recognized as the market’s best sports radio personality. The New Times selected Donno’s show as the best sports radio program on the AM dial.

Ryan Phillips, Jordan Carruth and Alex Padilla have been given a show on the Mighty 1090. The San Diego sports station has added the three men to their Saturday schedule. You can hear the program from 9a-11a PT.

Rudy Reyes has accepted a behind the scenes opportunity with Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Springs, California. Reyes has previously contributed for SB Nation Radio.

From the print world, Jerry Sullivan departed the Buffalo News after 29 years. The former columnist said on Twitter that his employer felt his voice was becoming bad for business, but he wrote for the readers who deserved a fair, objective and passionate perspective.

The Athletic have made a few additions to their college football coverage. Cody Stavenhagen has signed on to cover Michigan Football. Scott Dochterman is joining to focus on Iowa football. And Jesse Temple comes aboard to cover the Wisconsin Badgers football program.

Sports Radio News

Joy Taylor Says Aaron Rodgers Is More Likeable After Pardon My Take Appearance

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said.

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Joy Taylor

On Monday, the Pardon My Take podcast dropped their latest episode which featured an interview with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Big Cat, one of the show’s co-hosts, is a Chicago Bears fan and has spent a lot of time not liking Rodgers publicly.

Colin Cowherd saw one of the many clips that the show shared and brought up how much he thought that Rodgers took ribbing from Big Cat and the podcast in stride. That’s when Joy Taylor offered that the interview could help Rodgers in the long run.

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said. “When you can show that you don’t take yourself that seriously, all of the animosity that people have towards you just kind of starts to wither away.”

She added that the disarming quality helps if people don’t perceive Rodgers as thinking he has all the answers.

“When people feel like they are projecting ‘I know more than you’ and ‘I’ve got it all figured out’ energy, people are like: ‘you got to be the smartest guy on the room all time time? You’re not.’

This is so likeable,” Taylor said. “It’s really funny.”

Cowherd agreed and even said he is probably going to go listen to it after the show.

“Aaron is genuinely laughing as they make fun of him and that is an incredibly endearing quality.”

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Sports Radio News

WNSR Debuts ‘Power Hour’ with Sami Kincaid

Nashville’s WNSR debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

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Power Hour with Sami Kincaid

Nashville has a brand new voice to listen to on WNSR and her name is Sami Kincaid. On Saturday, the station debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

The debut show featured Associated Press writer Teresa Walker, Vanderbilt women’s basketball guard Jordyn Cambridge and North Georgia assistant softball coach Alea White. The show is focused on women that are operating inside sports.

The show airs Saturdays from 9-10a CT.

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Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: Dennis Eckersley’s Retirement a “Huge Loss”

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that he was going to retire from the Boston Red Sox television booth at the end of this season. The current NESN analyst is leaving after twenty years on the air with the team.

The news broke during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 the Sports Hub and it gave show co-host Rich Shertenlieb a chance to mention the news and praise the departing personality.

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

The show spent the rest of the segment talking about what Eckersley offered that made him so unique. That’s when Matt McCarthy, fill-in for Fred Toucher, said that Eckersley was exactly what you wanted in an analyst.

“You want someone that’s going to give you an opinion,” McCarthy said. “Eck gave you an opinion. He’ll be missed.”

McCarthy also pointed out that this is the latest major shakeup that has happened to the television broadcast in recent years.

“There’s no doubt this is a blow,” McCarthy added. “This is a tremendous loss to that Red Sox broadcast to which has taken a lot of hits over the years with the loss of Jerry Remy, the decision to move on from Don Orsillo and now Dennis Eckersley retiring… they are going to have to find an entertainer in there. Matt McCarthy

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