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Under The Radar – July 23, 2018

Jason Barrett

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Three weeks after our last UTR we’re back with a bunch of news that may have slipped by you. If you’d like to have your brand or individual news shared in a future column with the rest of the sports media industry, send us an email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now here’s the latest!

An announcement will be made soon on Barrett Sports Media‘s 2019 conference. Final details are in the process of being resolved. Last year’s event took place in Chicago at the home of 670 The Score. For an idea of what to expect, click here or here.

A round of applause for John Kincade and Buck Belue of 680 The Fan in Atlanta who last week celebrated 17 years, 10 months and 16 days on the air together. Why is that number significant? It meant their on-air partnership had eclipsed the run which Mike and Mike had enjoyed on ESPN Radio. Next in their sights? Mike and the Mad Dog formerly of WFAN. The popular New York sports radio tandem featuring Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo have a 13 month advantage which Buck and Belue hope to surpass in 2019.

610 Sports has made a change in middays. Josh Vernier and Ron “The Show” Hughley have joined forces to occupy the middle part of 610’s lineup. Jay Binkley who had previously co-hosted in middays with Henry Lake becomes the station’s new Kansas Royals Insider covering the team and hosting pre and postgame shows. Lake meanwhile has left the station to return to Minneapolis, his former stomping grounds. No word yet on if he’ll be doing radio in the Twin cities.

The 24th edition of Jim Rome‘s ‘Smack Off” took place last week on CBS Sports Radio and the CBS Sports Television Network. Taking the crown this year was Brad in Corona. It was his 4th win. Prior victories were earned in 2009, 2011, and 2015. As a result of holding off Stevie Carbone and dethroning last year’s winner Leff in Laguna, Brad won a $5,000 grand prize and bragging rights as the ‘King of Smack’ entering next year’s 25th event.

VSiN continues to gain momentum adding local sports stations as affiliates for their Action Updates. Sources say brands in Detroit, Boston and San Francisco are expected to be announced soon. Others are also reportedly close to finalizing deals. For stations looking for more information and to hear a demo click here.

If you missed the announcement, Entercom has pulled the plug on TuneIn. The radio company is focusing on making its brands available exclusively on Radio.com thus leaving TuneIn with a giant hole in its radio offerings. The changes officially go into effect starting August 1, 2018.

For those who enjoy learning more about ratings, data, and sports media trends, check out Colin Cowherd‘s Herd Saturday podcast featuring FOX Sports EVP Michael Mulvihill. It’s a very insightful episode. You can hear it by clicking here.

670 The Score in Chicago did something very cool during MLB All-Star week. With Danny Parkins on vacation, the station used the slow period to reunite Dan McNeil and Terry Boers in afternoons. ‘The Heavy Fuel Crew’ sounded good together and gave local fans a reason to tune in during what is usually a difficult week for sports stations.

Speaking of neat things, kudos to Jeff Rickard and his team at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The station has come up with a killer promotion titled Fanniversary to highlight 10 years of sports broadcasting. The promotion includes a series of theme weeks between July and August with a focus on the Colts, Pacers, Indiana University and Butler college. They’ve also created custom production for each week and assembled some great prizes to reward their fans. For more information click here.

Congratulations to 760 The Ticket morning host Mike Taylor. The San Antonio sports radio personality has inked a new three year deal with iHeartmedia to remain with the company in his current timeslot.

Former ESPN San Antonio radio host Ari Temkin has left the market to move a few hours north. Temkin has relocated to Dallas to join 105.3 The Fan as its new pre and postgame host of Dallas Cowboys football. Temkin will take over alongside Jesse Holley for Shan Shariff who had worked Sunday’s for the past seven years. Shariff will turn his full attention to the morning show which he hosts with RJ Choppy.

Elsewhere in Texas, following Sean Salisbury’s exit from SB Nation Radio, the company has moved Patrick Creighton to afternoons. The veteran Houston host now hosts Straight Heat weekday afternoons from 5p-8p ET/4p-7p CT. Salisbury’s former partners, Brian Barrett and Robin Carlin, have moved to middays hosting a new show called The Break. The network has also added Jake Asman to its rotation of hosts.

A classy move was made by WEEI in Boston last week. The radio station took to Twitter to announce they were auctioning off 4 dugout seats for the Red Sox-Blue Jays game on September 12th to help raise funds for the family of Michael Chesna, a Weymouth Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty. The package included pregame field access during batting practice. The Red Sox then got involved too adding an autographed Mookie Betts bat. Thanks to their combined efforts, $8,000 dollars was raised to assist the fallen officer’s family. Great job by all involved.

Congratulations to Mike Stibbs who was named Assistant Program Director for 1620 the Zone, News Talk 1290 KOIL and 1180 The Zone 2 in Omaha. Stibbs, who will report to OM Dave Tepper, currently produces 1620 The Zone’s afternoon show Unsportsmanlike Conduct and will continue doing so while adding sports scheduling, technical assistance, and programming input on all three brands.

After moving to Philadelphia to work part time for Sports Radio WIP, Matt Hammond has decided to leave the radio business. Hammond spent time in Houston with Sports Radio 610 before making the journey to the city of brotherly love. No word on what his future plans are at this point in time.

The opportunity to return home was too much for Adam Giardino to pass up. Adam has signed on to become the new sideline reporter for UConn football and the color commentator on UConn Mens Hockey games. Giardino graduated from UConn in 2011 and thanked IMG, 97.9 ESPN (the school’s flagship radio partner) and his alma mater for giving him a chance to come back and be part of their broadcasting operation.

BSM sends its well wishes to Mighty 1090‘s Linda Welby. The San Diego sports anchor has been diagnosed with cancer and is said to be in good spirits as she prepares to take it head on. Each of 1090’s hosts took to social media last week, along with a large number of the station’s fans, to encourage Linda to fight. The hashtag #LindaStrong has been used frequently to lend support to her battle.

Mighty 1090 afternoon host Scott Kaplan conducted a riveting interview with US soccer superstar Landon Donovan. During the 88 minute episode, Donovan described how he grew up, signed with an agent as a teenager and advanced up the ladder in the soccer world. It’s an informative listen which you can hear by clicking here.

Tip of the cap to Peter Sampson who has been elevated to full time status at 102.9/750 The Game in Portland. Sampson has also earned some fill-in opportunities hosting John Canzano’s midday show.

In Fort Smith, Arkansas, Tye Richardson has been given an opportunity to produce and contribute on-air at ESPN Arkansas. Richardson’s primary responsibilities will revolve around the station’s morning show The Morning Rush.

Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver has announced they’ve agreed to terms with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. The station, which also serves as the flagship station for the Vancouver Canucks, says it will air every one of the team’s games live.

Speaking of deals, WJOX in Birmingham has signed a new long term deal with the Atlanta Braves to continue broadcasting their games.

Central Pennsylvania is where you’ll soon find Sam Kuperman. The young broadcaster has accepted a position with Lock Haven University to become the school’s new radio voice.

In television news, Conor Moore has confirmed that he’s partnering with NBC Sports to provide content for the Golf Channel.

Taylor Tannebaum has moved from WHNT in Hunstville, Alabama to WTHR in Indianapolis. The Tennessee native announced on social media a piece of her heart will remain in Alabama but the opportunity to join her new station in Indy as a sports reporter and anchor was one she couldn’t pass up.

According to Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News, Michael Buffer has inked a deal with DAZN to announce fights on their platform.

From the print world comes news that The Athletic are once again adding personnel. Marcus Mosher has been added to the site to supply content on the Dallas Cowboys. David O’Brien has signed on to cover and write about the Atlanta Braves.

The Kansas City Star has also added to its sports writing team. The KC newspaper has brought in Lynn Worthy and Brooke Pryor to contribute to its coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sports Radio News

Paul Finebaum: ESPN, FOX Have Power To Tank EA Sports College Football Video Game

“Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football.”

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Paul Finebaum

The power brokers in college football now are the media. In particular, it is ESPN, who is set to take over the SEC’s media rights and FOX, who controls the Big Ten’s media rights. Paul Finebaum said recently on the Dynasty Mode podcast that those relationships give the two networks major control over college football.

Dynasty Mode is a podcast about EA Sports’ popular college football video game series hosted by BSM writers Arky Shea and Demetri Ravanos. Finebaum told the pair that if either ESPN and FOX or the Big Ten and the SEC don’t want to work together, the video game, which will return to store shelves in 2023 after a ten-year absence from the market, could be doomed.

“We’re a year removed from an absolute certainty, that was a 12 school playoff for the CFP, getting shot down for the very same reason,” he said. “So if they can shoot down the most important entity in college sports, I think they can shoot down this.”

Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football. He told Shea and Ravanos that he hopes power brokers at schools and networks realize that.

“I think it’s been very important and I don’t know how many people that are in those power five seats think about stuff like that.”

In the early 2000s, Tony Bruno brought a fictionalized version of his radio show to EA Sports’ Madden NFL series. Finebaum said he had not been approached yet by EA to do something similar for the new college football video game.

“I’m really surprised they haven’t because it would be a big money-making operation, at least for me. I don’t know about for them, but I am happy to participate,” Finebaum joked.

He added that the real value to EA Sports would be his audience. They could give the game a level of authenticity that many fans have missed as college football becomes a more corporate entity.

“You can replace me, but you can’t replace the callers. They are the most unique, and I think it takes a lot of work to nurture callers like that. I’m not campaigning for EA because I have people to do that for me,” he said. “Point being, what makes college sports what it is? It’s the fans. It’s not the fat cats that buy the one million or two million dollar suites. It’s not the people sitting with the president. It’s the rank and file that probably never get to campus.”

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Sports Radio News

Matt Chernoff: WFAN’s Sal Licata ‘Doesn’t Have The Guts’ to Appear On 680 The Fan Again

“He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that?”

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Would WFAN’s Sal Licata join Chuck and Chernoff on 680 The Fan in Atlanta again? According to Matt Chernoff, no.

During a May appearance on SNY, Licata declared the National League East race over, saying the New York Mets had wrapped up the division. The Atlanta Braves then proceeded to win 14 consecutive games. The Mets currently hold a seven game lead over the Braves in the division.

After the 14 game winning streak, Chuck and Chernoff had Licata on their show to confront him about the opinion, and things got slightly heated, with Chernoff and Licata eventually yelling at each other, before cooler heads prevailed.

The two hosts rekindled their disdain for one another after the Mets won four of five games against the Braves over the weekend, with the two trading barbs on Twitter. Licata joked Chernoff should hope the New York host doesn’t move to Atlanta to win a ratings battle, and called Chernoff a clown before deleting the tweet. He later tweeted “Funny. No invites from Atlanta sports talk radio today,” accompanied by a should shrug emoji. That caught the attention of Chernoff, who addressed it to open his show Monday.

“He (Licata) won’t come on,” Chernoff said. “He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that? He made a fool of himself and then lied about it to his own fans. There’s a reason he didn’t play the audio on his dumb little show. And next time when he’s an hour late, they have that to play instead. I mean, honestly, if he wants to come on, come on. He has no interest. He does not want this smoke.”

@680thefan

Chernoff has had enough of loud mouth Sal Licata of #wfan #braves #mets

♬ original sound – 680 The Fan

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Sports Radio News

790 The Score Debuts In Providence

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

Jordan Bondurant

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After reporting last week that Kevin McNamara would be the station’s only local host in the programming lineup, 790 The Score in Providence, Rhode Island is officially on the air.

The station, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, has been revived and will serve as the market’s first sports and sports betting station.

“The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage,” said Holly Paras, VP and market manager of Cumulus Providence. “We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love 790 THE SCORE!”

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch some of the top national talent on the airwaves throughout the day and night. This includes hosts like Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

McNamara will host his show Kevin Mac Sports Hour daily from 5-7 p.m.

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