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Under The Radar – August 31, 2018

Jason Barrett

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This edition of UTR is going to take you a while to read. There’s a TON to pass along. If you haven’t read this piece before, and want to know how to be included in it, it’s easy. Send your station or individual news via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now buckle up! You’ve got a lot to digest.

For those who have been asking about the return of the BSM Podcast, Season 3 will resume next Wednesday September 5th. There’ll be a few changes to the way the podcast is presented and delivered. We think you’ll enjoy it so be sure to check back.

Also, tickets for the BSM Summit in Los Angeles are now on sale. Seating for the event is limited. The annual conference is exclusive to sports media industry executives, programmers, market managers/sales managers, agents, and select talent. Plans have already been announced for an award to be introduced in honor of Emmis CEO and WFAN founder Jeff Smulyan. A second award announcement will be made next Thursday and involves a well known sports radio personality. For information on tickets, hotel, and sponsorships click here. To inquire on speaking at the event email JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

WEEI in Boston continues to make a difference for The Jimmy Fund. The radio station along with NESN and the Boston Red Sox took part in the 17th annual Jimmy Fund Telethon, and helped to raise more than $4.4 million dollars this year. Since the telethon’s inception, a total of $53 million dollars has been raised to help fight cancer. Congrats to all involved on a tremendous effort.

After months of media coverage, Mike Francesa‘s app is now available. The WFAN host recently did a media tour to promote it and confirmed plans to add more original content. Part of those plans include hosting his popular Sunday Football show which he hosted for 30 years on The Fan. Francesa’s app will also include a College Football show from WFAN host John Jastremski (JJ After Dark), wrestling content from Mike’s producer Brian Monzo, and Fantasy Football work from associate producer Chris McMonigle. More programming is expected to be added in the future.

While we’re on the subject of apps, the power of Barstool Sports can’t be understated. Earlier this week, the company launched the One Bite App which features a collection of Dave Portnoy‘s pizza reviews, and gives users the option to film and upload their own reviews. Barstool and its personalities got behind the project, collectively promoting the app to their fans, and on Wednesday, it had become the 3rd most popular app in the food and drink category. That put it ahead of brands such as Starbucks, and Chick Fil-A, and only behind McDonalds and Uber Eats. No matter how you slice it, that’s pretty impressive.

In addition to recently resigning with ESPN to continue his podcast and appear on television shows as a guest, Ryen Russillo has also added a podcast with The Ringer. Russillo’s new digital audio show is titled Dual Threat and it debuted on August 29th. Russillo also said on Twitter that he’s been hired to write a pilot for a television show.

FOX Sports Radio host Clay Travis has a book coming out in September. The title “Republicans Buy Sneakers Too” will include nine hours of audio narration from Travis. On an unrelated note, if you enjoy conversation on sports, media, and business, take a listen to Clay’s podcast with Rich Greenfield. It’s very interesting and informative. You can hear it by clicking here.

A heck of a start so far for the crew at VSiN. The company announced plans to introduce Action Updates earlier this year, and as we enter the start of the football season, 38 stations have already signed on to carry them with others expected to finalize deals soon. According to sources, News/Talk and music stations are beginning to enter the mix. That serves as a reminder to sports radio brands that it’s wiser to move early rather than late, especially given the expected increase in content, public interest, and revenue. You can learn more about VSiN’s updates by clicking here.

Philadelphia folks had been wondering about the status of popular WIP radio host Marc Farzetta, but that situation has been resolved. Farzetta left WIP on June 15th before getting married. His departure was due to gaining a full-time role on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Farzetta is now hosting Philly Sports Talk with Amy Fadool, and will be part of the network’s Eagles gameday coverage this season.

Beau Bishop is increasing his workload this fall. The 97.1 The Fan host who teams with James Laurinatis weekdays from 10a-12p ET is adding another show, except this one is on the airwaves of ESPN Cleveland. Bishop will co-host Browns Daily with Nathan Segura weekdays from 1p-3p ET. Bishop said via Twitter “there will be a lot of miles on my chopper but it should be fine.”

Football season means the addition of a number of weekly contributors on WDAE in Tampa. The radio station is adding nearly 15 guests to its fall coverage. Some of the notable names include former Bucs GM Mark Dominik, former Bucs players Michael Clayton and Anthony Becht, NFL Network insider Ian Rappaport, and Action Network Head of Content Chad Millman.

Given his connection to the city of Chicago, and the partnership in place between VSiN and 670 The Score, it only made sense for Sam Panayotovich to be added as a weekly contributor on the Chicago sports radio station. Panayotovich will appear on The Score every Friday during the football season with Mully and Haugh.

Another addition to The Score is The Fantasy Freak Show hosted by Yahoo Sports’ Brad Evans and Andy Behrens. The Score actually gave the show its start over a decade ago. Evans announced via social media he was thrilled to resurrect the program and return to his roots. The Score has added it to its Sunday schedule airing from 8a-9a CT.

Marc James and Greg Dickerson have been given a Saturday program on WEEI in Boston. Both men were regularly involved as rotating third hosts with Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe before the show was moved to middays. They’re also both active on Boston sports television.

Congratulations is in order for Jim Costa who has been elevated from APD to PD at 96.1 ESPN in Grand Rapids. Costa also hosts the station’s popular local afternoon show “Big Drew and Jim” with Drew McCarthy. The program also airs in Detroit on iHeart’s 1130 WDFN.

105.7 The Fan in Baltimore has named Brent Harris as its Ravens Insider. Aside from covering the team, Harris will also host the station’s Ravens post-game show.

FOX Sports Radio is adding an affiliation at the expense of ESPN Radio. Starting Saturday September 1st, 1230 and 1320 in Lehigh Valley, PA will re-brand as FOX Sports 1230/1320. The radio station which has been a longtime ESPN Radio affiliate said the moves are being made to offer a better lineup of personalities to the local airwaves. Dan Patrick and Colin Cowherd‘s shows are expected to be part of the lineup. The station has no changes planned for its local afternoon show which features Tom Fallon and Matt Markus.

SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio recently gave ESPN Syracuse afternoon host Brent Axe an opportunity to do some fill-in work on national radio. Axe was summoned for duty on Sunday August 19th. No word yet on when Axe will host next for the satellite company but expect him to get another shot.

Speaking of fill-ins, Jason Goff resurfaced recently in Atlanta, hosting two shows for 92.9 The Game. Goff previously worked for the station, and has remained active in recent months on SiriusXM, WFNZ in Charlotte, and a few Chicago sports media outlets.

Another talented guy who’s picked up some expanded opportunities is 1620 The Zone‘s Nick Bahe. FOX Sports Radio recently gave the Omaha sports talk show host a chance to fill in on the national stage. Bahe worked with sports talk veteran Andy Furman. In addition to hosting on The Zone, Bahe does college basketball analyst work for FOX Sports television.

Pete Thompson is no longer a full time member of The Sports Bash on 97.3 ESPN. In a social media post from on-air host and PD Mike Gill, Thompson was given credit for helping take the show to another level. Gill concluded his post by adding “that chair will always be open for you PT!”

A new wrestling podcast is now available courtesy of 102.5 The Game assistant program director Chase McCabe. “Through The Ropes” debuted with a special guest appearance from WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett. You can hear it by clicking here.

A new two year deal is what sources say CBS Sports HQ has signed Nick Kostos to. The CBS anchor is expected to continue in his current role as part of the new agreement. For a good read on what his day consists of click here to read the SBJ’s story.

Matt Perrault has announced he’s left The Action Network as a contributor to provide columns, videos and podcasts for 2 sports gambling sites.  One of those outlets is PlayPicks.com where Perrault contributed his first piece previewing the opening weekend in College Football.

And a couple of congratulatory notes go out to Kelly Bydlon who’s joined VSiN as a producer after 9 years with ESPN West PalmMatt Murphy for being named the new voice of Alvernia football on WIOV Sports Radio 1240AM, Jake Marsh on adding play by play duties on Vermont Men’s basketball, Tommy Call who’s adding a weekly sports talk show on 1440 KVON in Napa, and Rudy Reyes who’ll be covering the Wyoming Cowboys for KGWN.

After 34 years of sports coverage on Bay Area television, Gary Radnich signed off at KRON 4. Radnich’s farewell commentary provided moments of candor, emotion, and humor. To watch it click here. Congrats to Gary on an incredible run.

ESPN continues to introduce programming for multiple platforms. The company has announced a new show exclusively for Twitter. The College Football Show airs Saturday night’s at 7pm with Jason Fitz and Treavor Scales serving as hosts. Fitz says he’s pumped up, and promises the show will do things that have never been done before on digital programs.

An opportunity to head home was too good for Ben Murphy to pass up. After spending the past year in Charleston, SC working for WCBD, Murphy has accepted a sports anchor/reporter position at the local ABC/NBC affiliate in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL.

A ton to pass along from the print world starting with another hiring spree by The Athletic. The site’s NFL coverage immediately received a boost with the additions of well respected NFL reporter and television personality Jay Glazer, and former NFL GM and football analyst Michael Lombardi. Other moves made include adding Arif Hasan to cover the Minnesota Vikings. Travis Haney taking on the Tennessee Titans beat. Larry Holder has been hired in New Orleans to serve as a columnist and cover the New Orleans Saints and LSU. Green Bay is where you’ll find Josh Tolentino who’s now covering the Packers alongside Michael Cohen. In Indianapolis, Scott Agness and Stephen Holder will cover the Colts and Pacers. Less than 2 hours away, Jay Morrison is covering the Bengals in Cincinnati. Greg Auman exits the Tampa Bay Times after 19 years to cover the Buccaneers for the company. Joe Person has taken a similar approach in Charlotte, leaving the Charlote Observer after 8 years to cover the Carolina Panthers. Chris Perkins joins the brand in Miami reporting on the Dolphins. And Dane Brugler, Ted Nguyen, and Lindsay Jones have been named contributors to the platform’s NFL outfit.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is giving Chris Hine an opportunity to cover the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hine takes over for Jerry Zgoda.

After spending 13 years with Arizona Central Sports/Arizona RepublicDoug Haller is moving on. Haller says details about his next adventure will be announced soon, and he won’t be going far.

The Global News in Montreal received some good news just in time for hockey season. Brian Wilde has agreed to return as a hockey commentator. Wilde has spent two decades covering the Montreal Canadiens, and will bring his popular blog, Call of the Wilde, to the Global News’ website.

Yahoo Sports has added Kimberley Martin as a Senior NFL Reporter. Martin previously worked for the Washington Post, Newsday, and Buffalo News.

And Christopher Heady is taking over the Nebraska men’s basketball beat. He adds those responsibilities in addition to covering Nebraska football for the Omaha World-Herald.

 

Sports Radio News

Larry Bowa Warns Angelo Cataldi Fans Will Boo First Pitch If It’s Not a Strike

“Angelo Cataldi made Bowa promise to frame the ball so that whatever he throws looks like a strike to the crowd.”

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The Philadelphia Phillies are set to honor the career of Angelo Cataldi on July 24. The WIP morning legend will throw out the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park that afternoon. Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa will be behind the plate.

Bowa joined Cataldi on air Thursday morning to offer some advice. He told Cataldi that if the team asked him today, Bowa could still throw a strike from the mound. He was going to help Cataldi try to do the same.

He was concerned that Cataldi may not have any friends to practice with. After Cataldi assured the former manager that he had someone that was at least willing to pretend, Bowa gave him some tips.

“First of all, you start out at about 30, 35 feet while you preparing for this,” Larry Bowa said. “Make sure you throw every ball chest high. Throw a four-seam fastball. Do that three or four days then backup to 50, 55 feet. Do that a couple of days, and then finally you get on the mound.”

There was a word of warning for Angelo Cataldi. Larry Bowa said he once served as the catcher for a ceremonial first pitch from Mike Schmidt, widely regarded as one of the very best to ever put on a Phillies uniform.

Schmidt chose to throw from the mound and bounced it. Bowa doesn’t want Cataldi to make the same mistake.

“If you go to the mound and you don’t throw a strike, if you bounce it, I’m gonna tell you, you know this area better than anybody in the world. You will get booed off that mound,” he said. “So, if I were you, I would get right at the edge of the dirt there and throw a nice strike and everybody will give you a nice standing ovation and everything like that.”

Angelo Cataldi made Bowa promise to frame the ball so that whatever he throws looks like a strike to the crowd.

“I need you to get it to me on a fly, Ang,” Bowa responded.

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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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