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Kate Scott Shows Up Better Than Anyone

“I hate it when I’m working with people on a project or a production who aren’t 100% committed, and it wasn’t long before I was looking around and realized I was that person more often than I realized.”

Jack Ferris




Piper is a 6 year old midsized pitbull.  Her grey coat is broken up only by the occasional white strip around her paws and between her eyes.  Her right ear tends to flop onto her head pointing the same direction as her left – giving off the impression that she’s constantly either stretching or mid-dance move.  She was rescued earlier this year by Kate Scott and her wife Nicole and the three are madly in love.  


Kate and Nicole had always liked the idea of getting a dog, but career ambition put the pursuit of a furry friend on the back burner for years.  Over the last decade, as Nicole was carving out a career for herself in architecture – Kate was doing the same in the Bay Area sports media scene.

After roughly 15 minutes of Piper talk, Kate reluctantly agrees to talk about herself.  That’s the funny think about Kate.  Grab anyone affiliated with sports in the Bay Area and they’re thrilled to talk “Kate Scott.”  It’s a subject no one is lost for words on.  In fact, “Love” almost always precedes her name when it’s brought up.  

Right around the time Piper graced Kate and Nicole’s home this Spring – Kate was in talks with The Athletic’s Tim Kawikami about hosting a podcast for the site’s growing network.  Just this week, The Update launched.  It’s a quick, comprehensive look at Bay Area sports designed to keep subscribers privy to just about every storyline in the market.  In a relatively short amount of time, Kate has made herself an ideal candidate for this gig – and she’s done it all by simply staying true to herself.  

The path to being one of the Bay Area’s most recognizable public figures started at Clovis High School.  By her junior year, Kate wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do – she just knew she loved people.  Growing up, she always thought highly of her teachers – so much so that she told Mr. Schmalzel that she wanted to pursue a career in education.

“He pretty much said that’s awesome, but no,” recalls Scott, her voice mixed with equal parts reverence and gratitude when speaking about Ed Schmalzel.

Mr. Schmalzel pushed Kate to follow her charm and love of people into broadcasting in some capacity – something the teenage sports fanatic had never really considered.  With the support of a trusted mentor, Scott had a career in mind – then the hard work began.

She chose Cal over UCLA, a decision she’s never thought twice of since.  Early on in her Freshman year, she noticed a group of guys leading cheers at different sporting events and thought to herself; “how do I do that?”

Unknown to Kate at the time, the “Mic Men” at Cal was an exclusive boys club.  Never in the history of the school had a female been a member of the rabble rousing group. 

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Unknown to the shirt, tie and khaki wearing dude’s crew, Kate Scott isn’t one to be deterred from barriers.  Making history, she joined the group and quickly became one of it’s most popular members – among the student body and beyond.

“I would have older female alums come up to me and just thank me.  They told me how much they wanted to join the Mic Men when they were in school – and now they’re cheering louder for me.”

This personal connection with fans would develop into a bit of a theme over the course of Scotts’ career.

When Kate wasn’t losing her voice on the courts and fields of Berkeley, she was writing and building her television reel for the small market sports anchor job she was sure to get as soon as she graduated.

“No one wanted me,” Kate offers with a self deprecating laugh that is as rare as it is endearing.

“I remember sending out VHS tapes, which were all awful, to stations all over the place and never heard from anyone.”

She went to work waiting tables in Berkeley, pouring wine in Napa and keeping a foot squarely in the door of the industry with an internship at Alice 97.3’s Sarah and No Name in San Francisco.  

It was during this stretch where she met Nicole on a night out in San Francisco.  She had no career to speak of – but she had found her soulmate.  Suddenly, the early career struggles so many in Kate’s position face seemed a little easier to handle.


When her 6 month internship with Alice expired, Kate was once again in full on opportunity-hunt mode.  Her contacts led her to John Atkinson and a company now called Total Traffic and Weather Network.  She was brought on as a reporter/producer and asked to do updates on a number of Bay Area radio stations.  They hours were crazy, the shifts were inconsistent – but she was working on air in her dream market.

As she tends to do, Kate created quite a reputation for herself in the San Francisco radio community and eventually earned a position as a fulltime update anchor and personality on KNBR – bantering daily with the market’s biggest names.

When asked about his first impression of Kate, Brian Murphy has no shortage of kind words.

“Prepared, disciplined, diligent, focused.  All the adjectives you would want in a coworker,” explains Murphy, half of the KNBR’s Murph and Mac.

“She combined a sense of humor with a real desire to be her best every day.”

Kate never thought radio would be the medium to launch her career, but she was slowly becoming a key part of the Bay Area’s morning commute.  As her brand grew and developed, she found herself in another position to break down a barrier.  Although a progressive market, San Francisco did not have many openly gay media members when she joined KNBR fulltime.  

“I had such a supportive family, Nicole’s family was supportive, we were in a great position.  I know so many families who were not speaking because their son or daughter was gay – I thought if anyone should be out it should be me,” reasons Kate.

With the unconditional support of Murph and Mac, Kate discussed her relationship with Nicole as casually as anyone would share anecdotes about their spouse.

“It was ground-breaking at KNBR to have an openly gay on-air persona, but Kate approached it with such normalcy, the listeners, and her co-workers, went from thinking it was revolutionary and different to … totally normal,” remembers Murphy.

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The surging popularity of Twitter at the time of Kate’s move to KNBR was both a blessing and a curse.

“It could not have been easy at all to endure any stone-aged criticism, but true to her professional ways, she never wavered or let on that any critics were getting to her.”

Ask Kate about those early days of being an openly gay media personality and she won’t hesitate to say there were some awful messsages.  Her voice dips slightly when trying to recall the tweets verbatim, but it almost feels like discussing the negativity makes her stronger.  As if pretending like hatred doesn’t exist in the world does us all a disservice.  

In the same breath, she’ll bring up the scores of support she received from listeners as well.

“I had people reach out telling I was a talking point within their family as they struggled with their child coming out.  So many people just thanking me in different ways for being out.”

She never sought out to be a symbol of gay rights in the Bay Area – but she refused to back away from the responsibility when it fell upon her.  

“I was just being me,” Kate shrugs, as if to deflect any praise.

After a few years of just “being herself” on KNBR, Kate started getting television opportunities.  Soon, after helping out with a number of high school football and San Jose Quakes games, Kate began working more and more with the newly launched PAC-12 Network in downtown San Francisco.  Her role with the PAC started as a part time halftime host but quickly expanded to play by play duties.  As you might expect, it wasn’t long before she captured the hearts of her new co-workers.

“She’s authentic.  You feel like you’ve known her for 20 years after hanging out with her for 20 minutes,” describes Ashley Adamson.  “She shows up – as a friend and a colleague – better than almost anyone I’ve ever been around in this business.”

Kate’s uncanny ability to impress those around her led to more history in August of 2016.  A number of scheduling conflicts left a vacancy in the radio play by play booth for two Niners games – a vacancy Kate got the call to fill.  It was then that Cal’s first female member of the “Mic Men” became the first woman to call an NFL game on the radio.

Ever humble, Kate’s response to that milestone is very “Kate.”

“People always omit the fact that they were preseason games.”

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After nearly two years, Kate’s expanding role at the PAC-12 and elsewhere put her in a tough position with KNBR.

“I hate it when I’m working with people on a project or a production who aren’t 100% committed, and it wasn’t long before I was looking around and realized I was that person more often than I realized.”

Kate tried to make her morning shift at KNBR work with the new PAC-12 evening demands for 18 months.  That meant sleeping in her car in the middle of the day more times than she’d care to admit.  

By Christmas 2016, Kate and the station mutually decided to part ways allowing Kate to continue to grow with the PAC-12 and other opportunities.  She recognizes she owes a lot to her time with KNBR, and didn’t realize how much she would miss radio.

Enter The Update via The Athletic and Kate has found the perfect avenue to continue her radio career.  

At first glance – you can see why Kate and Nicole finally got their Piper in 2019.  It’s a time in their lives both women have firmly established themselves professionally and you wouldn’t blame them for getting complacent.  Of course, you’d be wrong.

“I’m striving everyday to get better on television and through the podcast,” declares Kate.  “I still have dreams to broadcast the Olympics and the World Cup.”

There’s not a lot of people who know Kate who would doubt her ambition.

“Kate has done very single thing she’s ever put her mind to,” adds Ashley Adamson.

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“If I were a betting woman (and I had a life savings) I would put my life savings on it.  Kate Scott is a star, in every sense of the word, and I’m just grateful to be in the same galaxy.”

BSM Writers

Is There Still a Place for Baseball Talk on National Sports Shows?

“Its struggle has been the same since the beginning of television. There is too much baseball for any regular season baseball game or story to have national significance.”

Demetri Ravanos




Last week at the BSM Summit, I hosted a panel focused on air checks. I wish I could say we covered the topic thoroughly, but we got derailed a lot, and you know what? That is okay. It felt like real air checks that I have been on both sides of in my career. 

Rob Parker of The Odd Couple on FOX Sports Radio was the talent. He heard thoughts on his show from his boss, Scott Shapiro, and from his former boss, legendary WFAN boss Mark Chernoff. 

Baseball was the topic that caused one of our derailments on the panel. If you know Rob, you know he is passionate about Major League Baseball. He cited download numbers that show The Odd Couple’s time-shifted audience responds to baseball talk. To him, that proves there is not just room for it on nationally syndicated shows, but that there is a sizable audience that wants it.

Chernoff disagrees. He says baseball is a regional sport. Sure, there are regions that love it and local sports talk stations will dedicate full hours to discussing their home team’s games and roster. National shows need to cast a wide net though, and baseball doesn’t do that.

Personally, I agree with Chernoff. I told Parker on stage that “I hear baseball talk and I am f***ing gone.” The reason for that, I think, is exactly what Chernoff said. I grew up in Alabama (no baseball team). I live in North Carolina (no baseball team). Where baseball is big, it is huge, but it isn’t big in most of the country. 

Now, I will add this. I used to LOVE baseball. It is the sport I played in high school. The Yankees’ logo was on the groom’s cake at my wedding. Then I had kids. Forget 162 games. Even five games didn’t fit into my lifestyle. Maybe somewhere deep down, I still have feelings for the sport, but they are buried by years of neglect and actively shunning the sport.

Its struggle has been the same since the beginning of television. There is too much baseball for any regular season baseball game or story to have national significance. 

Me, and millions of sports talk listeners like me, look at baseball like a toddler looks at broccoli. You probably aren’t lying when you tell us how much you love it, but damn it! WE WANT CHICKEN FINGERS!

A new Major League Baseball season starts Thursday and I thought this topic was worth exploring. I asked three nationally syndicated hosts to weigh in. When is baseball right for their show and how do they use those conversations? Here is what they had to say.

FREDDIE COLEMAN (Freddie & Fitzsimmons on ESPN Radio) – “MLB can still be talked nationally IF there’s that one player like Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani can attract the casual fan.  MLB has definitely become more local because of the absence of that SUPER player and/or villainous team.  I wonder if the pace of play will help bring in the younger fans that they need, but the sport NEEDS that defining star that is must-see TV.”

JONAS KNOX (2 Pros & a Cup of Joe on FOX Sports Radio) – “While football is king for me in sports radio, I look at baseball like most other sports. I’m not opposed to talking about it, as long as I have an angle or opinion that I am confident I can deliver in an entertaining manner. A couple of times of any given year, there are stories in baseball that are big picture topics that are obvious national discussions. 

“I think it’s my job to never close the door on any topic/discussion (except politics because I don’t know anything about it).

“But also, if I’m going to discuss a localized story in baseball or any other sport for that matter – I better have an entertaining/informed angle on it. Otherwise, I’ve let down the listener and that is unacceptable. If they give you their time, you better not waste it.”

MAGGIE GRAY (Maggie & Perloff on CBS Sports Radio) – “While I was on WFAN there was almost no amount of minutia that was too small when it came to the Mets and Yankees. On Maggie and Perloff, our baseball topics have to be more centered around issues that can be universal. For example, ’Is Shohei Ohtani the face of the sport? Is Ohtani pitching and hitting more impressive than two sport athletes like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders? Do you consider Aaron Judge the single-season homerun king or Barry Bonds?’ Any baseball fan or sports fan can have an opinion about those topics, so we find they get great engagement from our audience.”

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BSM Writers

Who Can Sports Fans Trust Once Twitter Ditches Legacy Verified Blue Checks?

The potential for Twitter chaos after April 1 is looming.

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As of April 1, Twitter will finally make a dreaded change that many will view as an April Fools’ prank. Unfortunately, it won’t be a joke to any user who cares about legitimacy and truth.

Last week, Twitter officially announced that verified blue checkmarks will be removed from accounts that have not signed up for a Twitter Blue subscription. Previously, accounts whose identity had been verified were allowed to keep their blue checks when Twitter Blue was implemented.

But shortly after Elon Musk purchased Twitter and became the social media company’s CEO, he stated his intention to use verification as a revenue source. Users would have to pay $8 per month (or $84 annually) for a Twitter Blue subscription and blue checkmark verification. Paying for blue checks immediately set off red flags among users who learned to depend on verified accounts for accredited identities and trusted information.

The entire concept of verification and blue checks was simple and effective. Users and accounts bearing the blue checkmark were legitimate. These people and organizations were who they said they were.

As an example, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has faced criticism for how he framed domestic violence and sexual misconduct involving star NFL players, and deservedly so. But fans and media know Schefter’s tweets are really coming from him because his account is verified.

Furthermore, Twitter took the additional step of clarifying that accounts such as Schefter’s were verified before Twitter Blue was implemented. He didn’t pay eight dollars for that blue checkmark.


The need for verification is never more vital than when fake accounts are created to deceive users. Such accounts will put “Adam Schefter” as their Twitter name, even if their handle is something like “@TuaNeedsHelp.” Or worse, some fake accounts will create a handle with letters that look similar. So “@AdarnSchefter” with an “rn” in place of the “m,” fools some people, especially at a quick glance when people are trying to push news out as fast as possible.

Plenty of baseball fans have been duped over the years by fake accounts using a zero instead of an “o” or a capital “I” instead of a lowercase “l” to resemble Fox Sports and The Athletic reporter Ken Rosenthal. That trick didn’t get me. But when I covered Major League Baseball for Bleacher Report 10 years ago, I did fall for a fake Jim Salisbury account that reported the Philadelphia Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants. Capital “I,” not lowercase “l” in “Salisbury.” Pence was, in fact, traded to the Giants two days later, but that didn’t make my goof any less embarrassing. I should’ve looked for the blue checkmark!

But after April 1, that signifier won’t matter. Legacy blue checkmarks will be removed from accounts that haven’t paid for Twitter Blue. Some accounts that were previously verified might purchase a subscription to maintain that blue check. But those that were deemed legitimate prior to Musk taking over Twitter likely won’t. (There are also rumors that Twitter is considering a feature that would allow Twitter Blue subscribers to hide their blue check and avoid revealing that purchase.)

That could be even more true for media organizations, which are being told to pay $1000 per month for verification. Do you think ESPN, the New York Times, or the Washington Post will pay $12,000 for a blue check?

We’ve already seen the problems that paying for verification can cause. Shortly after Twitter Blue launched, accounts pretending to be legacy verified users could be created. A fake Adam Schefter account tweeted that the Las Vegas Raiders had fired head coach Josh McDaniels. Users who saw the “Adam Schefter” Twitter name went with the news without looking more closely at the “@AdamSchefterNOT” handle. But there was a blue checkmark next to the name this time!

The same thing occurred with a fake LeBron James account tweeting that the NBA superstar had requested a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. There was a “@KINGJamez” handle, but a “LeBron James” Twitter name with a blue check next to it.

Whether it’s because fans and media have become more discerning or Twitter has done good work cracking down on such fake accounts, there haven’t been many outrageous examples of deliberate deception since last November. But the potential for Twitter chaos after April 1 is looming.

If that seems like an overstatement, it’s a very real possibility that there will be an erosion of trust among Twitter users. Media and fans may have to take a breath before quickly tweeting and retweeting news from accounts that may or may not be credible. False news and phony statements could spread quickly and go viral across social media.

Even worse, Musk has announced that only verified Twitter Blue accounts will be seen in your “For You” timeline as of April 15. (He can’t claim it’s an April Fools’ Day joke on that date.)

Obviously, that carries far more serious real-world implications beyond sports. Forget about a fake Shams Charania account tweeting that Luka Dončić wants to be traded to the Lakers. It’s not difficult to imagine a fake Joe Biden account declaring war on Russia and some people believing it’s true because of the blue checkmark.

We may be nearing the end of Twitter being a reliable news-gathering tool. If the accounts tweeting out news can’t be trusted, where’s the value? Reporters and newsmakers may end up going to other social media platforms to break stories and carry the viability of verification.

When Fox Sports’ website infamously pivoted to video in 2017, Ken Rosenthal posted his MLB reporting on Facebook prior to joining The Athletic. Hello, Instagram. Will someone take their following and reputation to a fledgling platform like Mastodon, Post, Spoutible, or BlueSky, even if it means a lesser outlet?

If and when that happens, Twitter could still be a community but not nearly as much fun. Not when it becomes a matter of trust that breaks up the party.

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BSM Writers

There’s a Lesson For Us All in Florida Atlantic’s Elite 8 Broadcast Struggle

“It is a ton of faith our industry has been forced to place in a single mode of delivery.”

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Ken LaVicka and Kevin Harlan probably don’t have a ton in common. Both of them were announcing an Elite Eight game over the weekend, that is one thing tying them together, but their experiences were wildly different. Harlan is on CBS with a production crew numbering in the dozens making certain all goes smoothly. LaVicka, the voice of the Florida Atlantic Owls, is a production crew himself, making certain those listening in South Florida heard the Owls punch their Final Four ticket. At least, that was LaVicka’s plan.

The Florida Atlantic Owls are going to the Men’s Final Four. Even while typing that sentence, it still seems odd to say. Do you know how many college basketball teams are thinking “how can Florida Atlantic make the Final Four and we can’t?” These are the types of stories that make the NCAA Tournament what it is. There is, literally, no barrier stopping any team from this tournament going on the run of their life and making it all the way.

Everyone listening in South Florida almost missed the moment it all became real for the Owls. With :18.6 to go in Florida Atlantic’s Elite Eight game against Kansas State, the Madison Square Garden Ethernet service to the front row of media seating went completely dark. 

It was on that row that Ken LaVicka was painting the picture back to South Florida. Well, he was until the internet died on him.

Nobody does a single show away from their home studio anymore without trying to avoid the nightmare of Ethernet failure. Gone are the days of phone lines and ISDN connections, all the audio and video is now sent back to the studio over the technological miracle that is the internet. It is a ton of faith our industry has been forced to place in a single mode of delivery.

Take that anxiety and multiply it by 1,000 when that Ethernet line is connected to a Comrex unit for the most important moment of your career. LaVicka had the great fortune of a Kansas State timeout to try something, anything, to save the day. In his quick thinking, he spun around and grabbed an ethernet cable from row two which, as it turns out, still had internet access flowing through it’s cables. That cable, though, was the equivalent of an iPhone charging cord; never as long as you need it to be.

One of LaVicka’s co-workers from ESPN West Palm held the Comrex unit close enough to the second row for the cable to make a connection and the day was saved. LaVicka was able to call the last :15 of the Florida Atlantic win and, presumably, get in all the necessary sponsorship mentions.

It was an exciting end to the FAU v. Kansas State game, a great defensive stop by the Owls to seal the victory. LaVicka told the NCAA’s Andy Katz he tried to channel his inner Jim Nantz to relay that excitement. The NCAA Tournament excitement started early this year. In the very first TV window 13 Seed Furman upset 4 Seed Virginia with a late three pointer by JP Pegues, who had been 0-for-15 from beyond the arc leading up to that shot. It is the type of play the NCAA Tournament is built upon.

It was called in the manner Kevin Harlan’s career was built upon. Harlan, alongside Stan Van Gundy and Dan Bonner, called the Virginia turnover leading to the made Furman basket with his trademark excitement before laying out for the crowd reaction. After a few seconds of crowd excitement he asked his analysts, and the world, “Did we just see what I think we saw? Wow!” Vintage Kevin Harlan.

One reason we are so aware of what Harlan said, and that he signaled his analysts to lay out for the crowd reaction, was a CBS Sports tweet with video of Harlan, Van Gundy and Bonner in a split screen over the play. It gave us a rare look at a pro in the middle of his craft. We got to see that Harlan reacts just like he sounds. The video has more than six million views and has been retweeted more than 6,000 times, a lot of people seem to like it.

Kevin Harlan is not in that group. Harlan appeared on Richard Deitsch’s Sports Media podcast after the video went public and said he was embarrassed by it. Harlan added he “begged” CBS not send the tweet out but to no avail. Harlan told Deitsch “I don’t know that I’m glad that they caught our expression, but I’m glad the game was on the air. I think I join a chorus of other announcers who do not like the camera.”

There’s a valuable announcer lesson from Harlan there; the audience is almost always there for the game, not you. Harlan went on to describe the broadcast booth to Deitsch as somewhat of a sacred place. He would prefer to let his words accompany the video of the action to tell the story. Kevin Harlan is as good as they come at his craft, if he thinks that way, there’s probably great value in that line of thought.

We can learn from LaVicka, as well. You work in this business long enough and you come to accept technical difficulties are as much a part of it as anything. They always seem to strike at the worst times, it is just in their nature. Those who can find a way to deal with them without everything melting down are those who can give their audience what they showed up for. Those who lose their mind and spend time complaining about them during the production simply give the audience information they don’t really care about.

The Final Four is an unlikely collection of teams; Miami, San Diego State, Connecticut and Florida Atlantic. You all had that in your brackets, right? Yep, the Florida Atlantic Owls are going to the Final Four and Ken LaVicka will be there for it. Now, if the internet will just hold out.

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Barrett Media Writers

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