The outlook might be improving for the sports media industry, with live games returning and the economy on a mini upswing, but it doesn’t signal the end of negative impacts caused by a global pandemic. On Friday, program director and on-air personality for 101.3 The Game in Burlington, VT, Brady Farkas announced he was let go by the station.
Farkas pointed to the pandemic as the reason for his departure, whereas station general manager and co-owner Ken Barlow spun ratings as the reason according to Alex Abrami of the Burlington Free Press. “Frankly, the ratings weren’t where they should be for a sports station in this market,” Barlow said.
“We felt the station was mired in the position it’s in and we need revenue to be able to have it grow an audience, and the program director is one of the primary people responsible for that,” the GM added.
But Farkas, who co-hosted The Huddle with Arnie Spanier and Rich Haskell weekdays from 3 – 6pm on The Game says that’s not the full truth.
“We went through an affiliation switch from ESPN to Fox Sports Radio in fall of 2018 and delivered a number one rated station in fall of 2019,” Farkas told The Free Press. “I am proud of the work our staff accomplished in order to achieve that.”
Despite finishing strong 2019, building on last year’s momentum has been hard in 2020 due to the pandemic shutting down sports across the country. Burlington’s sports station is experiencing what many in the format have over the past few months.
“I’m disappointed that the pandemic finally reached 101.3 The Game.” Farkas added. “I feel we accomplished great things and I will miss working every day with Arnie, Rich and Aaron (Wells). We built something special and I will miss being a part of it.”
Farkas joined the Burlington sports station in Sept. 2016, following a near three-year run with ESPN Radio 104.5 in Albany. His afternoon co-hosts on The Game, Spanier and Haskell will continue to host The Game’s local weekday show, a role they’ve filled since the station launched in 2011.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.
The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.
Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.
Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.
The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.
While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.
“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”
Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”
Jim Rome: Sad Paul Allen Is The Saddest Thing Ever
“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down.”
One of Super Wild Card Weekend’s biggest upsets came in the Giants/Vikings game on Sunday afternoon, and Vikings radio voice Paul Allen obviously wasn’t thrilled about the final offensive play.
Jim Rome picked up on that listening to Allen’s call of Kirk Cousins finding T.J. Hockenson short of the line to gain, ending Minnesota’s season.
Rome said he hurt for Allen, who like many followers of the Vikings were shocked to see the second seed in the NFC playoffs bounced the first weekend.
“On the one hand sad P.A. is the saddest thing ever. I hate that so much,” Rome said Monday. “But he turns into pissed P.A. too. I mean that is a brutal way to lose. And what’s sadder than sad P.A.?”
Allen went viral halfway through the 2022-23 season, with his calls of a wild game against the Buffalo Bills on November 13. Allen went through a complete roller coaster of emotions as Buffalo fought to win 33-30 in overtime.
Rome added that he thought disappointing Allen was the worst of all for the NFC North champs.
“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down,” he said.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Angelo Cataldi: Could Al Michaels Just Quit Already?
“How do you go from ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ to “There’s a flag on the field’?”
Angelo Cataldi has never been one to shy away from his feelings about any topic, and has been especially outspoken on his criticism of different broadcasters. Al Michaels was the target of Cataldi’s ire Monday morning for his lackluster performance during the Super Wild Card matchup on NBC Saturday.
“This is not easy for me. The man is an icon. I gotta tell ya, Al Michaels sucked the life out of the game he did,” Cataldi said. “This is the first thing I don’t understand: Al Michaels — even though now he’s on Amazon — still did an NBC game. They made sure he was getting one playoff game, but they didn’t bring the partner from Amazon, Kirk Herbstreit. They brought in someone who doesn’t do color analysis in Tony Dungy. I love Tony Dungy, but not in that role. Tony Dungy is bland and boring in that role. He was bland and boring and it was awful!
“It’s 27-0 and Al Michaels is in a bad mood. And Al Michaels is talking about the overtime rules, and he says ‘We won’t have to worry about that in this game’. He’s dissing the game! A few weeks ago, he went crazy on a bad game and just ripped it apart. He said ‘I’m not here to sell a used car’. He said this on the air! Then you get to the end of the game, it’s a thriller. A great comeback by Doug Pederson! The fourth down chances he takes, the brilliant decisions he makes. And they’re lining up for the field goal, and I want you to hear how he sucked the life out of the moment,” Cataldi said before playing the clip of Michaels’ game-winning call.
“The guy’s an icon!,” Cataldi shouted. “A Hall of Fame broadcaster, and he never even called the play! He never told you who won the game! It was unbelievably brutal! How do you go from ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ to ‘There’s a flag on the field’?”
Cataldi concluded by saying the 78-year-old Michaels needs to retire if that’s the best effort he can muster. The 94WIP host then compared the call from Michaels to that of Jaguars radio announcer Frank Frangie.
Michaels was not the only NFL announcer to feel Cataldi’s wrath Monday morning. He also criticized Tony Romo, as well as Daryl “Moose” Johnston, and Cris Collinsworth.