After suspending him indefinitely last month, the Charlotte Hornets have announced radio play-by-play voice John Focke has been fired for sending a tweet that included a racial slur.
“Shot making in this Jazz-(N-word) game is awesome! Murray and Mitchell going back and forth what a game!” Focke tweeted Aug. 17.
The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before it was observed and shared by many on Twitter. Focke issued an apology shortly after, claiming use of the slur was a typo.
“I made a horrific error while attempting to tweet about the Denver-Utah game. I don’t know how I mistyped. I had (and have) no intention of ever using that word. I take full responsibility for my actions. I have been sick to my stomach about it ever since. I’m truly sorry that this happened and I apologize to those I offended.”
Focke had just completed his first season as the Hornets radio voice, having previously worked for the Minnesota’s Timberwolves and Lynx. Although the Hornets haven’t announced who will fill the void left by Focke yet, the 2020-21 season will feature their fourth radio voice in as many years.
After longtime play-by-play voice Steve Martin retired in 2018, Chris Kroeger was named the team’s next radio announcer, but he failed to make it through his first season on the call. With Focke similarly not making it to year two, the Hornets will hope for better luck in their search for a long-term fit behind the mic.
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.
105.3 The Fan’s Shan & RJ Do Battle With 95.7 The Game’s The Morning Roast Ahead of 49ers vs Cowboys
“Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.”
Sports radio content has fueled the hate between Dallas and San Francisco this week as the Cowboys get set to visit the Bay Area. A joke made by 105.3 The Fan’s GBag Nation made some 49ers fans angry. Gavin Dawson and Bryan Broaddus said the Cowboys “could use an injury” to 49ers running back Christian McCaffery.
Other hosts at 105.3 The Fan took to Twitter after a 49ers fan spread the clip on social media calling the joke “pathetic.” Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy were among them. They argued that it is crazy for anyone to think Dawson and Broaddus were serious.
The vitriol between the two towns played out Friday morning on two Audacy stations, the aforementioned Fan in Dallas and 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. Shan & RJ connected with Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky of The Morning Roast for a quarter-hour of smack talk.
“We’d like to congratulate you guys on still being there,” Shariff said. “We know the rotating door there normally. We didn’t think you’d still be there from last year.”
He then gave credit to Sahsky for contributing his winnings from their last bet to the families and community in Uvalde affected by the Robb Elementary shootings.
From there, the niceties were over. Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.
All five hosts explained their pick for the game. Only Shariff went against his home team, predicting the 49ers to win by double digits. Belt and Choppy didn’t give a second thought to supporting the Cowboys.
Joe Shasky wasn’t buying the confidence.
“It’s gonna be Rangers and Bocci talk Monday when they lose,” he said as the two shows signed off.
Sweeny Murti Departing WFAN
“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here.”
WFAN New York Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti has announced today is his final day with the radio station.
In a tweet announcing the move, Murti said “I tried to bring the right amounts of confidence and humility on the air. I strived to hold my own with the great hosts on our station and just tried to make good radio with every appearance.”
Sweeny started as a producer at WFAN in 1993, before eventually ascending to the role of the station’s Yankees reporter in 2001. He was grateful to his colleagues and friends for his time at the New York station.
“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here. Thanks to so many wonderful friends and colleagues who made going to work fun. And thanks to every one of you for listening and taking this ride with me. It has truly been my honor, and I hope you will join me on the next adventure.
Sweeny Murti did not disclose what his next move would entail.
Westwood One Releases Study of NFL Fans Following Playoffs on Radio
“The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.”
The NFL will be one step closer to determining who will play in this year’s Super Bowl after this weekend, and one thing is for certain, football fans will follow the games any way they can. That includes listening to games on the radio.
Westwood One, which is the official network radio partner of the NFL, revealed just how strong listenership of the NFL on the radio is thanks to a recent study.
According to Westwood One’s Audio Active Group, which unveiled the data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough USA+ and MRI Simmons USA, NFL playoff listeners on AM/FM radio are more likely to work full-time and have higher disposable income compared to TV viewers.
Additionally, MRI Simmons found that radio listeners are keener to attend sporting events, look up sports information on their phones more frequently and be more active in fantasy sports than their TV watching counterparts.
The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.
The average age of radio listeners is younger than the average TV watcher. The study found that the average age of people who listen to the playoffs/Super Bowl on the radio is 46, while the average age of folks who watch on TV is 53.
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.