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Texans Beat Writer Fired Following Appearance On Greg Hill Show

“The interview took place March 19, the same day plaintiff attorney Tony Buzbee stated nine more civil suits were filed against Watson, bringing the number of women alleging sexual assault against the Texans quarterback to 12.”

Brandon Contes

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The Houston Chronicle parted ways with Texans beat writer Aaron Wilson a few weeks after an appearance with Boston’s The Greg Hill Show on WEEI. During the interview, Wilson failed to demonstrate objectivity, dismissing DeShaun Watson’s sexual harassment accusers as a money grab. 

The interview took place March 19, the same day plaintiff attorney Tony Buzbee stated nine more civil suits were filed against Watson, bringing the number of women alleging sexual assault against the Texans quarterback to 12. There are now 22 lawsuits against Watson, who maintains the allegations are false.

On Saturday, Wilson released a statement expressing remorse for his comments during the March 19 interview with The Greg Hill Show

“I made a mistake that I fully understand and own when I did not choose my words nearly carefully enough during a discussion regarding the sensitive, comp on a March 19 radio program regarding the sensitive, complex and controversial Deshaun Watson legal situation, in the days following the initial filing of the civil lawsuits from women against him,” Wilson wrote. “My efforts to convey perspectives on the situation clearly demonstrated an unintentional lack of sensitivity to the serious nature of these types of allegations and I sincerely apologize for my remarks. I didn’t maintain my own high standards that I’ve established and applied during my two decades of covering many other similarly important and delicate situations in the NFL. I will proceed much more carefully going forward and learn from this moment. I am committed to outstanding journalism now and always.”

After claiming the allegations were a money grab during the interview, Wilson said on WEEI that he was skeptical of Watson’s accusers. “I want to be careful in the sense that I’m not dismissing that it wasn’t true and the sense that that I wasn’t there.”

Morning host Greg Hill accused him of being pro-Watson, and despite the need for a reporter to show some semblance of objectivity with a still developing story, Wilson didn’t argue. “I’m not saying I’m not, I don’t know them, I know him,” Wilson said. “I’m not gonna throw the guy under the bus before I have some proof. I don’t feel like I have the proof, just it’s allegations.”

Hill’s co-host and former NFL tight end Jermaine Wiggins asked Wilson about Watson’s background, and the reporter highlighted his impeccable character and underprivileged upbringing. The most egregious comment from Wilson came as he tried to explain that players with impeccable reputations are better targets because they’re more likely to pay for allegations to go away. 

“In his case, you know, it’s kind of like you don’t, you know, you don’t negotiate with terrorists,” Wilson told The Greg Hill Show. “You know, people are demanding money, they’re asking for money. The — it kept escalating, it kept going up and up and up. And you start talking about more and more funds, I’m not gonna say how much it got to. But my understanding is, you know, that there was an admission that, it was, you know, something, you know, just that this was, you know, just a money grab.”

According to Diana Moskovitz and Kalyn Kahler of Defector, the Chronicle’s sports department held a staff meeting Friday where they were informed Wilson was no longer employed by the publication. Wilson joined the Chronicle in 2015 as their Texans beat writer following a long tenure covering the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time

Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

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Jeff Dean Show

Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:

“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”

Jeff Dean Facebook

Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”

Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.

Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.

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Sports Radio News

Jonas Knox: Adrian Wojnarowski’s NBA Draft Reporting Was Desperate Ratings Ploy

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

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Thursday’s NBA Draft is a moment the guys waiting to hear their names called had been waiting for since the day they picked up a basketball. While his draft came decades ago in the NFL, LaVar Arrington could relate to what they were feeling.

“It’s a dream recognized,” he said on Friday’s episode of FOX Sports Radio’s 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe. “You work so hard for so long. So, when you’re sitting there waiting for them to call your name, it’s a surreal moment.”

His partner, Jonas Knox, wasn’t in such a nostalgic or celebratory mood. He had a problem with the information leading up to draft night and just how much the narrative that Auburn’s Jabari Smith would be taken by the Orlando Magic with the first pick was pushed before all the sudden, it wasn’t.

“What a bunch of crap that we are being fed by Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN, the Orlando Magic,” he said. “Whoever’s feeding it is full of crap.”

Wojnarowski tweeted an hour before the Draft that Jabari Smith was still the favorite to be taken, but he was hearing that the Magic weren’t ruling out Duke’s Paolo Banchero. 

When the first pick was announced, it was Paolo Banchero that heard his name called, not Smith. 

“One of three things happened,” Knox said. “Either ESPN is so desperate for ratings and for people to give a crap about the NBA Draft and their sport that they waited until the final hour to pump up some interest, realizing we’ve got a problem here based on some ratings and some reports on some ratings in the NBA Finals, so they waited until an hour before and had Woj drop a ‘Woj Bomb’ that it could not be Jabari Smith, that it could be Banchero who’s gonna go number one overall. It’s either that or Woj is in some kind of cahoots with the Orlando Magic.”

That is a powerful accusation. Knox finds it hard to believe the information got to ESPN’s renowned NBA Insider so late in the process.

“The idea that Woj is going to get duped by Orlando Magic in the draft! The first time he’s ever been duped in his career?”

He didn’t rule out that someone was trying to make money behind the scenes. As late as Thursday afternoon, the Duke Forward was still in plus territory to be the top pick on many sportsbooks’ odds boards. The odds had gone as high as +1600 last week.

“I call BS. I think it’s all shenanigans and I think somebody needs to get called out for it,” Knox concluded. “That pisses me off, man.”

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