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ESPN 97.5 Adds New Voices, New Shows To Help Write Its Next Chapter

“ESPN 97.5 and 92.5’s all-local weekday lineup will continue to feature veteran hosts John Granato, Lance Zierlein, Charlie Pallilo and Joel Blank. Joining the mix and adding new energy to the weekday schedule are Jeremy Branham, Jake Asman, Cody Stoots and Brad Kellner.”

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Gow Media has announced forthcoming changes to its weekday lineup on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM. The new lineup will be tasked with writing the next chapter in the station’s storied history starting on Monday, August 16th.

ESPN 97.5 and 92.5’s all-local weekday lineup will continue to feature veteran hosts John Granato, Lance Zierlein, Charlie Pallilo and Joel Blank. Joining the mix and adding new energy to the weekday schedule are Jeremy Branham, Jake Asman, Cody Stoots and Brad Kellner.

The new weekday schedule will appear as follows: 

7a-10a – ‘The Bench’ with John Granato & Lance Zierlein 

10a-12p – The Charlie Pallilo Show 

12p-3p – ‘The Killer B’s’ with Joel Blank & Jeremy Branham 

3p-7p – ‘The Wheelhouse’ with Jake Asman, Cody Stoots & Brad Kellner

“We’re excited about the new local lineup”, said General Manager Todd Farquharson. “We’ve added some new voices to a lineup of proven all-stars. It’s going to be great sports talk with a lot of fun.” 

Afternoon host Jake Asman added, “Houston has become my home for the last 3 years and I’m so excited for this opportunity to talk about the teams and storylines that fans in this city care about. From the Texans to the Astros, to the Rockets, to anything big nationally we are going to have you covered. I can’t wait for the city to hear all the fun that we’re going to bring every afternoon!” 

Asman’s partner Cody Stoots is equally enthusiastic about the new afternoon show: “Excited would be an understatement. I’m thrilled with the opportunity we have in front of us at ESPN 97.5 and 92.5. Jake and Brad are going to be great partners. With football season here and an Astros playoff run on deck we can’t wait to get started!” 

Brad Kellner, who recently exited 104.9 The Horn in Austin to be part of the new afternoon trio chimed in as well, adding: “I am incredibly fired up to be a part of the new afternoon show at ESPN 97.5 and 92.5! The opportunity to join the top station in one of the best sports cities in America is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started. I’m especially looking forward to working with Jake and Cody to bring Houstonians the best sports radio experience available.”  

Longtime station host Fred Faour will remain part of the on-air team, joining shows throughout the week in a new role as the station’s sports betting analyst. Faour previously co-hosted ‘The Blitz’ with AJ Hoffman who recently exited the station for an opportunity in Las Vegas. Weekday evenings on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 FM will continue to feature Patrick Creighton’s Late Hits. 

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The Musers: Jim Nantz Sounded Like a Funeral Director During Nick Faldo Sign Off

“I’m telling you, Jim, he made it worse with his funeral director voice,” said co-host George Dunham.

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Nick Faldo

On Sunday, CBS Golf analyst Nick Faldo called his final tournament with CBS after sixteen years with the network. He was poised in the tower above the 18th green with Jim Nantz as he said his final goodbyes. It was an emotional moment that The Musers on The Ticket in Dallas had to comment on.

In the message, Faldo clearly has an issue getting thru the moment while Nantz tries to comfort his friend and buy him some time to regain his composure. However, The Musers thought it wasn’t helpful at all.

“I’m telling you, Jim, he made it worse with his funeral director voice,” said co-host George Dunham. “It sounded like he was going to say, ‘now, it’s time to send you to your happy place’. When he said that and when Nick said, in tears, ‘I’m ready,’ that made it sound like Jim was putting him to sleep.”

“(Australian accent) Go ahead and smother me, Jim,” Gordon Keith quipped, “go ahead and take that pillow over there and choke me out right now.”

“Nick are you ready for us to unplug the life support machine?” asked Dunham.

“Yeah, kick that thing right out the wall, mate.”

Dunham would later say, “I don’t think that any famous broadcaster has ever signed off in tears, proclaiming ‘I’m ready, I’m ready'”.

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Sports Radio News

Keyshawn Johnson: ‘I Don’t Like Sunday Night Baseball Putting Mics on Players’

“I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

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Most people seem to really like Sunday Night Baseball adding mics to players in the field this season. Fans and critics alike have commended ESPN for giving fans access that they have never had before. But don’t expect Keyshawn Johnson to join that praise chorus anytime soon.

“I don’t like the interaction with broadcast teams talking to players during the game, in the field,” he said on Monday morning’s edition of Keyshawn, JWill and Max.

The ESPN Radio morning man is convinced that eventually, the in-game conversations are going to cause a costly error.

Freddie Coleman, who was filling in for both Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, played a clip from Sunday night’s game for Johnson. In the clip, listeners could hear the Padres’ newly acquired slugger Juan Soto pleading with a ball hit by Cody Bellinger to stay in the park during the team’s 0-4 shutout loss to the Dodgers.

“I don’t like that as a player,” Johnson said. “I know the fans love it.”

He said that when he sees players mic’d up and answering a question during the game, he is constantly worried about how it will affect what happens on the field. He said he felt some empathy for the fielder on the mic once the ball is put into play, because if it comes that fielder’s way and he is distracted, the instant reaction from the crowd will be to question the player’s effort or ability rather than ask if the distraction is worth it.

Coleman pointed out that there is some very famous video of Keyshawn Johnson during his playing career mic’d up on the sidelines. Johnson defended NFL Films, saying that getting live sound of a game is very different than what Major League Baseball is making players do.

“That’s different than interacting with Karl Ravech and company in the booth. I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

The closing months of the regular season as playoff races start to take shape are not the ideal times for networks to be having conversations with guys in the middle of the field. That doesn’t mean it is never good content. Keyshawn Johnson said that as a viewer, he would welcome in-game interviews during Spring Training and the All-Star Game. He just has trouble believing players are happy to participate.

“It’s cool. I’m not mad that it’s being done. I just wouldn’t like it as a player,” he said.

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Sports Radio News

Rob Hipp Named New Voice of North Dakota State

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

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Rob Hipp is the new “Voice of the Bison”.

The former Sam Houston State play-by-play announcer will serve in the same capacity for North Dakota State. He replaces Jeff Culhane, who left the position for a similar role at Florida State earlier this summer.

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and blessing to be here. The word that comes to mind with everything associated with NDSU is excellence,” Hipp said. “Matt Larsen, Coach (Matt) Entz, Coach (David) Richman, the support staff and everyone with Bison Sports Properties led by Josh Hartman made this a transparent and smooth process. I also want to thank Tom Boman with Learfield as well as Nancy Odney and the great people at Radio FM Media. My family and I are proud to be in Fargo!”

“We are thrilled to have Rob join the team at Radio FM Media as the new voice of the Bison, Director of Operations for Bison 1660-92.7, and Sports Director for our group,” said Radio FM COO Nancy Odney. “Rob is a very talented play-by-play announcer and a top sports radio host. His creative energy, new content, and passion for sports and broadcasting is going to be an exciting addition to the team.”

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