Good Karma Brands found its new leader in Chicago from within its own ranks. Madison market manager Keith Williams will assume the same role in the Windy City next week. Tom Olson, who had previously been the director of Sales and Marketing in Madison, now becomes that cluster’s market manager.
The movement is the result of Mike Thomas leaving the Chicago office earlier this month to lead Audacy’s Boston cluster. Thomas had served as GM of ESPN 1000 in Chicago since December 2019.
“I’m thrilled to join the team at ESPN 1000 and work with the talented group of teammates and loyal partners we have in Chicago,” Williams said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to furthering Good Karma’s track record as a best-in-class operator of world class brands to ESPN Chicago and can’t wait to get started.”
Keith Williams had been with Good Karma since 1999 and in Madison for the last three years. He is excited to see what his successor can do with 100.5 FM ESPN Madison.
“Tom is an exemplary model of a Good Karma Brands teammate who embodies our six core values. His experience in developing teammates, passion for the organization, and commitment to the community make him an ideal candidate for the role.”
Olsen has been with Good Karma Brands for just over a decade. He worked in the company’s Milwaukee cluster before coming to Madison in April.
“I’m excited to lead one of Good Karma Brands’ heritage markets. Madison is an incredible sports town, and I’m looking forward to working with our talented team, as well as local businesses and marketing partners as we build on our years of serving the passionate sports fans,” he said.
Joel Utley, College Basketball’s Record Holder for Most Games Called, Retires
Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record.
Joel Utley has announced he is retiring from broadcasting and as the voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.
Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record. He broadcast 1,933 Kentucky Wesleyan games during that span, also a record for total games called. He began his career on December 2, 1961 when KWC defeated California State University – Northridge, 100-64.
Utley also is the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Basketball Championship games (all levels) including eight Division II titles.
“It was a tough decision to make, but the timing is right to step down,” Utley said. “What I have done as a broadcaster reflects my love for KWC. My career has been beyond any dreams I ever had.”
He is a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in September, Utley will be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame.
Mark Chernoff: ‘I Didn’t Believe Mad Dog Was Going To Leave WFAN’
“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team.”
Mark Chernoff offered some great stories and insight on the latest episode of The Jason Barrett Podcast. The former program director of WFAN in New York began his appearance by paying tribute to the station’s three soon-to-be Hall of Famers.
He reflected on Jeff Smulyan’s vision in creating sports radio, Suzyn Waldman’s gravitas and versatility as a reporter and talent, and all of the success he shared with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.
Russo and his long time radio partner Mike Francesa split up in 2008 after Russo left WFAN for Sirius. Chernoff admitted that even as he was told it was about to happen, he still didn’t believe it.
“You know, I misread a little bit the situation with Mike and Chris,” he admitted. “Mike said ‘Dog’s gonna leave. I know he’s gonna leave.’ He even intimated that he had spoken to Mel [Karmazin, the then-CEO of Sirius], not Mike but Chris, and it was likely he was going to go over to Sirius. And I just couldn’t believe it.”
Mike and the Mad Dog is as dominant a show as local sports radio has ever produced. The duo was together from 1989 until 2008. When they split up, Mark Chernoff says that he took it personally.
“I was sad for a really long time. I was angry too.”
The move hurt his relationship with Russo for a while. The two did not speak for a long time.
He told Barrett that that is over now. They share occasional texts and always hug and catch up when they see each other. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some lingering disappointment.
“I wish they hadn’t separated, because it was the most amazing team,” Chernoff said of Mike & the Mad Dog. “But both [Chris] and Mike were certainly successful on their own.”
New episodes of The Jason Barrett Podcast are released each Tuesday morning.
Eli Gold To Miss Start of Alabama Football Season
He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis.
Legendary Alabama play-by-play announcer Eli Gold will miss the beginning of the 2022 football season with health issues.
Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing announced the news Wednesday. The school did not elaborate on Gold’s ailment, only saying he would be sidelined to begin the season.
Chris Stewart, who handles play-by-play duties for Alabama’s basketball and baseball teams will fill in during Gold’s absence. Stewart will also host The Nick Saban Show and Hey, Coach until Gold returns.
The 68-year-old Gold is a 2014 inductee to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Gold, who’s contract runs through the 2023 season, has been the Voice of the Crimson Tide since the 1988 season.
He’s faced his share of health challenges recently. His streak of 409 consecutive Alabama football games was broken in 2020 after a COVID diagnosis. Gold also had both shoulders replaced that same year.
In addition to his work with the Crimson Tide, Gold has served as an announcer for NASCAR, NFL, NHL, and the NBA G-League, among others.