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John McClain, Legendary Houston Chronicle Sportswriter, Announces Retirement

For someone retiring, McClain plans to remain a prominent voice in the Houston sports scene through writing, radio, and Twitter.

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The term “end of an era” is surely overused — and probably misused, in many cases where it isn’t really suitable. But for John McClain retiring from the Houston Chronicle after 47 years at the paper, is there any other term that applies?

The man is an institution in Houston sports and is known throughout the country as an authoritative voice and trusted opinion on the scene, especially in regards to the Houston Texans and the NFL.

McClain announced his retirement on Thursday in a farewell column to Chronicle readers. With the four years he worked at the Waco Tribune-Herald while a student at Baylor, that makes a 51-year career in sportswriting, truly an achievement worthy of applause.

But rather than just take a victory lap and make that column all about himself, McClain generously thanks everyone who meant something to his career, fellow writers, editors, radio hosts, program directors, coaches, players, executives, and public relations directors.

His final pieces for the paper/website will be a mailbag column on Friday for Texas Sports Nation, the Chronicle’s vertical for premium sports content, and a Sunday column looking back on the 10 stories he remembers best from his career covering football in Houston.

Yet for someone retiring, McClain apparently plans to remain a prominent voice in the Houston sports scene. If you enjoy talking sports, it’s difficult to get it out of your blood. As he explained in his column, he’ll still contribute to the Chronicle when needed, as recently retired Dale Robertson and David Barron have also done.

McClain changed with the times to remain a vital voice. And he’ll continue to do so by providing commentary on the Texans and Astros on Twitter. And he’ll keep making weekly appearances on radio shows throughout the country, including Houston’s Sports Radio 610, Knoxville’s WNML, Las Vegas’ Raider Nation Radio KRLV 920, and Outkick 360.s

For more insight on what impact McClain made with Houston sports fans and the community, please read Brian T. Smith’s column on his colleague, with whom he worked on the Texans beat for two seasons. McClain often signed autographs for fans. Some showed appreciation for his work by paying for his meals.

“Some are lazy, entitled or take a special job for granted,” Smith writes. “McClain was the exact opposite of that. He knew how lucky he was and passed his fortune forward.”

Sports fans in Houston and throughout the country – on radio, podcasts, and Twitter — have had the great fortune of enjoying his work, knowing that they’d get an informed opinion with an entertaining accompanying dose of humor. Sports are supposed to be fun and John McClain showed that. Now he’s taking a much-deserved bow.

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Dave Portnoy Tells Business Insider CEO He Is ‘Piece Of S*** Coward’

“Despite objections from the moderator, Dave Portnoy got out his entire question before his mic was muted.”

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Dave Portnoy is not going to move on from his hate of Business Insider. The Barstool founder joined a Twitter Spaces session on Thursday night where the public had a chance to talk to Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget.

The event was hosted by the New York Times. Blodget was part of a panel discussing issues facing the business community.

“So yeah, I saw that piece of shit Henry Blodget’s on there,” Portnoy said when his mic went live. “My first question’s why would a piece of shit who’s been banned by the SEC from talking about stocks be on there. My second question is hey Henry, you f***ing coward, you know everything you wrote about me was bullshit. Why don’t you ever sit down with me you f***ing piece of shit coward. That’s my question.”

Despite objections from the moderator, Dave Portnoy got out his entire question before his mic was muted. No answer came. The moderator apologized to Blodget and ended the event.

The accusations of Blodget being banned by the SEC from discussing financial advice are true. Portnoy was referncing fraud charges that Blodget settled in 2003 when he was a Wall Street analyst.

Business Insider has ran a salacious piece about Portnoy’s sex life in November. It included accusations of misconduct from three women that claimed consensual sexual encounters with Portnoy took a dark turn without their consent.

Dave Portnoy has maintained the story is not true. He has also threatened to sue Blodget, Business Insider and the story’s author Julia Black.

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Mile High Sports Acquires Colorado Preps

“Mile High Sports adds Colorado Preps to a portfolio that includes a radio brand broadcasting on 98.1 FM and 107.5 FM HD-3 in Denver, a magazine, and MileHighSports.com.”

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Mile High Sports has acquired the Colorado Preps brand, including ColoradoPreps.com and the company’s radio and podcast networks. The deal is effective immediately.

“I am proud of what we’ve accomplished through 19 years of the Colorado Preps Network and very excited about the future with Mile High Sports,” said Kevin Shaffer, owner and founder of Colorado Preps. “The MHS crew is poised to bring additional and expanded coverage to high school sports across the state and we’re honored to stay involved with the network and help its growth.”

He will remain on the staff and continue hosting and producing radio and digital shows.

“With the elimination of the Rocky Mountain News, and shrinking budgets across most news outlets, local high school sports coverage has often and unfortunately become the casualty,” said Mile High Sports Editor-in-Chief Doug Ottewill. “But there will always be kids playing sports and parents wanting to read about those kids playing sports. I think ColoradoPreps.com fills a need and a niche that will never go away, no matter what’s happening on the bigger sports landscape in Colorado.”

Mile High Sports adds Colorado Preps to a portfolio that includes a radio brand broadcasting on 98.1 FM and 107.5 FM HD-3 in Denver, a magazine, and MileHighSports.com.

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Barstool Sports To Eliminate Some Podcasts

“We almost created a model where we started with all the resources, we didn’t start with the idea or the people and as a result, we have a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going in the right places.”

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Barstool Sports is doing some internal re-organizing. As a result, some shows are being cancelled.

Talking on her podcast Token CEO, Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini said the company has looked under the hood the past few months and are trying to clean things up.

Nardini also stated that the company’s spending needs to be reined in. She feels like too much has been invested in content that hasn’t been delivered, and creative freedom has become more of a curse than a blessing.

“We almost created a model where we started with all the resources, we didn’t start with the idea or the people and as a result, we have a lot of things that weren’t necessarily going in the right places,” she said.

In the podcast space, Barstool has 94 different offerings to choose from. Nardini said it’s just become too much, and they’re going to have to scale things back.

“No company of our size should have 94 shows,” she said. “What was my mistake and our mistake? We treated all 94 shows equal.”

Nardini realizes that means tough decisions are going to have to be made. Good, talented people will either have to move on or their jobs will be re-purposed.

“I’m bummed that it impacts people’s jobs,” she said. “I think that is a really, really serious thing when a role gets impacted and things change. You have to take that with a little bit of a heavy heart.”

Erika didn’t specify which shows, in particular, would be getting the ax, but it’s believed that the show Podfathers will be among them.

Show co-hosts Michael McCarthy aka “Large” and Justin Clemenza aka “Clem” took to Twitter and to the Barstool blog to announce the parenting podcast was no more.

Jordan Demcher aka “Jordie” tweeted a couple of thoughts on the situation but then clarified his podcast would carry on.

Keep your eyes on social media over the next few days for more details on this situation from Barstool’s personalities.

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