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Former 104.5 The Zone Morning Host Mark Howard Dies at 65

Howard joined The Zone, 104.5-FM in the Music City in 2004 when he co-hosted the Wake Up Zone with Kevin Ingram and Frank Wycheck.

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Mark Howard

Devastating news hit the city of Nashville on Sunday when it was learned that Mark Howard, veteran sports broadcaster in both television and radio, died at the age of 65.

The news was revealed by his friend David Boclair. It was confirmed to the Tennessean by his wife Debra.

Howard, whose whose real name was Howard Mark Levenson was a popular sports anchor for over 20-plus years at NewsChannel 5 in Nashville.

“My heart’s broken,” said retired NewsChannel 5 sports director Hope Hines. “I’ve lost one of my best and dearest friends. He was more like a son to me and he felt the same way, I was a father-like figure in many ways to him. I’m heartbroken for Jack his son, and Debra. He was a great, great talent.”

Howard joined The Zone, 104.5-FM in the Music City in 2004 when he co-hosted the Wake Up Zone with Kevin Ingram and Frank Wycheck. That show would dominate morning drive in the city for years. He left the show in 2020 after 21 years at The Zone.

“It’s been a great run. The (Wake Up Zone) show ran for 16 years with me and Kevin,” Howard said at the time. “They were some of the best years of my life. I’ve got nothing really but good things to say about my experiences there.”

Ingram said Howard was influential in bringing him to The Zone.

“I loved working with Mark, but the thing about Mark was that he was a great friend,” Ingram said. “There weren’t many people who were more supportive of me or my career than Mark. He was always very encouraging and gave good advice. There aren’t too many people you’ll find who were more knowledgeable about sports than Mark. It was almost scary how much he knew, especially about baseball.”

The Zone released a statement sending their condolences.

The station plans a day full of tributes and memories of Howard.

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Sports Radio News

Joy Taylor Says Aaron Rodgers Is More Likeable After Pardon My Take Appearance

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said.

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Joy Taylor

On Monday, the Pardon My Take podcast dropped their latest episode which featured an interview with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Big Cat, one of the show’s co-hosts, is a Chicago Bears fan and has spent a lot of time not liking Rodgers publicly.

Colin Cowherd saw one of the many clips that the show shared and brought up how much he thought that Rodgers took ribbing from Big Cat and the podcast in stride. That’s when Joy Taylor offered that the interview could help Rodgers in the long run.

“It makes him astronomically more likeable,” Taylor said. “When you can show that you don’t take yourself that seriously, all of the animosity that people have towards you just kind of starts to wither away.”

She added that the disarming quality helps if people don’t perceive Rodgers as thinking he has all the answers.

“When people feel like they are projecting ‘I know more than you’ and ‘I’ve got it all figured out’ energy, people are like: ‘you got to be the smartest guy on the room all time time? You’re not.’

This is so likeable,” Taylor said. “It’s really funny.”

Cowherd agreed and even said he is probably going to go listen to it after the show.

“Aaron is genuinely laughing as they make fun of him and that is an incredibly endearing quality.”

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Sports Radio News

WNSR Debuts ‘Power Hour’ with Sami Kincaid

Nashville’s WNSR debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

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Power Hour with Sami Kincaid

Nashville has a brand new voice to listen to on WNSR and her name is Sami Kincaid. On Saturday, the station debuted Power Hour with host Sami Kincaid.

The debut show featured Associated Press writer Teresa Walker, Vanderbilt women’s basketball guard Jordyn Cambridge and North Georgia assistant softball coach Alea White. The show is focused on women that are operating inside sports.

The show airs Saturdays from 9-10a CT.

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Sports Radio News

Toucher and Rich: Dennis Eckersley’s Retirement a “Huge Loss”

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley announced that he was going to retire from the Boston Red Sox television booth at the end of this season. The current NESN analyst is leaving after twenty years on the air with the team.

The news broke during Toucher and Rich on 98.5 the Sports Hub and it gave show co-host Rich Shertenlieb a chance to mention the news and praise the departing personality.

“When Eckersley got in there (the booth),” Shertenlieb started, “he was great. It made all of them better when Dennis Eckersley was around. It’s going to be a huge loss.”

The show spent the rest of the segment talking about what Eckersley offered that made him so unique. That’s when Matt McCarthy, fill-in for Fred Toucher, said that Eckersley was exactly what you wanted in an analyst.

“You want someone that’s going to give you an opinion,” McCarthy said. “Eck gave you an opinion. He’ll be missed.”

McCarthy also pointed out that this is the latest major shakeup that has happened to the television broadcast in recent years.

“There’s no doubt this is a blow,” McCarthy added. “This is a tremendous loss to that Red Sox broadcast to which has taken a lot of hits over the years with the loss of Jerry Remy, the decision to move on from Don Orsillo and now Dennis Eckersley retiring… they are going to have to find an entertainer in there. Matt McCarthy

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