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Chris Russo: ‘I’m Fortunate To Do Everything Else, But Radio Is Always My Home’

“You can’t have five kids when you’re 24 years of age being in radio. It’s impossible.  You can’t do it.  You gotta put food on the table. But if you put that aside and understand what it takes and you love doing it? You will be successful.”

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Chris Russo First Take

SiriusXM host and sports talk legend Chris Russo is celebrating the announcement he’ll be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame later this year and took time on his podcast, Mad Dog’s Daily Bite, to reflect on the honor Tuesday.

“39 years I have been talking on the radio,” Russo said. “And all the other stuff, you know I was fortunate enough to do a couple of books…fortunate enough with (David) Letterman. 37 times. Very fortunate. You gotta be blessed. That’s all there is to it. But this is the home. Radio is the home. You can do all that other stuff. It’s fun. Love doing it. It’s a new venue. Something different. But the radio is the home.”

He detailed his rise to WFAN in New York, which began in February of 1983 with a drive in his AMC Gremlin to Jacksonville, Florida to sell advertising for the AA Jacksonville Suns with the hope to eventually become their play-by-play announcer. After being fired six weeks into the job, Russo walked into radio station WEXI 1280 in Jacksonville, where they offered him a job on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The day he returned to begin the job, the Sports Director at the station announced his departure to become the play-by-play voice for the Washington Diplomats of the North American Soccer League. 

“They had an opening where they did morning sports and weekend sports talk show with the boss’s son who loved pro wrestling on a ‘dawn-to-dusk’ station,” Russo remembered. “So I did the sports talk and I did the morning sports and I did that for about a year and I learned how to do a sports talk show. Two incoming phone lines, not a ton of guests. I lived about half a mile away from the radio station, which was in an old shopping mall. And I made about $120 a week.”

Russo, who briefly thanked his longtime partner Mike Francesa, later had strong advice for aspiring broadcasters that hope to make it in the industry.

“If you’re good, and you believe, and you’re willing to put yourself on the line. You can’t have five kids when you’re 24 years of age being in radio. It’s impossible.  You can’t do it.  You gotta put food on the table. But if you put that aside and understand what it takes and you love doing it? You will be successful.”

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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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