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Kansas City Sports Radio Reacts to Len Dawson’s Passing

Jordan Bondurant

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Len Dawson

Many were saddened to learn of the passing of legendary broadcaster and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson on Wednesday.

All day, tributes to the Super Bowl champion and Kansas City media icon came pouring in.

“What Len Dawson did in the middle of the 70s is pretty common now. It wasn’t common in the 70s,” Carrington Harrison said of Dawson on his show The Drive on 610 Sports Radio. “We see guys now leave playing and immediately become broadcasters. We can name hundreds of people that have done that. That wasn’t what you did in the 70s.”

Harrison added that while Dawson should be rightfully honored and remembered for his prowess on the field, his contributions in media should be recognized just as much.

“Len Dawson is not just a Hall of Fame caliber player. He is a legendary broadcaster,” he said. “To do it at the local TV level, to do it at the local radio level, and also travel in the middle of the week to go be a host of one of the most popular shows around football that’s ever been created. Like Len Dawson is not only an important football player, he’s also an important football broadcaster for the bridges that he crossed.”

Over on Sports Radio 810 WHB, host Jason Anderson said Dawson no doubt sits on many a Mount Rushmore of Kansas City legends.

“When you talk about the legacies, the icons, those that have meant so much to the city for so long, Len Dawson was absolutely that,” Anderson said on his show, The Zone. “He was one of many that have played their careers in Kansas City and decided to stay and make their home in Kansas City. Not everybody does that.”

Anderson remembered Dawson as someone who meant so much to people of varying ages and generations for the different chapters of his career.

“What’s amazing on so many levels, there’s some amazing aspects of his life, he was something different to different generations,” he said. “Like my dad’s generation he was ‘Lenny the Cool’ because of what he did on the field…To my generation he was Len Dawson the ex football player and a broadcaster, and the sportscaster and the color commentator for the Chiefs. He was on Inside the NFL and it was cool.”

Kansas City Royals legend George Brett told Bob Fescoe one of his favorite memories of Dawson was when Dawson showed up at his house in 1999 while he was with KMBC-TV to interview him about his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“So I’m going sure Karen Kornacki or Dave Stewart are going to come over to the house and set up, and no it was Len Dawson. Lenny frickin Dawson!” Brett said. “They came over to the house and did it.

Brett said Dawson even interviewed him again in Cooperstown that year. But the fact that Dawson was the one that showed up to his house was something he’ll never forget.

“I had met Lenny numerous times prior to that, but to have Lenny Dawson in your house that was quite a thrill,” he said.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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