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Tyrone Johnson: ESPN Put Their Talent In An Unfair Position

“Cut to something with a scroll that says we will be back as soon as we have an actual update.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Live television can be incredibly unpredictable sometimes, and that unpredictability was on full display Monday night when ESPN had to transition its coverage of the Bills/Bengals game to coverage of Damar Hamlin’s medical emergency on the field.

Many have praised ESPN for how the talent and reporters handled the situation for that four or five hour window from the time Hamlin collapsed. On 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, host Tyrone Johnson shared in giving the MNF and SportsCenter crew their flowers, but Johnson said to carry coverage for that long without a ton of new information coming in was a really tough ask of everyone involved.

“We saw what happened, everyone reacted then they had to continue to talk about it without any new information,” Johnson said Tuesday. “They did a very good job doing it, but they kept on having to do it without an update.”

Johnson just wished that once everyone was in a situation where they had to wait to figure out the latest, ESPN should’ve tossed it to alternate programming.

“Cut to something with a scroll that says we will be back as soon as we have an actual update,” he said. “I’m saying up until the Scott Van Pelt SportsCenter – whatever the normal programming would be – to fill the time here’s a 30 for 30, Last Dance, whatever it is with a scroll, and then we’ll have SportsCenter at whatever time unless we get information. And then we’ll come right back and tell everyone the information.”

Ricky Botallico thought about having to be involved in the first production since the death of famed Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas and remembered how raw people’s feelings were on the air.

“What happens is real emotion comes out. I mean when Harry Kalas passed away I had to be on the first show,” he said. “It was not easy, definitely not fun.”

Johnson said at least at that time the show had information on Kalas’ death that they could report. In the instance of ESPN and Damar Hamlin, Johnson felt like it wasn’t right to force its hosts and analysts to fill several hours with reaction and no news.

“To have no information and just make them go on and on, it wasn’t that they did a bad job,” he said. “I thought they were asking them to do something unfair.”

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Sports Radio News

NHL All-Star Game Airing Exclusively on SiriusXM After Contract Extension

The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter.

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SiriusXM and the NHL have reached an extension that will see the satellite service continue to carry every league contest. The new multi-year deal will run through the 2028-2029 season.

Part of the deal includes the NHL All-Star Game airing exclusively on SiriusXM. The game had previously been distributed by Westwood One before Sports USA Media took over the rights in 2021.

The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter. All three are regulars on NHL Network Radio. Stellick and Laughlin serve as hosts of NHL Morning Skate, while Kouleas hosts the station’s afternoon show, The Power Play.

NHL Network Radio will also provide live coverage of the league’s All-Star Media Day on Thursday, February 2nd and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday, February 3rd.

The deal includes SiriusXM continuing to produce and distribute SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on the platform for the duration of the contract.

“Hockey fans are among the most passionate sports fans, and our long-term relationship with the NHL enables us to deliver those fans across North America comprehensive access to the league, offering them live broadcasts of every game and the only 24/7 NHL channel in audio,” said SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“Live sports, coupled with great, in-depth sports talk, is one of the key elements of our programming and we are very pleased to be extending our content agreement with the NHL for many more years.”

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Sports Radio News

Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca

The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.

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The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.

Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.

Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.

The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.

The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.

While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.

“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”

Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”

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Sports Radio News

Jim Rome: Sad Paul Allen Is The Saddest Thing Ever

“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Jim Rome

One of Super Wild Card Weekend’s biggest upsets came in the Giants/Vikings game on Sunday afternoon, and Vikings radio voice Paul Allen obviously wasn’t thrilled about the final offensive play.

Jim Rome picked up on that listening to Allen’s call of Kirk Cousins finding T.J. Hockenson short of the line to gain, ending Minnesota’s season.

Rome said he hurt for Allen, who like many followers of the Vikings were shocked to see the second seed in the NFC playoffs bounced the first weekend.

“On the one hand sad P.A. is the saddest thing ever. I hate that so much,” Rome said Monday. “But he turns into pissed P.A. too. I mean that is a brutal way to lose. And what’s sadder than sad P.A.?”

Allen went viral halfway through the 2022-23 season, with his calls of a wild game against the Buffalo Bills on November 13. Allen went through a complete roller coaster of emotions as Buffalo fought to win 33-30 in overtime.

Rome added that he thought disappointing Allen was the worst of all for the NFC North champs.

“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down,” he said.

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