Connect with us
blank

Sports Radio News

Pat Donovan: Dave Wills Dying Leaves Tampa Fans ‘in a Fog’

“Very few people mentioned the kind of broadcaster he was because everyone was talking about the man that he was.”

blank

Published

on

blank

For the last 18 seasons, the voice of Dave Wills was synonymous with Tampa Bay Rays baseball. Over the weekend, the long time radio broadcaster died suddenly. He passed away in his sleep early Sunday morning at the age of 58.

“I know for the last 24 hours or so since I found out, since we all found out, I think all of us are just in a fog and Rays fans are in a fog,” Pat Donovan said Monday morning to open WDAE’s Pat & Aaron.

Wills was a beloved figure in the Tampa Bay area. Donovan said that if you ever doubted that, all you needed to do was look at social media to see the way he was being discussed.

“I noticed on Facebook, I noticed on Twitter, I noticed everything I saw about Dave Wills had very little to do with the broadcaster he was, and he was a Hall of Fame level broadcaster. Very few people mentioned the kind of broadcaster he was because everyone was talking about the man that he was.”

Dave Wills is survived by his wife Liz, his son Alex and his daughter Michelle. Donovan said that he couldn’t help but also think about Andy Freed, who had been Wills’ partner on the Rays’ radio broadcast since 2005.

Donovan compared the relationship to his own with co-host Aaron Jacobson. He noted that if something were to suddenly happen to Jacobson, it would be hard to come back to the WDAE studio and do a show. Freed will have to do that relatively quickly with Rays’ radio broadcasts and returning to a booth that Dave Wills isn’t in is likely going to be painful.

“Very few people outside of this profession, and there aren’t many professions, where you have your entire life, almost your identity tied to another human being the way that we do, the way that Dave and Andy do,” Pat Donovan said.

The segment concluded with Donovan noting how ubiquitous Dave Wills was on the Florida Gulf Coast. He wasn’t just a broadcaster that came to town to do a job. One look at Wills’ social media pages, Donovan says, proves he was a part of the community.

“When you’re the play-by-play guy for anybody as long as he was, that’s a big part of your identity, but if you knew the guy at all, if you were Facebook friends with him, you see so many of his posts were about hanging out at this place and having a beer, hanging out at this place and eating food.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sports Radio News

Dan Patrick: NBC Created ‘Something That Was Brilliant’ With Flex Scheduling

“Networks were so upset that NBC would go ‘Hey, you know what? We’re gonna take that game and we’re gonna have it on Sunday night.’ Then FOX and CBS would be scrambling there.”

blank

Published

on

blank

Roger Goodell wants flex scheduling to come to Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football package. It could happen this season, but we won’t know for sure until May after league owners decided to table a vote on the proposal. On Wednesday, FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick joined the chorus of critics calling it a bad idea.

Patrick said that the league always prioritizes revenue. If it were thinking about the fans, this isn’t something that would even be discussed.

The idea of flex scheduling was first introduced for NBC’s Sunday Night Football package in 2006. The goal was to make sure the prime time TV package could deliver high quality games every week.

“NBC did something that was brilliant where they were able to flex Sunday night games,” Patrick said. “Everyone wanted it.”

While the fate of flex scheduling for Thursdays remains up in the air, we do know that flex scheduling is coming to Monday Night Football on ESPN this season. Patrick, who worked for NBC when the practice was introduced, said that it always took care of one broadcast partner by screwing others.

“Networks were so upset that NBC would go ‘Hey, you know what? We’re gonna take that game and we’re gonna have it on Sunday night.’ Then FOX and CBS would be scrambling there.”

Dan Patrick suggested that perhaps Amazon’s Prime Video doesn’t deserve the same treatment as NBC or ESPN. Far fewer people watch the Thursday night game than any other primetime NFL contest.

Whether or not flex scheduling comes to Thursday Night Football, Patrick says it does not guarantee to change the package’s reputation for delivering largely unappealing games.

“I’ve long said it’s crazy to say you have to play Sunday and then turn around and play Thursday and we’d always go ‘Man, these Thursday games aren’t good,’” he concluded. “Well, was it the matchup or just the quality of play?”

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

106.7 The Fan Extends Deal to Remain Washington Nationals Flagship

“We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future…”

blank

Published

on

blank

106.7 The Fan has announced it has reached a multi-year extension with the Washington Nationals to remain as the MLB club’s radio flagship.

Nationals fans will continue to hear game broadcasts on the station, and those living inside the club’s broadcast territory will be able to stream the radio broadcasts on the Audacy app.

“Opening Day is finally here and we’re thrilled to celebrate the return of baseball season by extending our partnership with the Washington Nationals,” said Audacy Washington D.C. Senior Vice President and Market Manager Ivy Savoy-Smith. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future and give the team’s fans a front row seat to the action on the field and top storylines throughout the year.”

The Nationals have called 106.7 The Fan home since the 2011 season. Beyond game broadcasts, the station will welcome Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo to The Sports Junkies every Wednesday at 9:00 AM throughout the season. The station will also air segments titled “Nats Insider”, hosted by broadcaster Dan Kolko that feature player interviews and features. Those segments will air all along the Nationals Radio Network.

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with Audacy in bringing Nationals fans even more of the interviews and exclusive access they love,” said Lerner Sports Group COO Alan H. Gottlieb. “From in-depth interviews with execs and top players, to off-the-field profiles and more Spanish and English bilingual content than ever before, Audacy offers a comprehensive look at our ball club from all angles.”

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Todd Markiewicz Departing 97.1 The Fan

“He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

Avatar photo

Published

on

blank

Longtime 97.1 The Fan Vice President and Market Manager Todd Markiewicz has announced he is leaving the sports radio station.

Markiewicz has been named the President of the 1870 Society, a Name, Image, and Likeness collective working with Ohio State athletics and Learfield to devise NIL strategy, fundraising, and logistics.

In an internal memo, Tegna Columbus President and General Manager John Cardenas credited Markiewicz for helping to establish the brand as “the powerhouse sports station in the country. He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

Markiewicz joined the station in 2010. Under his leadership, 97.1 The Fan has routinely ranked as the highest-rated station in the Columbus market.

His final day with the station will be Friday, May 26th.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2023 Barrett Media.