Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports Radio News

How Barnhart Became “Mr. SEC”

Jason Barrett

Published

on

Tony Barnhart never set out to become “Mr. SEC,” let alone “Mr. College Football,” the sobriquet he earned during a 30-year writing career, first at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and, since 1994, as go-to SEC guy for ESPN and later CBS.

Back in 1976, Barnhart – now part of the SEC Network and aiming toward Aug. 28’s football debut of Texas A&M at South Carolina – was another recent University of Georgia graduate. Then as now, there was a recession, and jobs – especially in newspapers, most especially covering sports – were few and far between.

“I graduated June 10,” Barnhart said, laughing at the memory, “and I saw a 3-by-5 index card (on a UGA journalism-school bulletin board) that said the Union (S.C.) Daily Times needs a sports writer.”

On June 11, he spoke with Union editor Don Wilder, who asked, “When can you get here?”

“I’ll be there tomorrow,” Barnhart said.

That next day, after a couple hours’ conversation, Wilder reached into a desk drawer, withdrew a sheath of papers and told the wannabe reporter, “I’ve got this many applications, but I’m going offer (the job) to you right now.”

For $125 a week – trust me, that wasn’t bad in 1976 – Barnhart had his start.

Flash forward to this year. Barnhart, who departed the Journal-Constitution in 2008, turning his part-time TV gigs with ESPN and CBS into a national profile among college football fans, signed on with the fledgling SEC Network, where he’ll make – well, considerably more than $125.

It was a no-brainer, he says.

“It was one of those things, when I learned the SEC Network was about to become a reality, and they said, ‘Is this something you’re interested in?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’

“CBS was very good to me” – Barnhart was part of “College Football Today” from 2004-2013 – “but the chance to get in on the ground floor here is sort of cool,” he said. “The SEC is on an incredible run in all sports (especially football), so to be in at the beginning of the network, helping shape it … I’m honored to be a part of it.”

The SEC Network could hardly call itself that without Barnhart. Starting as the AJC’s Georgia beat writer (1984-85) and moving on to be its national college football writer, no reporter in America has been more closely identified with the conference – not even his new colleague, longtime Alabama radio talk-show host Paul Finebaum. When Barnhart recently filled in for the Controversial One on his national radio show for two days, it looked to be a seamless handoff.

In fact, Barnhart said, laughing, “after doing it for four hours (each day), I have even greater respect for Paul.

“The ‘traffic cop’ aspect (of fielding callers), getting into commercials (and) setting things up – he makes it look easy. It’s not.”

Still, he said, “I’m glad I did it and hope to do it again.”

The SEC Network plans on Barnhart doing a multitude of cross-media jobs, from pregame studio work to writing a weekly Friday column for SECSports.com. He also returned Aug. 11 to AJC.com, writing columns Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He has his own site, tonybarnhart.com; and does “a little radio” in Atlanta.

For the rest of the article visit The State where it was originally published

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports Radio News

Tom Crean Added to SiriusXM NBA Draft Coverage

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

NBA Draft logo, SiriusXM logo and a photo of Tom Crean

The 78th edition of the NBA Draft will be the first to be held over two days. The first round will take place on Wednesday June 26 and will be followed by the second round on Thursday June 27. The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will provide full coverage on SiriusXM NBA Radio channel 86, and they have announced Tom Crean will take part in a preview show prior to each round.

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine, on Tuesday, June 25 on Wednesday, June 26 prior to Round 1 at 4 p.m. ET, and on Thursday, June 27, prior to Round 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

Crean returned to ESPN as a college basketball analyst in December 2022 after having worked for them previously during the 2017-2018 season. Crean was fired after four seasons at Georgia, prior to his ESPN return.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Dan Woike: ‘I Can’t Imagine’ JJ Redick and LeBron James Podcast Will Continue

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

JJ Redick
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a contract to serve as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who recently broadcast the best-of-seven series for ESPN on ABC with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters, is reportedly in the process of compiling his coaching staff for his first season leading the Lakers. Although Redick does not have any NBA coaching experience, he played 15 seasons in the league with six teams and has been an analyst for ESPN over parts of the last four years. Outside of his work with ESPN, Redick also built his ThreeFourTwo Productions company and co-hosted The Old Man and the Three podcast.

This past March, Redick launched a new podcast with Lakers forward and four-time NBA champion LeBron James titled Mind the Game. Episodes of the show contained nuanced basketball discussions that some people feel gave Redick an inherent edge in the head coaching search. Dan Patrick recently had Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, on his program, the Dan Patrick Show, and asked about the future of the podcast with James.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to continue,” Woike said. “Sad, right? We might get a season finale episode…. Who knows what’s going to happen here.”

Woike spoke about Redick’s eclectic interests that include basketball, broadcasting, golf, wine and fancy suits. Part of this transition that Woike will be watching is how Redick makes the adjustments and focuses the energy that he has. The organization, he stated, is not hiring a podcaster and believes that Redick has an aptitude and shrewdness towards basketball and is serious about the endeavor. While Redick and James have a good relationship with strong rapport, it is relatively new and something Woike perceives as critical to everything going on. Nonetheless, he does not think they can continue the show because it would be an “unnecessary distraction” to the team.

“They’re paying him to coach, they’re not paying him to podcast,” Woike said. “His divestment from his podcast empire is sort of an interesting media side-note to this to see kind of how much he steps back and kind of what happens to it because it’s been really successful for him.”

Rather than asking him another question, Patrick presented Woike with a sentence and asked him to complete it. The statement was, “If he doesn’t have the podcast with LeBron…,” and Woike proceeded to outline that the Lakers would then have more questions about his ability to coach James. Patrick then immediately followed up by asking if he still would have landed the Lakers’ head coaching job if he did not have the podcast, to which Woike replied that he believed it would still be possible. Former Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was reportedly advising the organization throughout its head coaching search, and Redick previously played for him at the university.

Woike referenced a specific clip from the podcast in which Redick and James were discussing analytics and three-point shooting. At one point, James pushed back against the analytics by asking what would happen if a team missed 27 straight three-point shots, as the Houston Rockets did in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Redick quickly replied by asking if it had happened since, leading James to admit that he was right.

“Now how that plays in the locker room at halftime when you’re down 17 to the Charlotte Hornets and everybody’s tired, who knows,” Woike said. “That is a huge question, but I think, to be quite fair, there was going to be elements of question with that with Dan Hurley too.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

ESPN LA 710 Announces New Fall Lineup

This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Logo for ESPN LA 710 and a graphic for their new fall lineup
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA 710

ESPN LA 710 announced more news today, introducing a new lineup which will start on Monday, September 9. This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

The new lineup will see morning drive start with Mike Greenberg’s Greeny , followed by Travis Rodgers and Allen Sliwa moving back an hour to start at 9a PT. Steve Mason and John Ireland will then air from 12p to 3p PT followed by the afternoon team of Jorge Sedano and Scott Kaplan moving to 3p-6p PT.

In addition to USC and the Kings, the station has play-by-play agreements with the Lakers, the Rams, the Angels and LAFC.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.