It’s official, Moe is on the show.
T.J. Moe, who was an impact receiver at Missouri and has had tryouts in the NFL with the Patriots and Rams, has been working alongside Jim Edmonds and Tim McKernan in recent days on their show at WGNU (920 AM). And now he’s being made a full-time member of the program, which airs from 4-6 p.m. weekdays.
The “Edmonds and McKernan Show’’ adds “Moe’’ to the title effective today.
It’s been a winding path into broadcasting for Moe, who played at MU from 2009-12 and had been an occasional guest on the station. Those appearances led to him expressing interest in broadcasting and that word got to McKernan, whose insideSTL.com company controls WGNU’s weekday programming (and this week reached an agreement to continue to do so through 2015). Then came Moe’s trial period with Edmonds and McKernan.
“Since I knew he was good (as a guest) I thought, ‘OK this could be interesting,’” McKernan said. “Jim and I had been discussing that we wanted somebody with football experience to be part of it.’’
Moe played at Fort Zumwalt West High before going to MU, then was signed by New England last year as an undraftedfree agent. But he suffered a torn Achilles tendon during offseason workouts and had surgery, wiping out his season. He was released this March before the Rams brought him in, but cut him in August.
“It makes all the sense in the world (to add Moe) because he’s a St. Louisan who played at Missouri and who was with the Rams,’’ McKernan said. “Those are three things you can’t teach — you either have it or you don’t. On top of that, from a broadcasting standpoint, he’s an absolute natural.”
“I hated it,’’ he said. “I was terrible.”
However, he never could get away from journalists as he became a go-to guy for interviews about the MU football program because of his candor.
“I never liked the cliché answers,’’Moe said. “It didn’t make sense to me to memorize a certain list of things you were supposed to say, because I could say something intelligent and insightful without crossing any lines. I didn’t ever want to make it not personal for whoever was interviewing me. I wanted to give them something to write about — I understand it’s a difficult job and a lot of these guys are like, ‘Could somebody please say something to write about?’ … Even something that’s not a story to me is really interesting to people who don’t know the ins and outs of the sport. So I was always very candid with my answers.”
As his MU football career blossomed, so did his profile.
“I became somewhat of a fan favorite,’’ Moe said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever said ‘no’ to an interview if I was available to do it. So after my sophomore season they brought me to Big 12 media day and (the next year to) SEC media day. That was the place I kind of took off.’’
Then early this year, when the debate about paying college athletes was sizzling, Moe sent some tweets in which he was not in favor of unionization of student athletes. Those caught the attention of MSNBC, which brought him on as a guest on its “UP” program to discuss the matter. He also wrote a commentary about it for The Huffington Post.
His opinion was becoming valued — and sought. So in August when his pursuit of the NFL ended, at least temporarily, radio became a natural.
“A lot of it is connecting the dots.’’ Moe said. “And some of it is people taking an interest in my opinion. Whether they like it or not, I guess they are interested in my opinion.’’
And Edmonds, 44, said the opinions of Moe, 23, can attract younger listeners.
“He brings a whole other dynamic, the different age group,’’ Edmonds said. “We’re starting to figure out how to work in more everyday stuff (on the show), and he’s very up-to-date on a lot of issues and very active on social media. He brings a lot of young knowledge that Tim (who turns 38 on Saturday) and I are missing. And he’s also a qualified football personalty who really knows his stuff about Mizzou and football in general.”
That was a big selling point to McKernan.
“He’s able to convey his experiences at Missouri and his time with the Patriots and Rams but also the mindset of a coach or a player in ways that somebody who never has experienced it flat can’t do,’’ McKernan said.
To that end. Moe likes to offer detailed analysis of plays.
“I really took an interest into the intricacies of football while I was playing, so I learned the ins and outs,’’ he said. “That’s what’s interesting for the listener, when I can break down a play.’’
He cited an interception MU’s Maty Mauk threw early this season against Toledo, when fans complained that it was a terrible throw. But Moe explained how the receiver ran a bad route.
McKernan said it is important to add a MU football presence to the station because of the way interest in the program has increased locally in recent years.
“On top of that, he’s an outstanding talent and it continues a theme of wanting to give new voices and opportunity to see if it works,’’ McKernan said. “He fits all of the criteria — great guy, great talent.’’
Moe hopes he still has the football talent to get another call from an NFL team. That dream remains alive. But he also is realistic.
“I’m still working out. I’m hoping to get picked up,’’ he said, adding when he was pursuing the 920 AM job he made it known that “I need something to do in the meantime — and possibly forever if nobody wants me to play anymore.”
McKernan said if Moe gets another chance to play pro football, there will be no problem at the station.
“The minute he gets a call from an NFL team, he’s gone,’’ he said. “For his sake, it would be great if he got a call.’’
While Moe has been involved in football for years, broadcasting is new to him. And, as expected, not everything is perfect. One knock is that he is too much of a Mizzou homer. He refers to the team as “we” and “us.” And after MU suffered a bad loss Saturday, at home to Indiana, he tweeted that the Tigers can “still win the East and the conference outright. Playoff is still in the picture because we’re in the SEC.”
While technically true, it is unrealistic to think that a team that lost at home to one of the weaker Big Ten Conference teams can at this point be considered a playoff contender. Moe’s words come from the heart, not the head.
“There are little things” to work on, McKernan acknowledged. “There are things I can coach him on.”
And Moe seems eager to learn.
“I have no training in the radio business, I just go off of natural ability — if I even have any,’’ he said. “I just know what I know. I’m learning quite a bit” on the job.
And he says even if he goes to the NFL, “I will do this (broadcasting) at some point. I’m interested in it, it’s pretty easy and fun.”
And he’s fitting in fast.
“He seemed to be comfortable right away,’’ Edmonds said. “He seems to be a confident young man.”
McKernan said Moe has vast potential.
“We stumbled into T.J. — I wasn’t just going to put anybody on (the air),’’ McKernan said. “But when he came on, he was so good. If he wants it, he most definitely has a future in broadcasting.”
Credit to STL Today who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
Channing Crowder: I Still Underestimate How Many People Listen to Radio
“We make fun of it like ‘Oh, AM radio’ and this, man, but here are people who when I went to the bathroom, and they’re walking up to me ‘Hey, love the show, man’.”
Even though he’s been in the sports radio game for more than a decade, 560 WQAM’s Channing Crowder admits he still doesn’t appreciate just how many people listen to his show.
While hosting Hochman and Crowder at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino ahead of sports betting going live in Florida, co-host Marc Hochman shared a story that one of the employees at the casino told him he often deals with giant celebrities.
However, despite his dealings with major music and movie stars, the employee was excited to meet Hochman and Greg Cote of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.
That led Crowder to admit he often underinflates the size of his daily audience.
“It’s funny, because like, I underestimate, still –12-13 years into radio — how many people listen to radio,” Crowder said. “And it’s funny because we make fun of it like ‘Oh, AM radio’ and this, man, but here are people who when I went to the bathroom, and they’re walking up to me ‘Hey, love the show, man. You and Hochman are hilarious’.”
Crowder has hosted afternoons alongside Hochman on 560 WQAM since 2015 after previously hosting the early afternoon window on the Audacy station. In addition to his radio work, he hosts The Pivot podcast with Ryan Clark and Fred Taylor.
Kevin Burkhardt: Athletes Are Calling Me ‘Lil’ Baby Kay Kay’ After FOX Sports Commercial
“It’s kind of turned into a life of its own.”
Throughout its broadcasts during the National Football League season, FOX Sports has presented a variety of marketing spots meant to promote its NFL on FOX property. Featuring the lead broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt, analyst Greg Olsen, and reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi, the commercials have captured the attention of football fans on gameday.
One of the spots features Olsen trying to impersonate FOX NFL Sunday studio analyst Terry Bradshaw by donning a bald cap with white hair and trying out one of his catchphrases in the broadcast booth.
As Kevin Burkhardt appeared on Seattle Sports 710 on Thursday morning’s program featuring Brock Huard and Mike Salk, he was asked about what the filming session for these commercials was like. Salk in particular could not recall a similar instance taking place where the NFL on FOX utilized talent to film these types of commercials. Burkhardt began to explain how the marketing department at FOX Sports came up with the idea and everything was shot over a 13-hour day.
“We had a crew that had done a lot of funny commercials; a director and producer that were great,” Kevin Burkhardt said. “They were just like, ‘Okay, let’s do it this way. Let’s try it this way. KB, can you do it like this?’ So I actually had fun – it was kind of like an opportunity to act for the first time in my life, and it was a blast.”
Salk has enjoyed the promotional endeavor, and he was wondering whether or not there will be more commercials to be unveiled throughout the rest of the year. While Burkhardt revealed that all of the recorded spots have already aired, he did reference a story about one of the earlier commercials. When the NFL on FOX crew was gifted jackets with nicknames on the back, Burkhardt’s read, “Lil’ Baby Kay Kay,” and it is now an epithet that he is being referred to by athletes.
“A month ago, we’re doing a Cowboys game and we get on a Zoom with Dak Prescott and he’s like, ‘Lil’ Baby Kay Kay, what up man?,’” Burkhardt said. “I swear, and I rolled [with it]. It’s kind of turned into a life of its own. I’m glad you guys enjoy it.”
“It’s good,” Salk replied. “You worked really hard to get to the very top of your profession; all the respect that comes with it and now the athletes are calling you Lil’ Baby Kay Kay, so I think it’s good for you. Nice job.”
“It’s amazing,” Burkhardt said. “If you can’t laugh at yourself, what are we doing, right Mike?”
Burkhardt, Olsen, Andrews, and Rinaldi will return to the air this Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks face the San Francisco 49ers on FOX at 4:05 PM ET. The game will feature a quarterback matchup between Geno Smith and Brock Purdy as both teams look to continue making a postseason push.
Matt Vasgersian: Shohei Ohtani Free Agency ‘Should Be Pumped Up’ By Media
“There has to be some urgency here for these clubs to get it done.”
Shohei Ohtani is reportedly close to making a decision about where he will play next season after a free agency process that has been largely hidden from public view. Reports from earlier in the offseason indicated that if teams leak information about negotiations, it would be something to be held against them. This is something that has complicated manners for Matt Vasgersian and other broadcasters to effectively cover the sport, especially this week.
During the Winter Meetings earlier in the week, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed that the team indeed met with Ohtani. In the process, it helped revived an event that was filled with minor transactions and uncertainty regarding the two-way superstar, considered by many baseball fans to be one of the most talented players to ever step foot onto the field.
MLB Network was among several broadcast networks on-site to cover the event, featuring signature programming such as Hot Stove and MLB Tonight. Matt Vasgersian, who has previously served as a TV play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Angels, appeared on AM 570 LA Sports on Thursday afternoon with Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith where he recalled how the event went.
Papadakis specifically asked Vasgersian whether or not he felt Ohtani was holding the broadcast coverage hostage because of the stoppage that his free agency has put on other sectors of the overall marketplace.
“What it did for me is it kind of furthered the need for at least more conversation about like [what] the NBA has [in] just [having] a signing period,” Vasgersian said. “Like, ‘Look, Major League Baseball teams, if you don’t get your business done by the end of business hours on the final day of the Winter Meetings, you either get hit with a tax or we’re going to freeze you out for two-and-a-half months.’ There has to be some urgency here for these clubs to get it done.”
While Ohtani was among the most intriguing topics at the Winter Meetings, the conversation with him between team executives and reporters was quite minimal. On numerous occasions, officials stopped short of mentioning him by name and instead spoke in vague terms about everything going on.
“The Ohtani thing should be pumped up,” Matt Vasgersian said. “I’m not saying Jim Gray-LeBron [James] ‘Decision’-style, but there’s got to be a little sizzle around the biggest international star in our sport – maybe any sport – and we’re allowing the agent to completely hamstring the process and dictate who and when we get conversations with him.”
Vasgersian is grateful for what Roberts did at the Winter Meetings, choosing to be honest about what was going on rather than concealing details about the negotiations. These comments proved valuable in Winter Meetings coverage, as it led to further discussion and conversation on broadcast networks and conjecture from print reporters about his whereabouts. The lack of a conversation, however, is something that some people feel is just the opposite of what baseball needs as it tries to appeal to a younger demographic.
“I felt your pain,” Smith said. “I felt the pain of baseball not being able to celebrate the most exciting player that it’s seen in 50 years.”
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