As anyone who has listened to Steak Shapiro on sports talk radio over the years knows, he loves food. He would wax romantic about the Palm and even opened a restaurant Stats while with 790/The Zone.
He has also started a food-oriented media franchise “Atlanta Eats,” which includes TV, radio and on-line features about local eateries. And he is now going national as a judge on Food Network’s latest competition show “Food Truck Face Off,” which debuts Thursday at 8 p.m.
“I’m very grateful,” he said.
His life has rebounded nicely since he was ousted last year from the 790/The Zone morning show after that now infamous Steve Gleason ALS bit that went viral in a very bad way and got him,Chris Dimino and Nick Cellini fired. He has been building his food credentials and nabbed a gig at his old enemy sports talk station 680/The Fan late last year.
Food Network was fishing around for new personalities and found a video of Shapiro doing a pre-Falcons show with local chef Kevin Rathbun. They then found his “Atlanta Eats “show. Last year, they shot a pilot for “Food Truck Face Off” for Food Network’s sister station the Cooking Channel.
The reaction was so positive, they moved the show to the Food Network and shot 13 more episodes from four cities: Austin, Miami, Toronto and Los Angeles. Shapiro spent a lot of time on the road while hosting his Front Row sports talks how remotely.
The concept is a bit like “Shark Tank,” Shapiro said. He and two judges take food truck pitches from four teams who want to break into the business. He, Chicago restaurateur Alpana Singh and a rotating third judge pick the best two. They then fly to the city where the teams are from and have them compete for use of a food truck for an entire year. The judges at that point do a lot of coaching.
Shapiro said he is comfortable expressing his opinion after decades of doing so on the radio. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s where Jason Heyward should bat or what the best dumplings are in town. I could talk about Neapolitan pizza, then Matt Ryan.“
He and Singh, he said, are very much opposites. “She has a more sophisticated palate than I do,” he said. She owns restaurants in Chicago and has hosted her own TV show there for many years.
Singh, in a separate interview, said their dynamic is a bit like the old “American Idol” combo of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
“We became fast and easy friends,” she said. “There’s a natural chemistry between us. He sort of looks at me and says, ‘Why are you so harsh?’ ‘I’m not being harsh!’ “
She calls him very intense, very direct, yet “very personable, very curious.” Yet deep down, “he’s a big softie.” She also noticed that he types on his keyboard really really hard. When she made this observation, he said, “There’s nothing soft about me.”
During an episode where an Austin duo were selling food in an edible bowl, Shapiro was skeptical. “What do I care about eating a bowl? I want to eat what’s’ in the bowl and I want it to be tasty!”
Singh also found him to be a great coach for the would-be food truck owners. “He gets out there and pushes them,” she said, “because that’s what he does in his own life.”
The timing of the show is great for Steak, whose fifth season of “Atlanta Eats” debuts this weekend Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on Peachtree TV. He is also promoting the first Atlanta Eats Live event Sunday, October 5 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre featuring an all-you-can-eat deal with one ticket from places such as Kimball House, Muss & Turners and Iberian Pig.
Credit to the Atlanta Journal Constitution 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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