With two new shows debuting this week, the landscape of Portland sports talk radio got fuller and more local.
On Monday, KPOJ (also known as Rip City Radio) rolled out “Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth,” a 6-9 a.m. show that is the Portland market’s first morning local sports talk show since KXTG shut down “Morning Sports Page” in 2012.
Also Monday, KFXX (1080 The Fan)announced its altered lineup that will debut Tuesday and include three local programs that will fill the station’s schedule from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
With KXTG (750 The Game) also with a newer host in its 3-7 p.m. slot, there has been significant makeover in Portland sports radio in the last year.
The market’s two longest-running shows remain rock steady: KFXX’s “Primetime with Isaac and Suke,” and KXTG’s “The Bald Faced Truth.” KPOJ also has a big name in Blazers’ play-by-play man Brian Wheeler.
Here’s how each weekday’s local sports talk shapes up:
“Rip City Mornings with Bunker and Danforth,” KPOJ (620 AM): Hosted by Andy Bunker, who moved from Seattle’s KIRO, and Taylor Danforth, who left KFXX last month, this is the only local show in this time slot. The station hired Icky Rosborough as producer. Rosborough’s father, Mike Rosborough, was a longtime TV sports photographer for KATU.
This show’s competition is syndicated fare, with KFXX airing “The Herd with Collin Cowherd,” the ESPN show that started in Portland, and KXTG airing “The Dan Patrick Show.”
“Hard Count with Dirt and Sprague,” KFXX (1080 AM): The show is hosted by Andy “Dirt” Johnson and Brandon Sprague, who had a three-man show with Danforth in the noon-3 p.m. spot before Danforth departed last month. Both hosts are young, Portland-raised guys who have a lot of institutional knowledge. They’ll have a local lock on the time slot, going against the “Rich Eisen Show,” which runs 9 a.m.-noon on KPOJ, and “The Jim Rome Show,” which airs 9 a.m.-noon on KXTG.
“The Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano,” KXTG (750 AM/102.9 FM):Canzano, a columnist for The Oregonian, has hosted the station’s anchor show since it debuted in 2008, originally as a 3-6 p.m. show, then moving to this time slot in 2012. In recent years, the show has benefited from the steady producing of Noah “Chop” Homsley, who also has become an entertaining on-air sidekick.
“Dusty and Cam in the Afternoon,” KFXX: The station’s newest show has Dusty Harrah, a longtime KFXX jack-of-all-trades who has recently widened his profile as co-host of “Trail Blazers Pulse,” a TV show that is part of Comcast SportsNet Northwest’s post-game Blazers block. Harrah is joined by Cam Cleeland, a former NFL tight end whose own on-air profile has been growing steadily in the market.
KPOJ runs the syndicated “Jay Mohr Show” in this spot.
“Wheels at Work,” KPOJ: Hosted by Brian Wheeler, who is in his 17th season as the Blazers’ radio play-by-play voice. Because of his duties with the team, the show often has a guest host, typically either Ron Callan or Jay Allen, both of whom are Portland radio veterans. Each show has Wheeler on for at least one segment, even if he’s on the road.
“Primetime with Isaac and Big Suke,” KFXX: The longest-running show in the market, with hosts Isaac Ropp and Jason Scukanec having been together since 2006. The show also is televised on CSNNW. Ropp and Scukanec have built a loyal listenership with a familiar format that, as their show’s description says, includes “topics ranging from the Blazers to bark dust and from bacon to movies to hot chicks.”
“In the Huddle with Ragz,” KXTG: The show is hosted by Mike Ragz, who also is the station’s program director. He replaced long-time Portland radio personality Chad Doing in this spot in September. Although he has no Portland history, Ragz came in at a ripe time, during the ascendancy of Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks, as KXTG is Oregon’s flagship station.
Credit to OregonLive.com 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 JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie Reveal Contributors To New WIP Morning Show
“Angelo for many, many years has had a wonderful team. And obviously we’re indebted to what he did for all the years putting everything together.”
The Philadelphia Eagles postseason run will determine how much longer Angelo Cataldi hosts his morning show on 94 WIP. While hosts Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie wait in the wings to take the reins from Angelo, they took time on Wednesday to reveal the rest of the cast of contributors and fill-in hosts for the new WIP morning show.
“Angelo for many, many years has had a wonderful team. And obviously we’re indebted to what he did for all the years putting everything together,” DeCamara said. “We want to just sort of duplicate it at a similar level of success and longevity. And to do that you want to put together a group that you really believe in and want to have a great shot with and entertain people for years.”
DeCamara and Ritchie revealed that longtime morning contributors Rhea Hughes and Joe Weachter will continue to serve in their capacities. DeCamara said he’s excited to work with such a tenured producer and have him and producer James Seltzer collaborate.
“Everybody cares about Joe, because he’s been such a huge part of Angelo’s show for so many years behind the scenes as the producer,” DeCamara said. “He’s gonna be producing this show in addition to helping James out. And we got ambitious plans for social media and ways we can get Joe involved in all sorts of ways to help present our show to the public. So that’ll be a big part of it.”
WIP newcomer Devan Kaney will also be a regular on the morning show. DeCamara also announced Philly sports media legend Ray Didinger will also be heard at certain points.
As for insiders and contributors to discussions on the Philly sports teams, it was announced former Phillies TV analyst Ruben Amaro, former Phils announcer Ben Davis, former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner and Ron Jaworski will be in the lineup.
Ritchie said having someone like Amaro on to talk baseball is going to be a great chance to soak up as much knowledge as possible.
“You know so much, and I feel like I’m gonna learn so much from you,” he said. “And I think we’re all so fortunate.”
Additionally, comedian Joe Conklin will be added to keep things lively and fun.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Steak Shapiro Apologizes, Says He Didn’t Think Stetson Bennett Criticism Was ‘That Inflamatory’
“You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history.”
Wednesday’s edition of The Steakhouse was one Atlanta sports fans were waiting for. Late Tuesday night, Steak Shapiro took to Twitter to promise that he would address Stetson Bennett IV’s reaction to his criticism of the way the quarterback behaved at Georgia’s National Championship parade on Saturday.
“The notion is that Steak was basically roasted,” he said of the coverage the social media spat received. “He was put on the grill and taken to task.”
Shapiro had tweeted that he did not think it was a good look for Bennett to be on his phone during the championship parade and that his speech seemed more about settling old grudges than it was about celebrating the team or the fans. In a message on Twitter, which began by addressing Shapiro as “Mr. Med Rare”, Bennett explained that he was using his phone to play music in the car he was riding in. He was not ignoring the moment or the fans.
After giving Bennett credit for coming up with a funny nickname, Steak Shapiro said that he was surprised that the quarterback took the criticism so personally.
“My job is to give an opinion. I didn’t think it was that inflammatory. I didn’t think it was that dramatic.”
He added that has no problem with Stetson’s disdain for the media. He just thought the parade should have been about the fans and the accomplishment rather than Stetson Bennett IV trying to settle old grudges. Still, Shapiro wanted to make it clear that he does not hate the Georgia quarterback. He remains one of Bennett’s most vocal fans.
“On three or four occasions, I was lambasted because I said I thought he was the greatest player in Georgia history, and I said that before he won the national title,” Shapiro said. “I said that when they had the undefeated regular season, and then people started saying ‘stop saying that about Stetson’ or ‘Stetson’s overrated’. I just kinda had his back the entire year and probably had his back the last two years. I just didn’t think Saturday was a great day. That is what I have been saying, and I stand by it. I just didn’t think it was a great-looking day.”
Steak Shapiro did offer an apology to Bennett. He said that if the quarterback was just trying to play music on his phone, that isn’t that big of a deal, and if he had known that is what was happening, his reaction may have been different.
“My bad,” he concluded. “You were just trying to play music and not ignore the fans. Still don’t think it was a great speech, but again, you’re the biggest football hero in Georgia football history. You’re one of the iconic sports figures — maybe number one — in a town of Hank Aaron, and Chipper Jones, and Domonique Wilkins, and Matt Ryan, and Deion Sanders. You’re probably number one all time.”
Brian Gebhardt to Serve as Program Director of Sactown Sports 1140
“Learning under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti helped prepare Gebhardt for the next step.”
Sactown Sports 1140 has found their next program director. After an extensive search, GM Steve Cottingim and Bonneville Sacramento’s Group Director of Programming Chad Rufer have found their next leader in Atlanta, GA, tabbing Brian Gebhardt to guide the brand’s programming department.
Gebhardt heads west to join Bonneville Sacramento after enjoying over seven years of success at 92.9 The Game. He has served recently as the Executive Producer of the ‘Andy & Randy’ show featuring Randy McMichael and Andy Bunker. During his time with the Atlanta sports station, Gebhardt has learned under skilled leaders such as Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson, Reggie Rouse, and Mike Conti. Those experiences prepared Gebhardt for the next step, as did working with numerous on-air talents who have helped The Game become a model of consistency in Georgia.
“Brian’s experience working with both premiere talent and professional sports franchises will help us help the Sactown Sports brand grow both on-air and on-line ,” said Cottingim.
“Brian demonstrated to us a real passion for leading extraordinary talent,” shared Rufer. “We are very confident that he will help us grow Sactown Sports into Sacramento’s premiere sports brand.”
“I can’t wait to get started and I am beyond excited to be working with Bonneville,” added Gebhardt.
The hiring of the Georgia native as new PD allows Nick Cattles to focus exclusively on hosting the station’s afternoon show, a role he’s wanted to invest more time. Cattles joined Sactown Sports in November 2021 and has pulled double duty since arriving in Northern California. He hired Ramie Makhlouf as his afternoon drive co-host and the duo have built a solid foundation in afternoons. Having the ability now to focus solely on the show should allow Cattles and Ramie to elevate their program even more.
The first day on the job for Gebhardt will be Monday February 3rd. Depending on what develops with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC playoffs, there’s a possibility he could be walking into two straight weeks of Super Bowl planning. Regardless, Gebhardt has a new market to learn, a new team to meet, a new company to deliver results for, and an opportunity to take a big step in his radio career.