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Comcast Adds Breakfast on Broad

Jason Barrett

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The Comcast Network is preparing to launch something new for local television starting on April 6: a sports talk morning show, called Breakfast on Broad. The show is set to have a conversational tone and will include morning news staples like traffic and weather.

Breakfast on Broad is a new foray into original programming for the Comcast Network, rebranded from CN8 in 2009. Currently, the network is best known for hosting games of local sports teams — in place of its sister station, Comcast SportsNet — when the Phillies, Flyers and/or Sixers play at the same time.

The show, which will air from 6 to 8 a.m. weekdays and repeat on Comcast SportsNet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., is to be hosted by Rob Ellis, who on Tuesday night announced he was leaving his job as a host on Sportsradio 94WIP. He’ll be joined by Sarah Baicker, currently a Flyers reporter and digital producer at Comcast SportsNet; Jillian Mele, who has been a traffic reporter at NBC10; and former Eagles offensive lineman and Comcast SportsNet contributor Barrett Brooks.

Breakfast on Broad aims to avoid the straight-news feel of SportsNet Central, the current Comcast SportsNet local morning news show, which will continue to air. The intent of the new program is to favor opinion and discussion, sometimes centering on the softer side of local sports, including what athletes are doing off the field, and what they are saying on Twitter.

Brian Monihan, general manager of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, sees the two shows as complements to each other. SportsNet Central is what happened in last night’s game, he said, while Breakfast on Broad is about  “why and what others think about it.”

Ellis sees the show as an extension of his previous work at WIP. “It’s like radio on television because of the opinion-driven content,” Ellis said. He noted that he wanted to return to the Comcast SportsNet family after years of producing Daily News Live and that factors including his changing schedule at WIP contributed to his decision to make the change, which he made clear on his final broadcast, saying “I’m not thrilled about some of the things that have gone down [at the station].” Brian Haddad will replace Ellis on WIP until the Phillies return, according to Marc Rayfield, senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio/Philadelphia.

The focus on the off-the-field interests of athletes — Baicker threw out references to an Eagle who hangs out at music venue Union Transfer (such as linebacker Connor Barwin) or a Flyer who likes to go to Old City bars — reflects a change in sports media as a whole.

“People can see players off the field more so than ever [through their social media feeds],” said Brooks, a 12-year NFL veteran who retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. “You now can’t go to a restaurant and not have someone tweet that you were there or take a selfie with you. That’s not something I needed to go through, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.”

The media has followed suit on the way they cover athletes.

“TMZ Sports has broken a number of stories that have really been, I wouldn’t say earth shattering, but have made the traditional sports media sit up and take notice,” said Karen Weaver, associate clinical professor and interim program director of sports management at Drexel University. “The celebritization of our culture is merging sports and entertainment.”

While there are a few original shows on the Comcast Network currently, including one about the Philadelphia Union, Breakfast on Broad is the first major step to return original programming to the Comcast Network.

“At first you have to succeed,” Monihan said about whether this be followed by more original programming on the station. “We feel like we have everything pointed in the right direction. We have a lot more assets than we had before. With Comcast SportsNet, we have access to NBC10, we have more resources and opportunities to do programming that would make sense.”

Credit to Philly.com who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Chick Hearn Headlines Radio Hall of Fame Legends Inductees

Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.

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Chick Hearn

The Museum of Broadcast Communications announced today the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022. This distinction honors those in the industry who have contributed greatly to it and have since passed away.

Chick Hearn, the longtime voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be amongst those inducted in Chicago next month. Hearn was the voice of the Lakers for 41 years (1961-2002). Amongst other accolades, he is credited with broadcast 3,338 consecutive Lakers game from November 21, 1965 to December 16, 2001.  

The full list of those to be inducted as part of the Legends class are:

  • MrDoug Banks– Nationally syndicated on-air personality;
  • MrJames Brown– Legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE Knoxville, TN;
  • MrBob Coburn– Host of the syndicated Rockline show;
  • Mr. Chick Hearn– Play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers;
  • MsBernice Judis– Owner and General Manager, WNEW-AM, 1930’s–1950’s;
  • MrSid Mark– Host of syndicated program, Sounds of Sinatra show for 60+ years;
  • Mr. Bobby O’Jay– On-air personality, WDIA-AM/Memphis;
  • MrPervis Spann– On-air personality, WVON-AM/Chicago;
  • Mr. James Thompson– Group W Broadcasting President and President of the Broadcasters Foundation;
  • Ms. Rosalie Trombley– Music Director of CKLW-AM/Detroit in the 1960’s–1970’s.

“The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100+ year old industry,” Kraig T. Kitchin, Co-Chairman, Radio Hall of Fame said. “I’m thrilled to see the Nominating Committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.”    

The Radio Hall of Fame will recognize its 2022 class of inductees, including the class announced in July, during a ceremony on Tuesday, November 1st.

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Sports Radio News

Tobin and Leroy Debut on WQAM Middays

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tobin and Leroy

After a brief hiatus and the closure of 790 The Ticket, Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard officially returned to the Miami airwaves on Monday on 560 WQAM.

Tobin and Leroy debuted in its new midday timeslot of 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the station.

“This is a big change for us,” Tobin said. “I’ve been doing morning drive, producing or hosting now, for the last decade. Now it’s to middays we go.”

Tobin added that the timing between when they made their exit from The Ticket and returned on WQAM was a bit off.

“It was a very weird week for us to take off last week. Because they were like, ‘Hey, you’re change times, you’re gonna change stations, and also it’s gonna be the busiest sports week of the year,'” he said. “So now we’re back, and nothing will happen this week.”

“There has been less action on days we thought we had to be here than what happened last week,” Hoard added.

Hoard actually arrived to the show late, citing traffic issues getting to the station. That was something even Tobin noted is an adjustment they have to make from when they were doing morning drive.

“We’ve all discovered here today is traffic is not the same at 8 a.m. as it is at 4 a.m.,” he said. “Very different.”

Tobin made sure WQAM listeners knew that even though they switched stations, the show isn’t changing. They continued with all the usual segments that fans know and love on Monday.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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