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Leonsis Takes Aim At Dukes In DC

Jason Barrett

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With the Wizards coming off an unprecedented 4-0 sweep of the Toronto Raptors and the Capitals facing a Game 7 on Monday night with a coach who’s never been there before, what’s Monumental Sports owner Ted Leonsis blogging about? Radio shows, of course!

In a post that spans three entirely different topics in just six paragraphs, Theodore takes aim at WJFK-FM personality Chad Dukes, adding armchair radio program director to his already impressive resume as a sports franchise owner. It seems this has been bothering him all weekend.

“On Friday, in drive time rush hour radio, from 500 pm to 600 pm, on 106.7 FM, the conversation wasn’t about the Wizards upcoming game, it was about bacon and potato casserole recipes, and favorite Seinfeld episodes. Is there any other market in America that sports talk radio converses about Seinfeld in drive time on the night of an NBA playoff game? Or the night before a big away Caps playoff game? Perhaps this is why Wizards and Caps fans don’t tune in? These kids today.”

— Ted Leonsis, via http://tedstake.monumentalnetwork.com

There are multiple factors to consider here. Most importantly, the Wizards are a broadcast partner with CBS Radio, which includes 106.7 The Fan. So criticizing the programming decisions of one show at a station that is paying you to broadcast games is strange.

Secondly, to Dukes’s credit, it wasn’t like he hadn’t discussed the two local teams earlier in the show. He had the radio announcers of both of Leonsis’s teams on to talk about both sports. In the first hour, no less. So criticism that implies a media outlet is responsible for whether or not people are tuned in to his team is not only off-base, but incorrect.

The basic fact of the matter is that Dukes, a radio host, is looking to entertain and gain ratings. Last time I checked, bacon is delicious and“Seinfeld” still is quite popular in reruns. Meaning, if you talk about it, people will listen and call in. The purpose of a radio station, or any media outlet for that matter, is not to simply trumpet the interests of the people they cover. To imply that sports fans are not watching a team on television because the people on the radio aren’t talking about the games at all times just makes zero sense.

Most bizarre though, is Leonsis’s sign off. “These kids today” is a pretty odd shot at a guy who has established himself as a huge proponent of local sports. Not to mention the fact that Dukes is 36 years old. This all seems like just an example Leonsis’s apparent insecurities about still being second fiddle to Dan Snyder’s team from a popularity standpoint.

Speaking of whom, if Ted wants a station that talks all Monumental Sports all the time, he can do what Snyder did. Just buy his own.

Credit to the Washington Post who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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