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All Is Better With Leonsis and Dukes

Jason Barrett

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With the Washington Wizards and Capitals embroiled in second round playoff matchups in their respective sports, owner Ted Leonsis has decided to bury the hatchet with sports radio host Chad Dukes.

Leonsis, after the Wizards completed their first-round series sweep of the Raptors, and as the Capitals were facing a Game 7 against the Islanders, had taken to his personal blog to voice the following frustration with Dukes’ game coverage.

Ted’s Take (sic):

“And 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?”

As Dukes would note on his radio show the next day, he had discussed both teams at great length earlier in the program with which Leonsis had taken issue. And, the specific segment the Monumental Sports owner had an issue with was caller-generated.

Leonsis’ blog post prompted this response from Clinton Yates in the DC Sports Bog:

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.

Like it or not, the two must continue to coexist in the same sports universe.

Ahead of Game 4 of the Capitals’ and Rangers’ Eastern Conference semifinal on Wednesday, with Dukes broadcasting remotely from the Verizon Center concourse, Leonsis set out to extend on olive branch.

“Before we start, I might have hurt somebody’s feelings. I didn’t mean it,” Leonsis approached the broadcast booth bearing gifts. “I brought you a peace-offering. There’s a great little candy store across the street called ‘IT’SUGAR.’ And I know that you aren’t the healthiest of eaters, so I wanted to bring you some red liquorice.”

“That is very nice of you, Ted,” Dukes accepted. “Thank you very much.”

After discussing both of Leonsis’ playoff teams for several minutes, Dukes, befitting of their original quarrel, proposed a ‘Bacon and Seinfeld’ promotion to be held at Verizon Center during the subsequent regular season.

“Hey, well you know Wale did the music with Seinfeld,” Leonsis noted. “I think they’re going on tour or something. Maybe we can get them to do something.”

Coincidentally, the two would conclude the segment by discussing Seinfeld, right smack dab in the middle of the 5- to 6 p.m. hour of drive time radio.

Listen to the audio here.

Credit to CBS Washington DC who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN

It was announced that Benigno would have a weekly call with WFAN Tiki and Tierney every Monday during the football season host on the weekends solo and with former partner Evan Roberts.

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Joe Benigno

On Friday’s Carton and Roberts, the show teased a major announcement and they delivered. Joe Benigno, a fixture at WFAN for 25 years, was returning to the station.

Benigno, who announced his retirement in October of 2020, is back in a more limited capacity than what was his previous afternoon timeslot. It was announced that Benigno would have a weekly call with WFAN midday show Tiki and Tierney every Monday during the football season. Also, he would be hosting both solo and with former partner Evan Roberts on the weekends.

“I think it was time to do something, and the opportunity to arose to be with my guy,” Benigno said. “Just doing it one day a week. I’m not looking to be back every day, but one day a week, a couple days a week, filling in, whatever. I’m ready to go. The opportunity to work with Evan once a week, I couldn’t pass it up.”

Benigno had been doing his own podcast, Oh the Pain, since last September. Benigno;s return will commence on Saturday, September 10.

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Sports Radio News

John Rooney Offers to Let Dan McLaughlin Call St. Louis Cardinals Postseason Action

“This is all John Rooney and the radio side,” Dan McLaughlin said. “He never had to do that. Ever. I was floored. I had no idea. I was emotional. All I ever wanted to do is call Cardinals postseason baseball.”

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John Rooney, Bud McLaughlin

When the Major League Baseball season ends and the sport switches to the postseason, national television takes complete control of the television product. No more regional sports networks. That’s not the case with radio calls, however, and it’s because of that the St. Louis Cardinals have the potential for a really special broadcasting moment.

The Cardinals are in a good position to make the playoffs and if they do, the team’s radio play-by-play voice John Rooney will step aside for the Cardinals’ television play-by-play voice to participate.

“This is all John Rooney and the radio side,” Dan McLaughlin said. “He never had to do that. Ever. I was floored. I had no idea. I was emotional. All I ever wanted to do is call Cardinals postseason baseball.”

Rooney said he was considering the idea after Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III brought it up to Dan Farrell, the man in charge of the team’s broadcast operations. Rooney then discussed it with the other on-air members of the radio crew.

“It was (unanimous) in thinking it was a great idea,” Rooney said. “Now is the time to do it.”

McLaughlin said that he was floored when the idea came up. “In a business that is so territorial, he had the ultimate class to ask me to join them,” McLaughlin said. “I will be forever indebted to John and the rest of the radio crew. They have been so good to me.”

Rooney said he will be glad to step aside a bit in the playoffs if the Cards get there.

“I’ve worked so much postseason over the years,” he said. “He needs to experience that.”

The idea came from the city’s hockey run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2019. Then, Chris Kerber (the St. Louis Blues’ radio voice) allowed John Kelly (the Blues’ the team’s television voice) to take over the play-by-play duties for the second period of the contests in the Finals.

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Sports Radio News

Yankees Announce John Sterling/Suzyn Waldman Talking Bobblehead Giveaway Night

On Friday, August 19th the first 10,000 fans that get to the Yankees game will receive a bobblehead featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

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John Sterling

On Friday, the New York Yankees announced a bobblehead giveaway that will honor the two radio legends that voice the team’s games. On Friday, August 19th the first 10,000 fans that get to the Yankees game against the Toronto Blue Jays will receive a bobblehead featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, the two longtime Yankees broadcasters.

The team made the presentation in a thirty second promotional video in which you see both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in the booth, listening to their talking bobblehead.

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