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The Top 10 of The Capital Region

Jason Barrett

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There was no one-hour special proclaiming “I am taking my talents to the Metroplex,” but Glens Falls native Dave Strader steered his hockey broadcast career in a new direction last week by accepting the play-by-play job for the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

That got us thinking about other radio broadcasters who parlayed their time in the Capital Region to move on to bigger jobs — many of them on TV.

At the risk of forgetting someone, we came up with this top 10 of former Capital Region radio broadcasters (thus eliminating folks such as ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and CBS’s Andrew Catalon, both former weekend TV sports anchors) who have advanced to bigger platforms in the broadcasting field:

10. Doug Sherman (Siena basketball, 1989-93): Yes, he is still in the area as WRGB sports director, but his introduction to the Capital Region came as play-by-play voice for Siena basketball (1990-94). He is now the television voice for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball and has drawn numerous assignments for ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

9. John Hennessy (Albany River Rats, 1993-2000): He was promoted from Albany to New Jersey, where he spent six seasons at the Devils’ radio voice, including calling the 2003 Stanley Cup championship. (He also called the Rats’ 1995 Calder Cup victory.) He is now broadcasting hockey games for the University of Massachusetts.

8. Brian Noe (WTMM show host, 2010-2013): Remember the “Noe Show” on WTMM (104.5 FM)? He uses the same name for his weekend show on Fox Sports Radio, which, ironically, airs 7-10 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m.-noon Sundays on WOFX (980 AM) — a competitor to his old station.

7. Joe Castellano (Siena basketball, 1998-2002): The Saints got to the postseason in three of his four seasons as play-by-play man, although baseball is his first love. He was host of a talk show on SiriusXM, called softball games for NBC during the 2008 Olympics, and now does podcasts focused on the San Francisco Giants and 49ers.

6. John Kelly (Adirondack Red Wings, 1987-89): The son of the late hockey broadcasterDan Kelly, he left Glens Falls for the St. Louis Blues, where his father became legendary. He called games for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche before returning to St. Louis in 2005. He has called Blues games on television for the past 10 seasons.

5. Mike Haynes (Capital District Islanders, 1990-93): The former voice of the Troy-based AHL team, which later transformed into the Albany River Rats, he just completed his 20th season with the Colorado Avalanche. He has done the past 10 seasons on television for Altitude, the regional sports network serving Denver.

4. Ari Wolfe (Albany Firebirds, 1996-2000; Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, 2000; Saint Rose basketball, 1997-2001): He has gone from calling Firebirds games to perhaps being the pre-eminent voice of the Arena Football League, working games for both CBS Sports Network and ESPN. He has done updates and other work for NFL Network, and he called table tennis in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

3. Freddie Coleman (WOFX 980 AM, 2003): His stay in Albany was brief, a five-month stint on an afternoon talk show with John Tobin where he got second billing. He used “Tobin and Coleman” as a springboard to ESPN Radio, where he has been a regular prime-time host since 2004.

2. Dave Strader (Adirondack Red Wings, 1979-85): He was the Red Wings’ public-relations director when he began broadcasting games in the team’s inaugural season. He has called games for the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes, and since 2005 was a prominent play-by-play voice for NBC. He may still call occasional games for NBCSN, but his new position with the Stars will limit those opportunities.

1. Marc Kestecher (Albany Patroons, Albany Firebirds, 1989-96): A Guilderland native, he had several other play-by-play roles and was sports director at WPTR (1540 AM) and WROW (590 AM) before departing for a job at 50,000-watt WKNR in Cleveland. He left there in 1999 for ESPN Radio, where he sports a major presence. He was host of the network’s NBA Finals pregame and postgame shows, has done play-by-play on a number of NBA and college football games, and has been a prominent update anchor.

Also considered: Sandy Penner, former WQBK (1300 AM) host who now has a talk show in the Tampa area; Owen Newkirk, former Albany Devils and Adirondack Phantoms voice who now is the radio host for Dallas Stars games.

Credit to the Times Union who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio

“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”

Jordan Bondurant

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San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.

RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.

San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.

Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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