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
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 [email protected].
Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio Celebrate Anniversary on 94 WIP
“Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”
94 WIP hosts Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio celebrated their one-year anniversary as the midday show in Philadelphia today. Following Angelo Cataldi’s retirement in 2023 and the subsequent move of DeCamara and Ritchie taking his place in mornings, Douglas and Giglio formed the station’s new midday show.
Giglio started the show, “Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”
Douglas, who had been part of the morning show at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta prior to starting with Giglio on 94 WIP, had mixed emotions. He was excited for the show, but was also reminded that he had been in Philadelphia now for a full year and had yet to find his permanent place to live. Giglio said he believes the reasoning is simply Douglas’ attention to the show and nothing else.
Giglio took a moment to thank those who help with and listen to the show. “We appreciate everyone who has been a part of the show for the last year,” he said. “We are excited for the next year to get started.”
Douglas played in the NFL for ten years, spending time with the Jets, Eagles and Jaguars.
Los Angeles Dodgers Extend with Latino Media Network in LA; Add Coverage in Las Vegas and Fresno
“As a lifelong Latina Dodgers fan, this collaboration is a dream come true,” said LMN founder Stephanie Valencia.
According to a release from the company, Dodger games will continue to broadcast on the flagship Los Angeles based KTNQ 1020 AM, but will now also expand the broadcast to KLLE 107.9 FM in Fresno and KISF 103.5 FM HD2 in Las Vegas, increasing the team’s reach to more than three million Hispanic potential Dodger fans. Beyond the expanded markets, the new partnership between Latino Media Network and the Dodgers will include more team and sports programming and increased community-based events.
“As a lifelong Latina Dodgers fan, this collaboration is a dream come true,” said LMN founder Stephanie Valencia. “This partnership is beyond baseball – it is about our Latino community. There is arguably no more dedicated Latino fan base to any other team in the MLB than Latinos to Los Doyers and that is in great part to KTNQ, which has been a part of Dodgers history for decades. KTNQ is still how thousands of Latino families listen to Dodger baseball, and I am excited to help expand the Dodgers fan base in a meaningful way in what will be such a historic year for the team.”
“The Dodgers’ history in the Latino community is without parallel in the world of sports, and that includes broadcasts in Spanish dating back to the 1950s and the franchise’s arrival in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Dodgers Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen. “We could not be more pleased to team up with LMN not only to extend this arrangement but also expand it on a geographical and programming level. This partnership is great for the Dodgers, great for baseball and most importantly, great for our community.”
LMN’s roster of sports teams include the Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Fire, Chicago Blackhawks, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, FC Dallas, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Christian University.
Gregg Giannotti: Ryan Clark Wants to “Work Less and Get Paid More”
“If I was an executive, why would I ever hire him? He’s been fantastic, but if I was the one writing the checks…why am I going to pay him for what he did and not what he’s going to do now?”
Last week, former NFL player Ryan Clark posted on his X account about his contract status with ESPN. Then, over the weekend, another post made it clear his contract has now expired with ESPN, where he has worked for the last decade.
“I’m so grateful for the decade of work they allowed me to do on the world’s greatest sports platform,” Clark said in his second post.
Where Clark ends up remains to be seen, however, what appears to be clear from his social posts is he is expecting to get paid more than his last contract with ESPN and he would like to put in less work.
“This started three years ago,” Clark says in the video. “[Clark’s deal with ESPN] wasn’t what [he] wanted. I realized I had to do more. Honestly, I felt played. I felt like I deserved something that they didn’t feel like I deserved. And I said, ‘In three years, I’ll be the best in the world doing this, that there will be no stone left unturned, I’ll leave no doubt that there was nobody in the world that was like me.’ I went on every show they put me on and made sure I crushed. So now here we are again, the season’s over, Inside the NFL is finished, and someone’s gotta pay the piper.”
On Boomer & Gio this morning, Gregg Giannotti was joined by Jerry Recco as Boomer Esiason takes some time off. The two discussed the social posts and videos as ‘Gio’ said Clark had, “Put out this hype video about his broadcasting free agency, which is something I have never seen before.”
Giannotti noted he has a bit of a history with Ryan Clark, who was a weekly guest of his when both were in Pittsburgh. According to Giannotti, Clark once called in and said he was sick and could not do the weekly visit and then showed up on a national radio show. Despite that, Giannotti and Recco both said they believe Clark is excellent at what he does and might deserve more money, however, this video did him no favors.
“Not only is this hype video and him feeling himself too much a turn off, but he just bascially said he did all of his work already,” said Giannotti. “And now he wants to get paid for the work that he did, but he wants to work less and make more money.”
Recco replied, “If I was an executive, why would I ever hire him? He’s been fantastic, but if I was the one writing the checks…why am I going to pay him for what he did and not what he’s going to do now?”
Giannotti added, “I had never in my life seen something like that, from a player, much less a broadcaster…I understand that he has done a really nice job and he is going to be a hot commodity and a lot of guys are getting paid in this business and he’ll probably get paid, but if I was someone that was going to hire him I would be like…’I like everything about you but this thing’…I don’t like this video at all…I have never seen anything like it.”