In radio talk, there is one trait needed above all others – and that is the ability to create the conversation.
Steve Haywood had that, and the sports knowledge to back it up. It’s what made him a popular show host on WAUK-AM 540 ESPN. He knew how to stir the pot, and his passion for Milwaukee and its teams was well known in sports circles.
Haywood passed away from heart failure early Sunday morning. He was 49.
“Have known Haywood for 20 years. Passionate Bucks fan,” Chuck Freimund of WSSP-FM 105.7 The Fan posted on Facebook. “I’ll miss my sports debates with him at games!!!”
Many in the community shared their condolences online after hearing the news. That included a good number of those in the media.
“Hard to hear that Steve Haywood passed away,” Bill Michaels, of the state-wide “Bill Michaels Show,” wrote on Sunday. “We had so many good times covering the Bucks and just chatting life in general. I’ll miss the laugh the most.”
Haywood was a graduate of Milwaukee Tech High School and went to UW-Whitewater. Lately, he had been an outspoken member of the crowd to keep the Bucks in the city.
“Sorry to hear about the passing of my friend Steve Haywood, a well-known Milwaukee sports personality,” former OnMilwaukee.com writer Eugene Kane posted on Facebook. “For many years, Steve was my go-to guy for sports information concerning the Black community. He will be missed as a professional and a friend.”
“Steve Haywood. A real class act. Tremendous loss,” wrote Andy Olivares, who does play-by-play for the Chicago Bears and worked with Haywood while at ESPN Deportes 1510 AM. “Very sad time indeed …”
“Every time I saw Steve Haywood, he made me smile,” wrote Kevin Holden of WDJT-TV CBS 58. “Steve brought a passion and energy to every press conference, every work day. Even the physical troubles he faced never changed the fact that Steve was a champion of spirit. We’ve learned a lot from you, Steve Haywood.”
ESPN 540 posted news of Haywood’s passing on Facebook and its website.
“It is with great sadness that we report the death of our teammate, mentor and friend, Steve Haywood, who passed away this morning,” the radio station posted Sunday.
Drew Olson, a former OnMilwaukee.com staffer and sports radio colleague, wrote that Haywood faced a number of health ailments including diabetes and kidney problems. Haywood had both legs amputated.
“He had every right to be bitter, but instead he handled all of his issues with grace and laughter,” Bill Johnson, who co-hosted “The Game” with Haywood, told Olson for the station’s story.
“I think he was in a lot more pain than he ever let on to any of us. He went through it with a smile and with laughter. I hope nobody has to go through what Steve did the last 15 years of his life. If you do, and you can do it the way Steve did, I’ll tip my cap to you.”
I had the opportunity to meet Haywood when I worked with Scott Wisniewski on Friday night high school football game broadcasts on 540 ESPN. Haywood and former Packers player Mark Chmura came out to one of our first broadcasts. Haywood stayed in the press box and spotted for us.
Later, like many others in media, we’d stay in touch through social media. Haywood always had a positive attitude despite the negative turns his health seemed to take. He will be missed.
Credit to OnMilwaukee.com 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].
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.