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Pascarita Returns To The Airwaves

Jason Barrett

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S.A. radio will gain a new sports talk show Monday with a familiar – and once-controversial – local voice at its helm.

That’s Walter Pasacrita, former longtime air personality and salesman for Ticket 760 (KTKR-AM), who, back in 2007, was blasted by both the media and the Spurs after an offensive skit featuring a fake Allen Iverson aired on the talk show he co-hosted.

Starting next week, Pasacrita will talk Spurs, Cowboys, Texas Longhorns and more. “San Antonio Sports Talk” will air from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays on KONO-AM (860).

As sports fans likely already know, the AM side of KONO — which had been an S.A. destination for oldies for decades — switched formats more than a year ago.

Though KONO-FM continues as a top-rated popular hits station here, its AM sister now essentially belongs to CBS Sports Radio and its syndicated fare, such as “The Jim Rome Show.” The station also airs Missions games and UIW football.

Its latest venture is local talk, giving the two already existing afternoon drive sports hosts on Ticket 760 (Geoff Sheen) and ESPN 1250 (Jason Minnix and Dat Nguyen) some new competition.

To hear the not-exactly-humble Pasacrita talk, however, he has no competition — at least none of his caliber. What makes him different, he said in a phone chat Friday, “is I have more experience on the radio in San Antonio than the rest of those people, I’m more passionate about sports than the rest of those people. I don’t sugarcoat anything. . .and don’t let relationships get in the way of what should be stated. I tell it like it is.”

He does have many years of experience in this area – nearly 13, he said, having started on S.A. radio in 2000.

However, there are many here who, upon hearing his name, may still bristle from his part in an insensitive bit of radio that aired in spring of 2007 on the Ticket 760 show then co-hosted by Pasacrita and Jeff Vexler.

A recap: According to an Express-News story at the time, the locally produced skit, which included a fabricated interview with then-Denver Nuggets guard Iverson, contained references to Iverson and teammate Carmelo Anthony providing the Spurs drugs — something from their own “special stash” — before a game, implying that’s why Denver won.

The segment also included a mention of Iverson and other players cruising the River Walk looking for sex with “Mexican” women. In addition, the fake Iverson talked about firing a gun into the air with the bullet falling on a homeless person. That was OK, the impersonator said, because the man turned out to be an “illegal alien.”

Ouch. Deeming the skit highly inappropriate, the Spurs proceeded to sever ties with Pasacrita and Vexler.

“We don’t want them involved in any way, shape or form with Spurs programming,” was the way team spokesman Tom James put it.

However, Pasacrita said he’s long since made peace with the team.

“It wasn’t too long after that I apologized to Coach Popovich and R.C. Buford,” he said.

“I’ve mended the fence with the Spurs and have covered the Spurs since that time many, many times.”

However, he also pointed out — repeatedly — that he himself didn’t do anything wrong, “other than participating in that skit that we did.

“I never wrote it and I didn’t say anything controversial in it. The producer who put it together was fired at the time.”

As for making it up to offended listeners, the talk host stated he did apologize to the audience right after “the stupid skit” aired. “After it played out at 4:45 p.m., and we came back at the top of the hour at 5 p.m., I apologized to the listeners,” he recalled.

Now, he hopes to move on.

Pasacrita said he’s “thankful to the folks at Cox Media Group — owners of KONO — for wanting to do some live local sports,” adding the whole thing will be his baby. Not only will he host “San Antonio Sports Talk,” but he’ll executive produce it.

Come fall, he’ll also bring a Saturday morning show to the mix. Pasacrita will debut that at 10 a.m. Sept. 5 on KONO-AM.

Roger Allen, director of programming for KONO, said he’s thrilled to have Pasacrita. “We’re excited to have Walter on board” and that “his experience level and brand name in the market will be the first live local sports on CBS Sports 860.”

Credit to My San Antonio who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media

“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.

Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.

“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.

“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”

Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”

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Gregg Giannotti

A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.

During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.

“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.

“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”

Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.

The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”

“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”

“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.

“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”

After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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