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Sham Won’t Call Cowboys Opener

Jason Barrett

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We learned this week that Dez Bryant indeed will be on the job at AT&T Stadium on the opening Sunday night of the Cowboys season. Brad Sham, however, will not.

Instead of opening his 37th season in the Cowboys broadcast booth, Sham will be celebrating the first night of the Jewish New Year on Sept. 13.

It will be only the second game Sham has missed in two tours with the Cowboys, interrupted by a three-year hiatus in the mid-1990s when he worked Rangers radio.

Replacing Sham in the Cowboys’ opening night booth will be a familiar voice. Verne Lundquist, who retired as the play-by-play voice of the Cowboys at the end of the 1983 season, will fill in alongside Babe Laufenberg. The last time Lundquist called Cowboys play-by-play, they lost a playoff game at Texas Stadium to the Rams, who then were still anchored in Los Angeles.

The very next day was Lundquist’s last as the lead sports anchor at WFAA-TV (Channel 8) as he prepared to set off for a network television career. That prompted Sham’s switch from the Cowboys analyst seat to play-by-play.

Sham had been prepared to miss a game in order to observe a religious holiday in each of his first 36 seasons on the job. But that never proved an issue until the 2015 schedule was released in April.

Although you may recall that in September 2009, after he was honored with an afternoon reading at Temple Emanu-El on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish Year, Sham flew via private jet from Love Field to Arlington Municipal Airport and was given a police escort to AT&T Stadium so he could be on time to work the Carolina Panthers-Cowboys game on Monday Night Football.

“It’s always the first thing I look for when the schedule comes out,” Sham said Friday. “I don’t look for opponents, whether games are home or away, or anything like that. I look to see if there will be a conflict with the Jewish High Holidays.”

Sham knew the Cowboys’ 2015 season probably would be opening on Sept. 13. He hoped they would be slotted into a day game that would have ended before the holiday arrived at sundown.

As soon as he saw it would be a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the New York Giants, Sham knew his iron-voice streak that dated to the final game of the 1982 season at the Minnesota Vikings was over. That, too, was a night game. On Monday Night Football, Tony Dorsett set an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown run. Lundquist called it alongside guest analyst Charlie Waters while Sham was battling an upset stomach at the hotel.

Sham said he would like to take the credit for coming up with the idea of inviting Lundquist to be his substitute. But that should go to Douglas Barricklow, a producer on the Cowboys’ broadcast. He suggested it to Scott Purcel, the Cowboys director of broadcasting. Everyone at the Cowboys loved the idea.

It was left to Sham to ask his friend, Lundquist.

Keep in mind that Lundquist has a job calling football. He is the voice of CBS’ Saturday afternoon Southeastern Conference games.

It wasn’t until the end of June when Sham finally was able to broach the subject with Lundquist over the phone.

“I was hopeful,” Sham said.

Lundquist listened.

“It took me about 10 seconds to say yes,’’ Lundquist said in an interview.

Lundquist, who celebrated his 75th birthday Friday, will work the Georgia-Vanderbilt game Sept. 12. He’ll fly to Dallas-Fort Worth on Sunday morning and arrive in plenty of time for the game.

He has a date later in the week to participate in a banquet for prominent University of Texas booster Joe Jamail in Houston, and then he’ll be back at CBS to work the Auburn-LSU game in Baton Rouge.

“This will be a pleasure,” said Lundquist, who has one AT&T Stadium game on his résumé. He worked last season’s Texas A&M-Arkansas game.

“I am really pumped,” he said. “I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be that day.”

Credit to the Dallas News who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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