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Sandmeyer Reflects On CBS Run

Jason Barrett

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The proverbial writing on the wall for The Steve Sandmeyer Show should have been evident following a pair of February sports events in Arizona just weeks apart.

The first was the Super Bowl, in which Seattle homegrown radio host Sandmeyer, 42, was forced to watch his beloved Seahawks on television for a second straight year instead of broadcasting on-location all week like his rivals. Then, a few weeks later, as the Mariners opened spring training ahead of their most-anticipated season in years, Sandmeyer and noted baseball analyst co-host Jason Churchill were again denied a travel budget.

So, it wasn’t a total shock two weeks ago when CBS 1090 The Fan had the plug pulled on its only locally-produced sports show. For Sandmeyer, who’d spent 2½ years waiting for CBS Radio’s head office in New York to give local management better resources, what hurts most is wondering what could have been.

“I was under the impression that eventually they would expand their local lineup and that the station would be more of a destination on the dial,’’ Sandmeyer said. “Because we were so new and just starting to gain momentum, it honestly seemed like an odd time to deliver this kind of news.’’

But ultimately, he adds: “CBS didn’t have the budget locally or nationally to support many of its affiliates.’’

So, when CBS Radio cut more than 200 positions nationwide, the No. 3 sports show locally behind time-slot counterparts on Sports Radio KJR and 710 ESPN Seattle wasn’t spared. That leaves 1090 The Fan with only nationally syndicated content, an outsider’s perspective on sports Sandmeyer and others say was already too prevalent and impeded his show’s growth.

The Sandmeyer Show was hands-down the best baseball talk in town and offered routine Huskies, Sounders, Storm, NHL and NBA topic alternatives for Seattle radio listeners weary of the usual two-dozen daily takes on Russell Wilson’s contract situation.

But without the budget to compete on big events, nor additional local programming to draw new listeners to the channel, ratings suffered and left the show vulnerable.

Sandmeyer is largely philosophical about it, noting CBS was among the last major networks to institute widespread layoffs in a “volatile” industry he still loves.

“I signed up for this line of work, so I have to take the bad with the good and I can’t complain when something like this occurs,’’ he said.

In many ways, the radio industry is experiencing what newspapers have grappled with the past decade: desperately seeking profits and listeners in a digital age where competition lines have blurred between print, audio and visual media.

Many stations have spent big on print websites, with blog and video posts produced by both newly-hired staffers and on-air talent. But 1090 The Fan’s website pales next to offerings from Seattle’s other sports stations and did little to increase the chance of Sandmeyer’s show surviving.

Everyone involved says local management — including marketing manager Kevin McCarthy and program director Carey Curelop — did its best to support the show and scrape by on scant budget crumbs. But growth takes money and from its January 2013 launch onward, 1090 The Fan hasn’t deployed the resources to truly compete.

“Our Seahawks are in the Super Bowl two years in a row and they couldn’t send us because the budget wasn’t there,’’ Churchill said. “So, that was really frustrating.

“You lose a lot of traction. You get all this momentum going, we’re having really good shows and the Seahawks are the hot thing and they go to the Super Bowl and we’re nonexistent. We’re still here, we don’t have the guests and we don’t have the exposure. Those are missed opportunities.’’

The show didn’t have a dedicated, full-time executive producer until Brian Lambert was hired two months ago. But veteran on-air host Bill Swartz was dismissed at almost the exact same time. Now, Lambert, who’d barely moved in to his new office digs, is also back looking for work.

Nobody in CBS management, either local or national, would comment.

Churchill continues to run his popular Prospect Insider baseball website but says all options are open even if it involves leaving town. Sandmeyer says he can’t yet fathom leaving the area he’s grown up in and is exploring options locally.

“The fact that I have a lot in common with many of our listeners resonates with people,’’ he said. “Jason Churchill and I put on a damn good radio show. And I think we did it the right way.’’

Credit to the Seattle Times who originally published this article

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Arizona Sports, KMVP, Wins an NAB Crystal Award

Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their exceptional year-round commitment to community service.

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Graphic of the NAB Crystal Awards and a logo for Arizona Sports

Congratulations go out to Arizona Sports, KMVP in Phoenix, named one of 10 Crystal Award Winners from the National Association of Broadcasters. Winners were announced at the We Are Broadcasters celebration earlier today at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The 10 winners were chosen from a list of 50 finalists. Arizona Sports had been a finalist in 2023.

Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their exceptional year-round commitment to community service. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms.

“It’s a major part of the fabric of what we do and to have it be recognized sort of brings it all into perspective why we do what we do,” said Bonneville Arizona Director of Programming Operations Brian Long about the commitment the station and cluster make to working within the community.

One example of this saw Arizona Sports and sister station KTAR News 92.3 team up with Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a Give-a-Thon week in 2023 which helped raise $2.15 million for kids and families in need.

Arizona Sports is owned by Bonneville and is overseen by SVP/Market Manager Ryan Hatch.

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Dan Patrick: I Don’t Want to Win Sports Emmy Award Posthumously

“It’s just us – we’re just a couple of guys here in a converted tool rental place.”

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Dan Patrick

Last week, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the Sports Emmy Awards, which take place on Tuesday, May 21 from New York City. Much to the chagrin of those on the Dan Patrick Show, the program was not among the list of nominees within the category of “Outstanding Studio Show – Daily.” Dan Patrick broke the news to the Danettes and members of the audience during Tuesday’s edition of the program, which now only has three more attempts to be nominated before its planned conclusion at the end of 2027.

Patrick acknowledged that he should have mentioned the news on Monday’s program, but added that he needed another 24 hours to process the news because it was painful. He did not mention the topic to ask for sympathy or beg for a nomination; rather, he felt bad about coming up short for the Danettes and audience. Patrick himself has won an award at the ceremony before, but he wants the program to win one before it concludes.

“We’ve got three more tries and then that’s it because I don’t want to get one posthumously,” Patrick said. “When I’m dead, and all of a sudden they say, ‘You know what? On second thought, we should have honored that show because that show did spawn a lot of other shows.’ You don’t have Pat McAfee without this show; you don’t have [Dan] Le Batard without this show. We’ve left a legacy, but it’d be nice with a Sports Emmy for that legacy.”

Patrick “Seton” O’Connor contributed to the discussion by explaining that he believes the Danettes would be neglected if the show was to be honored in this manner. Dan Patrick replied by stating that someone would have to be there to pick it up, and he yielded permission for the Danettes to attend the ceremony to do so. Additionally, he has a plan to bypass the rule that only one person is allowed to speak on behalf of the show while accepting the honor.

“I would like for everybody to speak at the same time, so when they say, ‘Here on behalf of the Dan Patrick Show, it’s Todd Fritz, Seton O’Connor, Marvin Prince and Pauly Pabst,’ and then you guys go up there collectively and then you start the acceptance speech,” Patrick said.

After everyone in the studio simulated what such a speech would sound like, Pabst divulged the nominees within the category, which includes MLB Tonight, NBA Countdown, NFL Live, Pardon The Interruption and SportsCenter. Fritz, however, believes that the show is not classified correctly within the categories because of the topics being covered.

“They need to kind of look into some other categories because so many times we’re put against shows and it doesn’t match up with the traditional sports talk show and other programs,” Fritz explained. “They’re highlight shows – they’re very different than what we do.”

As the discussion continued, Patrick opined that if the nominating committee saw what it took to put everything together for the Dan Patrick Show, the program would win a Sports Emmy Award every year. O’Connor countered with another possibility that it would devalue the nominating process and does not want to win an award in a category for “Best radio show on TV.” Instead, he wants to beat the other people in this category, mentioning how he wants to win the award over the people who work on SportsCenter.

“We’re going up against behemoths,” Patrick said. “It’s just us – we’re just a couple of guys here in a converted tool rental place. I’ve got guys doing jobs they never did before, but you know what, that’s the beauty of it.”

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Steak Shapiro: Stuart Scott Was the Definition of a Talent

“He had the it factor.”

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Photo of Stuart Scott

As news broke this weekend of an upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on former SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott, many have been reminded about just how talented and revolutionary Scott was. Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden hit on that topic today during The Steakhouse on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.

When Stuart Scott arrived on set, I’m telling you it was a gamechanger of all gamechangers,” said Golden. The show then played audio clips from a tribute SportsCenter ran on Scott the night of his passing featuring his unmatched delivery and his signature catch phrases such as “cool as the other side of the pillow.”

As the clips ended, Shapiro said, “That little montage, that is the definition of smooth. That is the definition of a broadcaster, a talent. Not just his writing, but his cadence…just listen to how smooth he is.”

Golden noted that much of what Scott did was unscripted and how she noticed the anchors who were paired with Scott looking at him with anticipation as they wondered what he would come up with next.

“He had the it factor,” Shapiro said. “…I’d put Patrick’s cadence up there with anybody, Olbermann’s flamboyance and Stuart Scott’s smoothness, if I’m thinking about sports anchors.”

Scott passed away at the age of 49 in January 2015 following a battle with cancer.

The 30 for 30 film will explore his rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, the pain of a divorce and his fight with cancer that ultimately took his life. Scott’s daughters Taelor and Syndi will also lend their voices to the tribute to their father.

A release date has not yet been announced.

“I’m really looking forward to this because I think we’re going to learn so much…and he was the most beloved at [ESPN] and treated everyone with respect and dignity.”

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