Sports Radio News
Heffner & Sanford Happy At WGCV
It’s a weekday morning less than a month before the start of college football season, and Teddy Heffner and Rick Sanford, aka “Dr. Rick,” are – no surprise – disagreeing about something on their “Talkin’ Sports” radio talk show.
This day, though, the topic is not Steve Spurrier or Dabo Swinney, but the just-announced nickname of Columbia’s new minor league baseball team.
Heffner, 64 and a veteran of 25-plus years in sports radio, is not exactly enamored of the name “Fireflies,” which will debut in 2016. “Why don’t you call ’em ‘Lightning Bugs’? Who in the South says ‘Fireflies’?” he says, all but shouting.
Sanford, 57, who has as a sponsor Spirit Communications, the company whose name will grace the minor league team’s under-construction stadium, fires back. “Don’t be dissing the Fireflies,” he says with a laugh.
For long-time listeners to “Talkin’ Sports,” it’s nothing new. But, in fact, it is.
Heffner and Sanford are in their sixth month with WGCV-AM 620 and FM 105.1 (full disclosure: this writer is a weekly guest on the show). For years, they were part of an all-sports lineup at then-Clear Channel Broadcasting’s “SportsRadio 560 The Team,” until management fired virtually its entire local lineup last October, putting Heffner and Sanford on the street.
To say they’re happy to be back on the air – they were absent four months – would be a wild understatement. But there’s still this: Not everyone who listened to them before knows they’re back.
“I still have friends who say, ‘What are you doing now?’” Heffner said. “Or callers who say, ‘I just found y’all on the air.’” Four months is a lifetime in local radio.
That’s why, when Glory Communications agreed to bring them aboard, it was both a financial and emotional lifeline, especially for Heffner. “(Glory owner) Alex Snipe took a gamble on us, and I think they’re pleased with us so far,” he said.
Now, they have to keep it going. That means, Heffner knows, they have to have more listeners, and more sponsors.
“We’re not going to challenge 107.5,” he said, referring to Columbia’s 400-pound gorilla of a sports-talk station, which owns radio rights to University of South Carolina athletics. “Heck, they put us out of business at (Clear Channel).
“But we think there’s still a need for local talk radio. We want to give listeners a choice.”
Sanford, a former USC and NFL defensive back, as well as a chiropractor (hence “Dr. Rick”), says his football experience – and the “he said-he said” chemistry between the two – is part of that. “I think what we offer is, we do our homework and we’re informative,” he said.
“We keep up on local sports, and I’m going to tell you what I think – which might anger some of my USC fans when I say Clemson can be a top-10 team this year. I have no problem saying that (because) it’s true.”
Gary Pozsik, a longtime host on WGCV, served as go-between to bring the duo and the station together. Alexis Campbell, Glory’s general sales manager for 17 of her 19 years at the station, says choosing to do so wasn’t automatic, though.
“We had a morning show of inspirational music, and the concern was, with an older audience, would we lose them,” she said. “Because we have all-talk from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., though, we thought sports would be a good transition. And we didn’t lose that audience.”
“Talkin’ Sports” remains an underdog in the battle for Midlands listeners. Heffner and Sanford have put together a lineup of fall regulars that includes ex-USC linebacker (and WACH-TV sportscaster) Corey Miller and former Gamecocks and Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, as well as regulars Kirk Burnett (Airport High coach) and referee Dennis O’Keefe.
And Sanford can point to his past analyses of the Gamecocks, Heffner said. “Last fall, when everyone was saying USC was a top-10 team, Rick was saying, ‘I don’t know about that defense.’” The 7-6 Gamecocks were one of the SEC’s worst defenses, “so Rick knew what he was talking about.”
That means little if the show doesn’t draw listeners and sponsors. Campbell says WGCV has vigorously promoted “Talkin’ Sports” on social media and is negotiating a billboard campaign, “to rebrand who we are.” She says she wants the show to survive, and thrive. “They’re part of the family now,” she said.
As for the future, “we’re trying to make a living, have fun, and give Columbia sports fans an alternative,” Heffner said. “You can switch to 107.5, or to us, or both.
“We just want (listeners) to know we’re here.”
Credit to The State 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 JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports Radio News
Doug Gottlieb Details Interviewing For College Basketball Head Coaching Vacancy
“I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up.”
Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb recently interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Wisconsin-Green Bay and detailed the experience on his podcast.
“I got a chance to talk to (Wisconsin-Green Bay AD) Josh Moon several times during the year after they had made their coaching job available and my approach to how I’ve done these things — and this is not the first time I’ve gone down this path, but this was a different path,” Gottlieb said on his All Ball podcast.
“This is a low-major, mid-major job, and there’s no connection there. I’ve told people that for the radio element to — for the right thing — I’d give it up. The (podcast), I’m not giving it up. I love doing it and I think there’s a very smart world where if I’m coaching I can still do this podcast and still do it with basketball people all over the country and the world, and it’s kind of like a cheat code.”
He continued by saying that seeing Shaka Smart be successful at Marquette has motivated him to continue to search for the right fit as a college basketball coach.
“That’s what I want to do. And last year when I was coaching in Israel, that also continued to invigorate me…this is something that I would really like to do. It has to be the right thing. It has to be the right AD who hits the right message.”
He continued by saying that a sticking point of negotiations was he wasn’t willing to give up his nationally syndicated radio program for the job. He was willing to take less money for his assistants pool, but also to continue doing his radio show.
Gottlieb did not get the position with the Phoenix, noting that he was a finalist but was never offered the job. The position ultimately went to Wyoming assistant coach Sundance Wicks. Wicks had previous head coaching experience and had worked with Green Bay athletic director Josh Moon at Division II Northern State. He admitted he wasn’t necessarily “all-in” on the job due to the current ages of his children and whether the timing was right to uproot his family to move to Northeastern Wisconsin.
The Fox Sports Radio host does have coaching experience. He has worked as a coach for the U.S. men’s basketball team at the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics.
Gottlieb’s father — Bob — was the head men’s basketball coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1975-1980, compiling a 97-91 record.
Sports Radio News
Waddle & Silvy: Scott Hanson Told Us to Lose His Number
“We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Aaron Rodgers took immense pride in the fact that he told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter to “lose his number” while discussing his future earlier this week on The Pat McAfee Show. ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy said they’ve experienced similar treatment from guests on their radio show.
While discussing the Rodgers interview with McAfee, the pair admitted that NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson once told their producer to stop trying to book him for interviews on the program.
“I believe the presentation was ‘Do me a favor: lose my number after this interview’,” Tom Waddle said. “So he tried to do it politely. Scott Hanson did. Get out of here. That concept is foreign to me. How about ‘Hey, next time you text me, my schedule is full. I can’t do it, but thanks for thinking of me’. ‘Lose my number?’ You ain’t the President, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying that to anyone who would say that. ‘Lose my number?’ We’re all in the communication business. I just don’t know — why be rude like that to people? What does that accomplish? You know what it accomplished? We didn’t call him back, so he set out what he wanted to do.”
Co-host Mark Silverman then mentioned that the show once tried to book Hansen and NFL Red Zone host Andrew Siciliano together in the same block, with the idea of doing a trivia game to see who the supreme Red Zone host was. Siciliano agreed, but Hansen declined.
The pair also confirmed that an NFL Network personality had told them to lose their number, but couldn’t remember if it was Rich Eisen or not.
Silverman later joked that maybe Hanson was getting a new phone with a new number, and was politely sharing with the producer that he could lose the current phone number because he would share his new number in short order.
Sports Radio News
Seth Payne: Aaron Rodgers ‘Makes Gross Inaccuracies’ When Calling Out Media
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations.”
Aaron Rodgers is always mad at the media for the inaccurate things he says they report, but according to Sports Radio 610 morning man Seth Payne, no one is more inaccurate than the quarterback himself.
Friday morning, Payne and his partner Sean Pendergast played audio of Aaron Rodgers responding to a question about a list of players he provided to the Jets demanding they sign. Rodgers called the idea that he would make demands “so stupid” and chastised ESPN reporter Dianna Russini, who was the first to report it.
“Now to be clear, Dianna Russini didn’t say demands in her tweet. She said wishlist,” Pendergast clarified.
They also played a clip of Russini responding to Rodgers on NFL Live saying that she stands by her reporting and it is her job to reach out to confirm that it is true.
“This is where Rodgers does this thing where he, in calling out reporters for their inaccuracies, makes gross inaccuracies in his accusations,” Seth Payne said.
He added that if Rodgers is being serious, he is doing some serious nitpicking. He claims that he didn’t give the Jets a list, but that he spoke glowingly about former teammates and told the Jets executives that he met with who he enjoyed playing with during his career.
Payne joked that maybe he wrote down the names in a circle pattern so that it was not a list. Pendergast added that he could have had Fat Head stickers on his wall that he pointed to instead of writing anything at all.
In Payne’s mind, this is a case of Russini catching stray frustration. Neither in her initial tweet nor in any subsequent media appearance did she use the phrase “demands”.
“What he’s actually responding to in that instance is Pat McAfee is the one that described it as a list of demands,” Seth Payne said.
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