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North To Host Bears Post-Game

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Veteran sports talk show personality Mike North will host a Chicago Bears postgame show this fall on WDRV FM 97.1, the Hubbard Radio classic hits station announced Friday.

Starting September 13, North will host “The Mike North Sunday Drive,” a three-hour live talk show after every Bears game. Throughout the season he’ll also call in on Fridays and Mondays to Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil’s morning show on The Drive.

“Timing for this show just feels right,” said Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming for Hubbard Radio. “All the football experts are predicting a rough year for our beloved Bears, so fans will want and need a place to sound off after the games. As The Drive continues our evolution into more of a Chicago lifestyle station, this is the perfect chance for us to experiment and bring in a superstar like Mike North. Mike is truly authentic — and he’s all Chicago.”

It’s the latest addition to the postgame program competition since the demise of Ed O’Bradovich and Doug Buffone’s celebrated show on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670:

  • After Buffone died in April, O’Bradovich joined Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720, where he’ll host a post-game show with Dan Hampton and Glen Kozlowski.
  • The Score this week announced Olin Kreutz, James “Big Cat” Williams and Hub Arkush as hosts of its new postgame show.
  • CBS Radio all-news combo WBBM AM 780 and WCFS FM 105.9, home of Bears play-by-play, follows its broadcasts with locker room interviews with head coach John Fox and players. Then former Jay Hilgenberg and Jim Schwantz join Ron Gleason taking calls.
  • ESPN sports/talk WMVP AM 1000 features Steve “Mongo” McMichael, Jeff Dickerson, Fred Huebner and Ben Finfer after each game.

With listener loyalties and advertiser dollars up for grabs, North offers an unpredictable alternative among the crowd of Sunday afternoon talkers.

“I’m sort of like almost like Trump in this equation now,” North said, comparing himself to wild card Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “The loudmouth is coming in. I think things are going to change a lot.”

The addition of a sports talk show on an unadulterated FM music station would have seemed unlikely until last March when The Drive hired McNeil to co-host its new morning show with McMurray. Given McNeil’s 30 years in sports radio, his presence has redefined the station and its appeal to men between 25 and 54 (where the show currently ranks third in the market).

“I’ve known Danny since 1992, and it warms my heart so see that we’re going to be back together again,” said North, who worked with McNeil at The Score and was its biggest star for 16 years until 2008. “Hopefully there will be many more things to come. But I’m very happy with my situation. I’m thrilled that I’ve landed at a reputable place with the arrow pointing up. I am absolutely ecstatic about this.”

There are no plans to team him with McNeil, but North isn’t ruling it out: “I’m going to try my best to talk him into doing some shows with me if he can. I think it would be great.”

North is keeping his day job as co-host of “Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman, which airs outside Chicago from 5 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports Radio.

Credit to Robert Feder who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Doug Franz Launching Sports Betting Podcast, ‘Props Arizona,’ With Sean Lockhart

“I appreciate Doug & Wolf listeners more than they’ll ever know, and I’m excited for them to experience my new podcast Props Arizona.”

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Following his dismissal from Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Doug Franz has found a new gig. Franz will join sports gambling expert Sean “Papa Bear” Lockhart to host a new podcast for Props.com titled Props Arizona.

Franz was a mainstay on Phoenix sports talk radio, co-hosting The Doug and Wolf Show in the market for 15 years. Parent company Bonneville Phoenix said Franz would be moved to a “digital role” in shuffling the Arizona Sports daily lineup last August.

But Franz said he was effectively fired. Soon after leaving 98.7 FM, he launched a daily podcast titled Doug Franz Unplugged.

Lockhart has been a mainstay in Arizona, consulting on sports betting and sales since graduating from Arizona State. He’s provided analysis for several sports betting podcasts and digital shows, in addition to his own website, for several years.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside Sean on this new podcast,” said Franz in the official announcement from gambling media company American Affiliate. “I appreciate Doug & Wolf listeners more than they’ll ever know, and I’m excited for them to experience my new podcast Props Arizona.”

For American Affiliate, which has several sports betting and investment properties in its portfolio including BetPrep and Wagers, Props Arizona is the first regional (or state-exclusive) spinoff of its Props City podcast.

Props Arizona is set to launch at the end of January. The show will be available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. A teaser for the show is currently online for download.

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Sports Radio News

Michael Irvin: ‘Shan & RJ Start National Conversations’

“Y’all stir the pot a lot on the national scene. Every time I’m out there I gotta hear ‘Jerry said on Shan and RJ 105.3’.”

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Michael Irvin makes regular appearances on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. He is one of the many stars associated with the Dallas Cowboys that make time to talk to the hosts on the team’s flagship station. On Thursday morning, The Playmaker joined Shan & RJ and told them to be careful with the words they choose.

Irvin came on following a discussion of Mike McCarthy’s final conversation with the media for the season. During the segment, one of the host’s said it was the Cowboys’ coach’s “final conversation.” Irvin said that statement needed some clarity.

“You should have added ‘of this year’,” he said. “Because the national guys, they’ll pick it up and run with that.”

It isn’t just a matter of what was said. Michael Irvin says that the national media will pay attention to who said it was McCarthy’s final conversation with the media and jump to conclusions.

“Y’all stir the pot a lot on the national scene. Every time I’m out there I gotta hear ‘Jerry said on Shan and RJ 105.3’.”

The hosts laughed as Irvin made the declaration. Maybe they enjoyed the characterization. Maybe they knew he was telling the truth.

Plenty of national headlines have been generated by appearances from Jerry and Stephen Jones on the station. Although, to be fair to Shan & RJ, K&C Masterpiece has been at the center of plenty of those conversations too.

That didn’t stop Michael Irvin distilling Shan & RJ’s role in the national media conversation about the Cowboys to a simple sentence: “Y’all starting mess out here.”

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Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Out At WEEI

“In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.”

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Jeff Rickard’s tenure in Boston did not last long. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe tweeted yesterday that the WEEI brand manager has left Audacy and intends to return to Indianapolis.

Rickard was announced as the new brand manager of the legendary Boston sports talker in August. He left his role as morning show host and PD at The Fan in Indianapolis at that time.

In the memo, new Audacy Boston market manager Mike Thomas says that the station will be naming a new brand manager in the future.

In the meantime, Ken Laird has been promoted to operations manager for the station. Laird announced yesterday that this means he is leaving the Greg Hill Show, which will be on the lookout for a new producer.

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