Sports TV News
Panthers Hire Doug Plagens
The Panthers hired Doug Plagens to be their new radio voice Thursday morning.
Plagens replaces long-time radio play-by-play announcer Randy Moller, who recently joined the television broadcast as the Panthers’ analyst on Fox Sports Florida. It was Moller, the vice president of broadcasting for the Panthers, who basically chose his successor out of 120 applicants since the position became available eight days ago.
“My lifelong goal has been to call hockey games in the NHL and this is a great place to do it,’’ said Plagens, 30, via conference call Thursday.
Plagens, who grew up in hockey-crazed Detroit and played “stay-at-home’’ defense for Trenton High School’s state championship team, received his Masters’s Degree in broadcast journalism at Syracuse University where he called his first professional hockey game (Syracuse Crunch of AHL) in 2007.
Plagens has spent the previous four seasons with Cavaliers Operating Company, serving as the radio and television play-by-play broadcaster for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators. Plagens also was selected as an announcer for the 2015 AHL All-Star Game and served as a feature reporter for Access Cavaliers on Fox Sports Ohio.
“We made the decision very quickly,’’ Moller said. “We got a rising young superstar that South Florida hockey fans are going to love. Not only with his on-air personality, but with the way he calls the games, but also the way he’s integrated with the fans and media and all the organizations he’s been with.’’
Plagens will do radio play-by-play for 82 regular season games and playoff games if the Panthers qualify. He will co-host pre- and post- intermission in-game spots as well as produce and host a weekly network radio show on the team’s flagship station, WQAM-560.
Plagens is quite aware of Moller’s colorful personality and unique goal calls in which he utilizes pop culture references and movie lines.
“You can’t duplicate what Randy did and I just hope to bring the same enthusiasm to every broadcast, every time I’m on the mike,’’ Plagens said. “This is the best job in the world and my goal is to make everybody enjoy listening as much as I enjoy calling the games because there’s nothing else I’d rather do.’’
Plagens’ season in the AFL is over and he said he will head to South Florida after Labor Day. Panthers rookie camp begins on Sept. 11 and training camp starts on Sept. 18.
The television crew includes Moller, in-game co-host Drew Goldfarb, color analyst Denis Potvin and play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein.
Credit to the Sun-Sentinel 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 TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.