Jamie Dukes, one of the most popular hosts on 92.9/The Game, is stepping down today after three years at the sports talk station.
Dukes, who has also worked at 680/The Fan and the now defunct 790/The Zone, lives in Braselton, which meant a commute that ate up more than three hours of his day every day. Over time, that wore him down. He took three weeks off recently to deal with shoulder, neck and back problems stemming in part from spending too much time in the automobile.
Dukes said the Game management was unwilling to allow him to do his mid-day show with Rick Kamla from his home even part of the week. Without that option, he couldn’t handle the commute anymore. “This is really about my health,” he said. “It’s not worth it if I can’t work smarter.”
Dukes, now 51, spent 10 years in the NFL including eight seasons with the Atlanta Falcons as a center from 1986 to 1995.
He will continue to contribute to the NFL Network and work with Sirius/XM on Saturdays. He could also podcast,like Doug Stewart on Spreaker. And though Dukes has a non-compete clause that will keep him off Atlanta AM/FM radio for six months, he is confident other radio opportunities will pop up.
“The sports fans have evolved,” said Dukes. “They want more than just stats and who’s going to win the game. I tried to be in tune with what fans wanted. They need more insight, more in-depth conversation. That’s the reason they liked what we did.”
His departure was low key. He didn’t want to turn his final show into the “Jamie Dukes farewell show.” He waited until his final segment at 1:40 p.m. to break the news to the fans. And go figure – Kamla wasn’t even in the studio to hug it out with Dukes.
“I got a heavy heart,” Kamla said on air at 1:44 p.m. “I love you. You’re a dear friend. I have learned so much of the craft of radio from you.”
Kamla said Dukes is not just a sports analyst but a true host and comic. “You have taught me the art of the spin and the art of radio… I’m going to miss you terribly.”
Dukes repeated what he told me about the commute issues that led to this unfortunate decision. “I wanted to thank all the listeners for being part of something that was very special,” he said. He said Kamla has “heart. You are a very passionate man. So I want to thank you being my friend.”
Dukes and Kamla’s mid-day show frequently drew the best ratings for the Game, which has generally under-performed for most of its past three years in the ratings despite a vastly superior signal to 680/The Fan, which also simulcasts at 93.7 on the FM dial. In the latest monthly ratings, the ratings of the two stations are neck and neck.
Dukes gave the Game several weeks notice about his pending departure to give management a chance to rejigger its lineup, which I presume will be announced soon. (PD Terry Foxx said an official station response will be forthcoming.)
There are now four weekday on-air personalities who have been at the station its entire three-year run: Kamla,Randy Cross and Carl Dukes.
Credit to the AJC 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.
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”
ESPNU, SiriusXM End Partnership, Channel 84 Rebrands as SiriusXM College Sports Radio
“Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed.”
SiriusXM still has a college sports radio station on its platform. It’s just called something different now.
A report from Cord Cutters News confirmed that ESPNU and SiriusXM have ended their partnership. Channel 84, which used to be known as SiriusXM ESPNU Radio, is now known as SiriusXM College Sports Radio.
ESPNU had been with the satellite radio provider since 2017. The channel itself, which has been on the Sirius lineup since 2010, was called SiriusXM College Sports Nation when it first launched.
Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed. Listeners can still tune in to hear hosts like Danny Kanell, Dusty Dvoracek, Rick Neuheisel and EJ Manuel, as well as live college sports play-by-play broadcasts.
The move doesn’t end ESPN’s partnership with Sirius. Cord Cutters noted that College GameDay will still be fully simulcasted on channel 81, which is ESPN Xtra.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.