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Fred Roggin Moves To Afternoons On The Beast 980

Jason Barrett

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Fred Roggin, The Dean of L.A. Sports, is moving to a new time beginning this Monday, October 19 on The Beast 980.  “The Fred Roggin Show” will now air weekdays 3 – 6 pm on L.A.’s only sports radio station focusing on Los Angeles sports news and teams.

Roggin, an award-winning sports anchor for NBC4 since 1985, has been entertaining local sports fans on The Beast 980 during middays since the station launched last year. Regarded by many as the leading sports anchor in Southern California, he has earned 30 local Emmys, 22 Golden Mikes, three Associated Press awards and numerous Press Club awards for his sports segments, specials and series. Roggin also received a Lifetime Achievement award from the L.A. Press Club in 2013.

“After eating lunch and spending the day at work with our listeners, we thought it would be fun to drive home with them,” said Roggin. “For the record, we fit into all cars.”

“The new time slot allows Fred to reach a wider local sports audience with more people in their cars for the afternoon commute,” said Beast 980 program director Tom Lee. “With the addition of “Plaschke & Zelasko” L.A. sports fans will now be able to spend both their morning and afternoon commutes with iconic Los Angeles sports insiders.”

Earlier this month, Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke joined The Beast 980 to team up with veteran sports personality Jeanne Zelasko for an all-new morning show, “Plaschke and Zelasko,” from 6 – 9am. The weekday lineup also includes Jim Rome from 9am – 12pm.

The Beast 980 is the play-by-play home for the Los Angeles Clippers and the LA Galaxy, and carries a full slate of NFL action, NCAA football and NCAA basketball.  The station streams live at www.TheBeast980.com and on The Beast 980 App.  Both the Clipper and Galaxy games can also be heard online and on the Beast 980 app, available for free download from the iTunes Store and Google Play.

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Rich Shertenlieb Enters New Era on WZLX: No Fred Toucher, No Music, No Guarantees

“It’s worked for me in the past and there’s no secret sauce. It’s just try to be entertaining every morning and work your ass off to do it right.”

Demetri Ravanos

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Rich Shertenlieb and WZLX logo in Boston
Boston photo: courtesy of Getty Images

It’s a time of change and transition for rock radio listeners in Boston. WZLX rolled out its new morning show last week featuring local icon Rich Shertenlieb. It’s not only a new adventure for the former Sports Hub morning man. It’s also the start of a new era for the station.

Kevin Karlson, the anchor of the station’s previous morning show, died in his sleep in October. It ended a nearly 20-year run on WZLX for Karlson, McKenzie & Heather. Pete McKenzie and Heather Ford carried on, but earlier this month, they were let go.

“I definitely have big shoes to fill,” Shertenlieb says of his new gig. “Kenny Young, who was a member of the previous show, I got to know him pretty well over these last couple of months. He is now our producer, and he couldn’t be more valuable to the show. He has been an awesome bridge between what was and what is now, and I love the guy to death. He is one of the more skilled people in radio when it comes to being a jack of all trades and it’s awesome that he’s there.”

After seventeen years together, Shertenlieb split from his radio partner Fred Toucher in November. They held down morning drive at 98.5 The Sports Hub since the station’s launch in 2009. The duo was an institution in Boston and their ratings proved it over and over again. 

There has to be a juicy story there, right? I mean, who walks away from that kind of success without a concrete reason? 

Speculation will continue to run rampant. After all, each twist and turn during the final days of Toucher & Rich were covered pretty extensively on this site and others. According to Shertenlieb though, no one ever crossed a red line. There is no moment when he realized the partnership could not be saved. He was just ready for something new.

“I mean, listen, it’s kind of boring because it’s not as scandalous as people might think that it is,” he says. “You only get a couple of times in your career to be able to reevaluate what you’re doing. I would sign long term contracts for about five years. And so, you only get about once every five years to sit and say, ‘I got a chance to try to do something else.’ When your contract comes up, you ask yourself a few questions. It’s like, ‘Do I still absolutely love what I’m doing?’ and ‘Do I absolutely love where I’m doing it?’ And finally, ‘Is there another step I’d want to take?’ If any of those questions have any kind of doubt or cloud, then you owe it to yourself to at least explore what’s out there. And that’s what I did.”

Shertenlieb doesn’t hide from reality. It was scary to leave the familiarity behind. Even when apparent tension between he and Fred Toucher was impossible to hide, he never pinned blame for wondering what is next on the state of their relationship.

Listeners and social media followers did a lot of speculating about the show’s future in early 2023. Toucher missed extended time, first to deal with a vocal condition and then to focus on his mental health.  They wanted to know what was going on in the Beasley Media offices after Toucher took to Twitter to say no one from the show’s cast had reached out to check on him during his absence. 

Rich Shertenlieb says that the conversations were never that interesting. He didn’t think it had to be a catalyst for drastic action.

“There was no discussion about the future of the show. I think that there was confusion. The guys on the show, I think, were confused about why he was saying stuff about us that obviously, we’re all looking at each other and going, ‘Well, this isn’t true. Why is he saying that? I don’t know what was going on there.’ That part was definitely strange, but there weren’t any conversations about the future of the show at all.”

When the decision was made to leave Toucher & Rich, Shertenlieb says he knew instantly that it would mean leaving 98.5 The Sports Hub. It wasn’t about hard feelings. It was about on-air real estate.

Shertenlieb didn’t want to join an existing show. He wanted to start something new with him at the center. Maybe it would work. Maybe it wouldn’t. Either way, he was comfortable with the consequences of his name being the only one on the marquee. Without a major overhaul, that wasn’t possible at his current station.

“I don’t think that that would be fair to anybody. I think that to achieve that they’d have to move people around and stuff like that. I don’t think that that would be fair. I do think that in fairness to everybody else that I worked with, I would have to go do that on my own.”

WZLX, Shertenlieb’s new home, is owned by iHeartMedia. The company made it clear to the host that he was a priority. Bosses asked Shertenlieb who he wanted to work with and got those people on board. They presented him with the opportunity to launch a podcast network in the future. 

The company even acquiesced to Shertenlieb’s demand that the classic rock the station is known for disappear in morning drive.

“I’ve just looked around and I’ve seen that there’s really no morning show that is geared mostly towards guys that truly wins while also playing music. That’s the recipe that you have to go with, at least in mornings,” he says.

Music snobs aren’t totally left out of the new morning show. Shertenlieb loves rock music and makes it a part of the show’s regular discussions. He also notes that what is now considered “classic rock” is the music he grew up with and holds most dear, particularly Alice in Chains.

Listeners will hear Michael Hurley, who Shertenlieb calls “truly a gem” every day. Every host needs someone that gets all of his references and that’s what Hurley is for Shertenlieb. Throughout the week, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, Meadowlark Media host Charlotte Wilder and Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal will all make appearances.

“I like having different personalities, you know, different walks of life and people who are experts in different things to be able to rotate,” Shertenlieb says. “The great thing about everybody that I picked, whether it be Ted Johnson or Mike Girardi or Charlotte Wilder, is that even if they didn’t talk about the one thing they’re known to be an expert on, I would still love talking to these people about everything else in their life, because they’re just that interesting.”

Every new show faces challenges when it launches and The Rich Shertenlieb Show is no exception. His former partner has poked fun, his former competitor has taken shots, but Rich Shertenlieb knows that no show gets to launched as a finished product. That only comes from years of building chemistry amongst the people in studio and the people listening.

He isn’t shy about admitting that there is no guarantee that he is going to leapfrog anyone in the ratings. Sure, he has the know-how given the success he helped propel The Sports Hub to in morning drive. He also has the advantage of joining a station that already performs well.

“It’s hard work and patience,” Shertenlieb says when asked if he has thought about how he will pull ahead of The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Hardy or anyone else. “It’s worked for me in the past and there’s no secret sauce. It’s just try to be entertaining every morning and work your ass off to do it right.”

Shertenlieb knows that, for many Bostonians, he and Fred Toucher will forever be linked. He doesn’t run from that. He says he never considered leaving Boston for a “fresh start” when he decided to strike out on his own.

He doesn’t wish Toucher or The Sports Hub any ill-will. He insists that the titillating scandal everyone wants to hear about doesn’t exist. He isn’t “over sports.” It was just time to do something new.

New adventure comes with risk and uncertainty. Rich Shertenlieb is willing to embrace it and live with whatever it becomes.

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David Lamm, Jacksonville Sports Radio Pioneer, Dies at the Age of 78

“David Lamm was an icon. David Lamm was a pioneer. There is no sports radio in Jacksonville without David Lamm, and I mean that very sincerely.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photo of David Lamm
Screengrab: Jacksonville Broadcasters Association

David Lamm, who helped launch sports radio in Jacksonville, died at the end of last week at the age of 78. Lamm started as a sports writer at the Florida Times-Union, later became a columnist and then sports editor. He would later spend many years on the air on radio and television.

Lamm, affectionately known as Lamm-Chops, was a beloved figure in the Jacksonville community. In 2002 he started the David Lamm Foundation and created ‘Santa Lamm,’ a Christmas drive to provide children gift cards to go shopping during the holidays.

His son, Alex posted on his Facebook account, “It’s with immeasurable sadness to let my FB community know of my Pops passing today. Many in this community were friends or knew him. Will announce memorial plans sometime soon. RIP Pops.”

In a story posted by News4 in Jacksonville, 1010XL’s Frank Frangie, who worked with Lamm in print and radio said, “David Lamm was an icon. David Lamm was a pioneer. There is no sports radio in Jacksonville without David Lamm, and I mean that very sincerely. Jay Solomon and David Lamm were the pioneers and I got to be the tag along back in the day. And it was one of the great honors of my career. We will miss David Lamm. How authentic. How real. How he said what he believed. How he entertained. It’s a sad day in Jacksonville, the great David Lamm gone today.”

In 2019, Lamm sat down with former WJKS-TV anchor Mike Lyons for an interview. Lamm said in part, “I’m the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. I never planned for this, but I’ve had a wonderful career. I’ve spent my life covering sports, talking about sports, writing about sports. I’ve been to multiple Super Bowls and World Series and Final Fours and US Opens and Masters. I’ve traveled places, certainly this country, that I would never have traveled to, most people don’t. … so when I look back on it I’m going ‘you lucky son of a gun,’” Lamm told Lyons. “How many people fall into something, and it turns out to be the love of their life. They didn’t even know it at the time.”

Lamm is survived by his wife, Ellen, and sons Tom and Alex.

Many of Lamm’s friends and former colleagues weighed in on his passing through posts on their social media accounts:

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iHeartMedia Extends with Pittsburgh Steelers Through 2028 Season

“We teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Logos for iHeartMedia and the Pittsburgh Steelers

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announced an extension of their audio partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will now include the newly established “Steelers Audio Network” through 2028.

The “Steelers Audio Network” will offer a wide range of content, including game day broadcasts, additional shows, digital audio, podcasts, and social media posts. Fans can access the “Steelers Audio Network” and its programming throughout the year on various platforms such as 102.5 WDVE, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (970AM), the Steelers mobile app, the iHeartRadio mobile app, as well as on the team and station’s websites.

Additionally, 102.5 WDVE will continue to be the home of the Steelers game broadcasts, as they have done since 1999.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of our long-standing partnership with iHeart Media and our flagship station, 102.5 WDVE,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a release. “We’ve teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartSports. “Our renewed agreement, now known as ‘Steelers Audio Network’ encompasses a comprehensive range of audio offerings, delivering an exceptional listening experience for Steelers fans. Additionally, we’re excited to provide promotional support and further brand awareness across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and digital sites. Our longstanding partnership continues to thrive, and we look forward to celebrating many more victories together!”

“iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and the Steelers have had a longstanding partnership,” said Tim McAleer, Market President, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to continue to give Steelers fans access to Steelers audio broadcasts and unique Steelers programing content for years to come.”

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