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KFAN Ascends To #1 In Morning Drive

Jason Barrett

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As the late great Yogi Berra reminded us, nothing’s over until it’s over. And with 92 KQRS’ legendary personality Tom Barnard showing no signs of hitting the terminal cough button, the fight for morning drive supremacy in Twin Cities radio isn’t over yet, no matter how pleased KFAN is with itself.

Only the most culturally isolated don’t know who Barnard is by now — and that his dominance of the metro radio audience over the past 25 years is one of the most remarkable runs in the entire country.

Last year, he signed a new five­-year contract with KQ owner Cumulus Media. So it is of more than a little interest that this past summer, KFAN­-FM, the sports-talk station owned by iHeartRadio (formerly Clear Channel) beat Barnard as No. 1 in the demographic the two stations care about most — and not just for a month, but the entire summer … before football season (sports talk radio’s raison d’être) really kicked in.

The gulf between Barnard and KFAN’s morning show is not large. But “The Power Trip,” currently hosted by Chis Hawkey, Cory Cove and Paul “Meatsauce” Lambert, with a supporting cast that includes Mark Rosen from WCCO-­TV — a key figure in Barnard’s ascension to dominance three decades ago — has now demonstrated enough staying power to settle any question that there’s any fluke at play here.

The basic numbers for 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. weekdays, men 25-­54:

Spring 2015 

KFAN: 13.0
KQRS: 14.4

Summer 2015
KFAN: 13.6
KQRS: 13.1

Repeated calls to KQRS operations manager Scott Jameson never resulted in a connection. But KFAN’s program director, Chad Abbott, was more than happy to chat, emphasizing that, yes, he expects the tide to continue running high and suggesting that Cove, Lambert, Hawkey et al.’s “high energy” delivery probably best explained the show’s growing appeal.

While KQRS’ format is officially defined as “classic rock,” Barnard’s show has almost nothing to do with 30-year­-old Heart and Boston cuts and everything to do with Barnard’s persona: a combination of a world-­weary natural intelligence, eclectic interests, hair-trigger disdain, unapologetic biases and the unfailing appeal of an implicit message that real men can’t get a break in this world anymore. By contrast, the “Power Trip” crowd’s act is pretty much pure escapism. Sports, goofy stuff in the news, guy-­jiving and plenty of pop culture.

 

By coincidence, I had a quick conversation with Mick Anselmo, the former GM at the local Clear Channel group who is now GM for CBS Radio’s local stations, including WCCO­-AM. He expressed little surprise at KFAN’s good fortune, complimenting the station’s management team, many of whom he hired, and arguing as he often does that the key to successful radio in an age where people can carry 3,000-­song playlists on their phones and listen to podcasts free of 25 minutes an hour of commercials is “the sense a station offers listeners that they are part of a community. You can’t get that from an MP3 player or streaming or a podcast. People like the feeling of being connected and the good operators learn how to give it to them.”

To read the full article visit MinnPost where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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