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Teenagers Create Podcast That Gains Mainstream Attention

Jason Barrett

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A Nashville-based college football show lands some of the SEC’s most insightful media members every Saturday morning. What the guests don’t know is they’re talking to a 15-year-old broadcasting from his parents’ basement.

“He’s only 15? Are you serious?” said George Plaster, a longtime Nashville sports talk radio host and guest of the show. “That blows my mind!”

Billy Derrick, a sophomore at Father Ryan, along with 14-year-old buddy Charlie Sheridan, host a podcast each Saturday morning called “College Football Kickoff Show,” which tackles the sport’s hottest topics and previews the day’s biggest games. They land good guests, highlight in-state teams and even test the temperature of coaches’ hot seats.

But there’s a catch. Media members rarely know they’re talking to two teens who are broadcasting on an iPad given as an eighth-grade graduation present. Or that the show’s audio contends with preschool-aged siblings bouncing upstairs.

“I had no idea they were that young when I went on their show, but you know I never really asked,” said Jimmy Hyams, afternoon host on the popular Knoxville Sports Radio WNML. “Good for them. I give them a thumbs-up for having the gumption to do something like that.”

Billy starts each week emailing sports talk personalities and media members who cover the SEC to request an appearance on his show. It’s done professionally with a call-in number, show logo and preferred topic for the guest’s segment.

But Billy never actually mentions his age or the fact that much of the show’s prep work is done on a Five Star notebook similar to the one he uses for Algebra 2 class.

“I chose to do it that way because I want to treat it like I’m a professional, not just a kid,” said Billy, who also plays for the Father Ryan basketball and baseball teams. “I’m starting to think now that maybe I should tell them I’m 15, and I’m fine doing that. But I just want to do a professional show with good guests and good preparation.”

Billy, a lifelong Vanderbilt fan, began doing his show in his basement a year ago with no guests and no sidekick. Then this summer he had a brainstorm. Why not bring in Charlie, a Father Ryan freshman and Vols fan, as “our UT insider,” and then attempt to book guests the same as any other radio show or podcast?

Billy’s mother, Kim Derrick, had no idea how much the show had evolved until Plaster called her son’s cell phone after school one day.

“I was like, ‘Billy, how does George Plaster have your cell number?’ ” Kim recalls.

It just happened that Billy had booked Plaster for his 9:35 a.m. segment and needed to confirm the appearance before following him up with fellow guest Braden Gall, who covers college football for Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report and Sirius XM College Sports Nation.

“I had no idea he was getting real people, but that’s Billy,” Kim said. “He sees this as a big picture thing, not just something he does for fun. I know he didn’t mean to deceive anyone. He takes this seriously.”

To read the rest of the article visit The Tennessean where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: I Don’t Do As Much Prep As You Think

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Chris “Mad Dog” Russo would much rather go with the flow for his radio show than try and put everything together ahead of time and hope it comes out well.

Russo was the featured guest on the Golf Digest podcast The Loop, and hosts Christopher Powers, Alex Myers and Steve Hennessey first congratulated Mad Dog on his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last year. Russo mentioned how he had written a short speech but decided against that after seeing the other inductees run long with their speeches.

Mad Dog was asked about preparing for his SiriusXM sports talk show every day, and he said he really doesn’t put a ton of work into putting a show together.

“On certain days a little more, because on Mondays I do that NFL recap so that takes a little while to put that together at 5 o’clock – probably a couple of hours,” Russo said. “Outside of that not as much as you’d think. I mean obviously I’m gonna follow what’s going on.”

“Sometimes the radio show is a lot better when it’s a little more spontaneous and you can craft it in your imagination as the day moves along, instead of having it programmed in front of you,” he added. “This segment do this, this segment do that. Sometimes when you sort of ad lib it, and you figure it out as you’re moving the program into the second hour and the third hour, it’s a better show.”

Mad Dog talked about how he likes that his radio show is the reverse of when he does First Take on ESPN or High Heat on MLB Network. He likes not having a rundown packed to the gills for his radio show.

“The radio is more of a host’s medium,” he said. “So it’s up to me what we’re going to do.”

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Sports Radio News

Stetson Bennett IV Fires Back at Steak Shapiro Over Parade Criticism

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Georgia walloped TCU last week to win their second straight national championship, and the Bulldog community came together toward the end of the week to celebrate with a parade.

Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV took part in the parade, but 92.9 The Game host Steak Shapiro wasn’t thrilled with how Bennett acted during the celebration.

Shapiro on Tuesday took a shot at Bennett, who appeared to spend some time fiddling with a cell phone during the parade.

Tuesday night, Bennett responded first with a quote tweet.

Bennett followed that up with a longer statement he posted under his quote tweet explaining the situation.

“I appreciate your concern with my image/intentions/loyalties/obligations (as well as your willingness to reach out to me to confirm them),” Bennett wrote. “You obviously thought quite deeply about some motives I might’ve had.”

Bennett said ultimately he was trying to soak up the moment with his teammates, and he was just trying to make sure the celebratory mood was set with the right music on his phone.

“So to finish it off nice and neat: I was controlling the aux and playing bangers so sed and Chris and I could have a blast on our last ride into Sanford,” he said. “That’s pretty much the gist of it.”

Bennett finished with a little dig of his own at Shapiro.

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro,” he said. “But to be fair, I’m not a fan of your work either.”

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Sports Radio News

Ryan Edwards Moves to The Sports Zoo on KOA

“Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.”

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Ryan Edwards is staying with KOA, but his hours are about to change. The Denver sports radio staple is moving off of Broncos Country Tonight to join Alfred Williams and Dave Logan on The Sports Zoo in afternoon drive.

“I am thrilled to join radio and football legends Dave Logan and Alfred Williams on The KOA Sports Zoo,” Edwards said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing a fans’ perspective to the Denver Broncos and all things Denver sports.”

Edwards has been on the radio in Denver since 2009. He spent eight years with 104.3 The Fan. He also did a short stint at Mile High Sports Radio.

He joined iHeart Denver in 2017. He was on Orange & Blue 760 before the company replaced the station with a conservative talk format. He moved to KOA in 2019, where he has worked on Broncos Country Tonight with Benjamin Albright.

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