Studio E is no bigger than a dorm room, yet has the distinct atmosphere of one. Papers lay scattered about the desks, multiple basketball and football schedules line the walls of the studio and several used mugs congregate in the center of the desks producing that all too familiar aroma of freshly brewed coffee grinds.
Two men work fervently around three extended microphones, moving back and forth from responding to tweets, to writing what seems to be shorthand that seldom people could understand in a notebook. Two televisions hang on the wall: one tuned into a broadcast of ESPN’s “College Football Live” while the other shows a press conference airing on the Golf Channel.
A large digital clock sits behind a large window displaying the time in hours, minutes and seconds in red numbers, slowly keeping track as the two men worked. A lone spotlight in the ceiling served as the lone source of illumination as it hung over the center of the room.
The large “On Air” light clicks on at 3 p.m., both men put their headphones on and approach the microphones and the daily broadcasting of the “Adam & Joe Show” begins.
Joe Ovies, along with his co-host Adam Gold, has been in charge of the aforementioned show for the last six years, but in order to find where his career in radio began, you have to look back just under two decades or so.
About 17 years ago, in the winter of 1998, Ovies signed up to be a DJ at 88.1 WKNC, the student-run radio station at NC State, during his freshman year.
“I’ve always had a fascination with radio,” Ovies said. “So I figured I’m at State, my freshman year, I’ll DJ. I like making mix tapes and playing music, so I’ll give it a shot.”
Ovies began doing news readings before moving on to operations director during his sophomore year. Then at the start of his junior year, an opportunity presented itself, and Ovies could not pass it up.
“The [general manager] at the time left school,” Ovies said. “So they needed a new GM and I applied for it, and I was the GM of WKNC from late ’99 through graduation in ’01.”
When reflecting on his tenure at WKNC, Ovies recalled fond memories he made at the student radio station in Raleigh. Highlighting former coworkers who’ve gone on to bigger and better things, Ovies said WKNC is “like any other club at State” as far as the networking benefits and experiences you come across.
“I got the opportunity to attend [the Collegiate Music Journalists] conference in New York,” Ovies said. “It was probably the first time, when I was in school, that I had to do something adult. You had to plan the trip, you had to get the registration and you had to manage a group of kids. Then you had to go to New York, go to those conferences, networking. It was like the first kind of ‘real-world adult stuff’ I did while at school.”
But the best part of working at WKNC was not the networking, or the trips or hosting the radio shows, but rather something many would have taken from granted.
“Just generally hanging out, you know?” Ovies said. “It was cool to hang out with like-minded kids, and listen to music, and talk about music, and do production and DJ and those types of things. We had a lot of fun.”
Ovies continued in the radio business after college for reasons that may seem unorthodox.
“I got into radio because it was a job,” Ovies said. “Seriously, part of radio and part of journalism is getting your foot in the door, I mean that’s that way with most jobs in this field.”
In college, Ovies started out as a computer science major, but then found himself changing to business management with a concentration in information technologies.
“When it was my senior year, I didn’t pursue any of the stuff I was in school for,” Ovies said. “I didn’t do any internships because I was so into the radio stuff I was doing.”
Eventually, Ovies decided to look for a job in the radio business, so he applied to the sports talk radio station that he was listening to at the time called 850 The Buzz.
He started out working Saturdays and Sundays running the boards at the station, screening calls, doing updates and picking up shifts where he could. He gained enough experience to the point when the next full-time job opened up in 2002, Ovies was hired full-time as the producer of his soon-to-be co-host Adam Gold’s show.
“I already kind of new the environment and knew what to do,” Ovies said. “And they said ‘All right, let’s make you full-time,’ and then other things come like new shows and opportunities.”
In 2005, the station needed a new morning show, and Ovies put himself in a position to host as he had been doing just that for a Saturday morning show. Eventually, Ovies was teamed up with Adam Gold, and they moved to ESPN 99.9 The Fan at Capital Broadcasting in 2009, and he’s been there ever since.
“It’s a challenge in the best possible way,” Gold said when asked what it’s like working with Ovies. “I’m serious, 10 years ago I was predictable, and I don’t think I’m predictable anymore. Working with Joe has kept me younger and the best possible thing for what we do. It’s a much fresher sounding show that’s ours.”
To read the rest of the story visit The Technician where this story was originally published
Peter Schrager: ‘Next Good Morning Football Host Has Massive Shoes To Fill’
“I don’t know where they are going for that and I don’t play coach or GM. I’m just going to sit back and if they ask my opinion, I’ll give it.”
This week, Good Morning Football ended up winning a Sports Emmy for the best daily studio show. It is a show that has turned into part most football fans’ morning routines. However, there will be new people on the panel eventually with the departures of Nate Burleson and Kay Adams.
This week, one of those left, Peter Schrager, was on The Pat McAfee Show. He did not have a name for McAfee that would fill the role Adams leaves behind and he isn’t going to interfere in the process of the executives picking the next host.
“I would think that there is going to be a long line of people who will want that,” he said. “Those are massive shoes to fill. I don’t know where they are going for that and I don’t play coach or GM. I’m just going to sit back and if they ask my opinion, I’ll give it. But, for now, I trust the executives to hire someone who is going to take care of that hosting job.”
As for Burleson’s seat, the show has used a number of ex-players to fill-in. Schrager likes it that way because he can learn many different stories each week:
“Nate and I can finish each other’s sentences. Now, you have a guy I don’t know the story this player is going to tell. I don’t know where he’s going to take it and I think it’s kind of cool for us.”
Last summer, Schrager hosted The Flying Coach podcast on The Ringer with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. Unfortunately, there will be no season 2 of that show this summer. That doesn’t mean there won’t be another season of the podcast in the future though.
“I won’t do it without McVay. I begged him. He’s just out….He’s getting married this offseason. He’s got his honeymoon. He’s like, we’ll pick it up another offseason. I’m upset. I love doing it. All these new coaches, Sean and I would have had a good time with it and we talked about it, but it’s his decision and he’s saying no and I totally get it. He’s really good at it and he liked it. He’ll have opportunities and you see some of these numbers that these guys are getting. Trust me, he’s aware.”
Shan & RJ: ‘Inside The NBA Was Trying To Prevent A Riot Last Night’
“You know that moment? Everyone’s joking around. Everyone’s having fun, then someone doesn’t take the joke as a joke anymore and all the fun is sucked out of the room and things are awkward and serious?”
Things were very far from normal on Thursday night on the set of Inside the NBA. During the postgame show, Warriors fans threw objects at Charles Barkley as TNT was broadcasting live outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco.
Friday morning on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Shan and RJ discussed the scene and said things felt out of the ordinary long before anything was even thrown.
“You know that moment? Everyone’s joking around. Everyone’s having fun, then someone doesn’t take the joke as a joke anymore and all the fun is sucked out of the room and things are awkward and serious?” Shan Shariff said. “That’s what happened yesterday on Inside the NBA both in the pregame and the postgame.”
Barkley had been picking on Warriors fans calling them annoying and describing San Francisco as having “dirty ass streets full of homeless people” throughout the series.
Shariff said even in the pregame show, it seemed that the Inside the NBA crew was wary of the crowd gathered behind them.
“It felt like yesterday instead of having fun and cutting loose, it felt like they were trying to prevent a riot.”
After a rolled-up t-shirt struck Barkley, he got up and acted as if he was going to throw a ceramic coffee mug into the crowd. Shariff said it was clear that Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith thought Barkley was about to be involved in an altercation of some sort.
RJ Choppy disagreed though. His immediate thought in seeing the video was that Barkley was just taking his ribbing of the crowd to the next level like a WWE superstar might.
“I think he knew the wrestling role, but I don’t think the other guys did,” Choppy said.
Sean and RJ expounded on the wrestling comparison, saying that he had a specific event in mind. He compared the way the crowd treated Barkley on Thursday night to how the crowd at ECW’s One Night Stand in 2006 treated John Cena. Cena and security may have thought they knew what was coming, but it was clear when fans started throwing chairs at the WWE champ that their ire was more serious than anticipated.
There can be peace for the time being. TNT’s NBA season ends at the conclusion of the Western Conference Finals. It will be interesting to see if this animosity returns in the 2022-23 season.
Don La Greca: ‘Howie Rose Was The Only Sports Talk Host As Passionate About Hockey As Me’
“When you look at the history of sports radio, the only person that I can think of that called games and was [as] passionate about hockey as I am that had a regular radio show was Howie Rose.”
Don LaGreca has been working on Rangers radio broadcasts since 2005, and has served as the backup play-by-play announcer for the last few seasons, filling in for Kenny Albert when he is unable to be on the call. Because of Albert’s responsibilities in calling national playoff games on television amid the new media rights agreement between the league and its partners (ESPN and Turner Sports), La Greca has called more Rangers games of late, and received positive reviews.
Yesterday on The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York, Kay mentioned the compliments callers have been giving La Greca for his ability to call hockey games, some of whom credit him for introducing them to the sport.
“The one thing hockey is is underexposed,” said La Greca. “Because you hear a lot of people say, ‘Boy, I didn’t realize how much fun this sport is; how great it is to go to a game,’ because a lot of us don’t grow up around it.”
La Greca realizes that he is in a unique position being the co-host of a sports radio show and an NHL play-by-play announcer, giving him a responsibility to communicate and opine on the game of hockey to his listening audience at large. He considers himself the second person to have such a distinction – the pioneer of which, while he may no longer be calling hockey games, still frequently discusses the sport on Twitter.
“When you look at the history of sports radio, the only person that I can think of that called games and was [as] passionate about hockey as I am that had a regular radio show was Howie Rose,” said La Greca. “And Howie Rose has been out of the sports radio game for 25 years.”
Rose was with WFAN from its launch on July 1, 1987 as its weekday nighttime host. Additionally, he served in the same role as La Greca, backing up Kenny Albert’s father Marv on Rangers radio broadcasts – where, in 1994, he delivered the illustrious call of Stephane Matteau’s game-winning, double-overtime goal in game 7 that sent the team to the Stanley Cup Finals. One year later, Rose left WFAN to begin calling games for the NHL’s New York Islanders on Sportschannel, and did not host a sports radio show during his time as a lead hockey play-by-play announcer.
While there are other sports radio hosts in the New York marketplace that exhibit a passion for hockey such as Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti, La Greca is the only one who actively calls the games – akin to how Michael Kay is the only active New York sports radio host who regularly calls professional baseball.
“You don’t have somebody who is as close to the sport as I am to have this kind of forum, so maybe there are a few people like, ‘Hey, I’m a fan of Don. I really don’t like hockey, but he calls a few games so let me listen,’ and it kind of opened a door that otherwise wouldn’t have been opened” said La Greca. “….I don’t think it’s anything that I’m doing. It’s just an opportunity that I have, and it is humbling and it’s pretty cool to hear and I hope those people stick with the sport.”