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Under The Radar – September 26, 2016

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There’s never a dull moment in sports media. The past week produced a ton of news from the sports radio and television industries and in case you missed any of it, we’ve got you covered. A reminder, if you have a news story, promotion, or anniversary to share, you can email it to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. On to this week’s news we go!

Congratulations to Adam Hawk who has been named the new lead producer of the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Radio. Hawk most recently produced JT The Brick on FOX Sports Radio, and previously produced the Fred Roggin Show in Los Angeles on 980 The Beast.

After parting ways with morning host Chad Doing a few weeks earlier, 95.7 The Game has replaced his position with the addition of Dan Dibley to the morning show. Dibley was part of the station’s original morning show, the Rise Guys, which included Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler. In his new role, Dibley will team up with Joe Fortenbaugh, Anna Kagarakis, and former NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal. The show will be titled “Joe, Lo, Dibs and Anna” and debuts on Monday September 26th.

CAA has landed Stephen A. Smith and will provide him with exclusive representation in all areas, including broadcasting, endorsements, publishing and speaking according to Sports Business Journal. A team of agents inside of CAA will represent Smith.

670 The Score in Chicago has announced that Len Kasper will join their broadcast team during the playoffs. Kasper will handle radio play by play duties for Cubs games during the 5th inning, and provide on the field interviews.

Speaking of play by play, Houston Astros TV play by play man Bill Brown has announced he will retire this month. The sixty nine year old Brown has spent nearly thirty years with the Astros, calling his first game for the franchise in 1987. His final broadcast will take place on September 28th when Houston faces the Seattle Mariners.

The taste of crow is one that Brendan Tobin of 790 The Ticket in Miami is about to become familiar with. The midday host said in August that he’d ‘eat crow’ if Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich hit 20 homers this season. Yelich had 11 homers at the time, and entered the season with 20 in his career during a span of 1,458 at bats. Well, Yelich got hot, and started hitting bombs, climbing to 19 before cooling off. But then last Wednesday, he took Max Scherzer deep to notch his 20th, leaving Tobin to have to pay the price. To his credit, Tobin says he will sit down, tuck in his napkin and eat every single piece.

Kentucky sports radio host Matt Jones is launching a new television show on Monday titled “Hey Kentucky“. The program debuts on WLEX-TV (Channel 18) at 7:30pm. Jones says the show will be like ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” but will venture beyond sports too. WLEX-TV president and general manager Pat Dalbey adds that the show will feature different co-hosts, including former UK stars, political figures, “whoever can lend a provocative voice to driving an engaging and lively debate with Matt.”

The Houston Rockets are tweaking their TV and radio broadcast pairings. Longtime TV play by play voice Bill Worrell will continue to call home games on television alongside former Rockets players Clyde Drexler, and Matt Bullard, but he’ll only work select road games. The team will utilize radio play by play man Craig Ackerman on most road games, and Sports Talk 790 radio host Matt Thomas on radio play by play when Ackerman shifts to television. Thomas also returns as the team’s public address announcer for home games. Additionally, 790 host Adam Clanton adds studio hosting duties on Rockets radio broadcasts.

As WEEI goes through its process of looking at hosts to potentially become a third member of the morning show, one interesting name was in the building last week. SB Nation Radio host and former NFL Quarterback and ESPN NFL Analyst Sean Salisbury sat in on Friday alongside Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan. A vacancy on the morning show was created when longtime morning man John Dennis left the show last month.

BSM would like to pass along condolences to Bob Fitzgerald who lost his wife last week to cancer. The KNBR radio host and TV voice of the Golden State Warriors had been married to his wife Carol for 26 years. Together they have three children. Services are scheduled for October 7th. The family has requested donations in Carol’s honor be made by clicking here.

92.3 The Fan morning host Anthony Lima is under fire from the Cleveland bicycling community. The morning host said on Friday that he gets a “murderous feeling” when stuck behind cyclists which drew the ire of Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob VanSickle, who wrote a letter to Program Director Andy Roth demanding that The Fan run educational announcements produced by Bike Cleveland, and require Lima, his partner Ken Carman, and the show’s producers, take part in a class taught by Bike Cleveland members to show what cyclists encounter on the road. Lima said he was trying to add levity to the show, and took the point too far, and is sorry if it was offensive.

97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio has inked a new three year extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets to continue serving as the team’s radio partner. The Blue Jackets have played their games on The Fan since 2000-2001. Ryan Mitchell has joined the broadcast team handling pre, post and intermission hosting duties.

A new podcast is being launched by Jason Page. “The Intersection Podcast” will cover sports, politics and entertainment. Page says it will have something for everybody. The first two episodes will feature Detroit Pistons head coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. Connoisseur Media CT will distribute the weekly podcast.

WRGRB-TV is in need of a new Sports Director. Doug Sherman, who had spent 19 years with the station, has announced that he will leave when his contract expires on October 31st to join ESPN as a play by play announcer. Sherman has called games on a part time basis for ESPN since 2003. His prior work has revolved mostly around college basketball and football broadcasts.

SB Nation Radio has strengthened its football contributors by adding former NFL wide receiver Keenan McCardell, and former NFL Quarterback Ryan Leaf. McCardell will appear weekly with Steve Bunin and Sean Salisbury. Leaf is hosting a 2-hour program on Saturday’s starting at 8pm.

Sports radio fans in Hattiesburg, Mississippi have reason to be excited. The Score 1400 has confirmed it will be launching soon as a Fox Sports Radio affiliate. The station will carry network programs with Clay Travis, Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd and Jay Mohr, and a local show “Pine Belt Sports Drive” weekdays at 5pm. The station has also added “To The Top Talk” with Jamie Arrington, every Tuesday at 6pm.

Brett Dawson has announced via social media that he’s joined The Oklahoman where he’ll contribute to the sports department’s coverage of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dawson previously worked in New Orleans covering the Pelicans.

A new member has been added to the MLB postseason broadcast team on TBS. Former Phillies, Dodgers and White Sox shortstop Jimmy Rollins is joining the network to provide analysis during the upcoming playoffs. He played for the White Sox this season but was released in June.

Mile High Sports in Denver has added Brittanie Fowler as a video host. Fowler is expected to contribute to the company’s website, and possibly to Mile High’s local magazine.

Sports Radio News

Bobby Valentine Tells Boomer & Gio Donald Trump Photo Sunk Him

“Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the Stamford mayoral race.”

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Courtesy: WFAN

Former MLB manager and ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine joined WFAN’s Boomer and Gio this week to discuss his mayoral campaign in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the race. He claims that a decades-old picture with him and former President Donald Trump sunk his chances.

“We had a photo taken together in 2000 for the World Series and so the last day of the campaign all around the neighborhoods, a picture of Donald and Bobby with the quote ‘only poor people and dumb people pay taxes,’” Valentine told Boomer and Gio about the photo that circulated around the town on Election Day.

“That really helped with the minority vote in my town,” Valentine said sarcastically.

It wasn’t all bad news for Valentine, who was enamored with the campaign-building process, among other things.

“Built it [the campaign] from scratch, which was a wonderful experience” Valentine explained. “Figuring out how to get volunteers together, and money together, and office, and headquarters together. We actually ran a six-month—perfectly clean—campaign. Not one negative word mentioned the entire time. Got 14,000 votes, more than any non-Democrat ever got in our city, and almost won that thing.

“I’m glad that I was the candidate, and I’m also glad that I’m not the mayor because it’s really a tough job. I got four years of my life back when the votes came in.”

Valentine worked at ESPN for a few years in the early part of the 2010s before re-entering the managing circuit with the Boston Red Sox. He famously managed the Mets to one of their two World Series appearances this century in 2000.

“It’s a little bit of the seven-year itch,” Valentine said when asked why he’s always looking for the next obstacle. “I did seven years in Texas; seven years in New York; seven years in Japan; seven months in Boston. Then I did seven years at Sacred Heart. So, yeah, it’s all about the sevens.”

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Sports Radio News

Tony Rizzo To Baker Mayfield Critics: I Hope You’re Happy

“850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.”

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Courtesy: ESPN Cleveland

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked like much of a franchise star so far in 2021, and it has all the attention of sports radio in The Land. 

850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.

“You happy?” Rizzo said to his co-host, Aaron Goldhammer. “Are you Baker [Mayfield] haters? Are you guys happy? Baker looks bad, and you wanna jump down his throat. I’M A BROWNS FAN! I’M A BROWNS FAN. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE ROOTING AGAINST OUR QUARTERBACK!”

Mayfield has struggled with shoulder and knee injuries throughout this season and ranks 25th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR metric (42.9 out of 100).

“You want him to fail,” Rizzo continued. “To prove what? You were right? Do you realize what happens if this kid isn’t the right guy? WE’RE GONNA SUCK, AGAIN. You don’t find quarterbacks. It took you 20 years to find a guy to win 11 games. Now you don’t think he can take you the rest of the way? Are you happy?”

The Browns went on the road this past weekend and the New England Patriots stomped them 45-7. The loss meant Cleveland still hasn’t won in Foxboro since 1992, when, ironically, now Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held the same role with Cleveland.

“I hope you’re all happy,” Rizzo declared. “I hope you’re happy; so you can draft some quarterback in the 30s and try and pray…Don’t you understand? If Baker fails it’s back to the drawing board for my franchise.

“We know that everything has to be right for Baker to win. Sobering stuff for me. This year has been sobering; however, he’s got a bad shoulder, he’s got a broken bone. Now he’s got a bum knee and bum foot. He’s getting beat up. Maybe he can’t play the position.”

Watch the full clip from ESPN Cleveland above.

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Sports Radio News

Kraig Riley Named Brand Manager Of 93.7 The Fan

“He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010.”

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There’s a new leader in Pittsburgh and Audacy did not have to look too far to find him. Kraig Riley has been promoted to brand manager of 93.7 The Fan.

Riley is a familiar face in the building and voice on the air. He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010. He has served as producer of the station’s afternoon show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller. He also was the host of the station’s pre and postgame coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The opening was created earlier this year when Jim Graci exited The Fan and sister station KDKA New Radio. Audacy hired industry veteran Dave LaBrozzi, who most recently served as Vice President of Programming for WABC Radio in New York City, to lead the news talk station.

“As both KDKA and The Fan continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day it is clear that both stations need focused leadership,” Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Pittsburgh, said in a press release. “The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.”

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