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Under The Radar – October 31, 2016

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The latest developments that you may have missed throughout the sports media world. As always, if you have news to share or something to promote, feel free to pass it along via email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Jim Celania of 610 The Fan (WFNZ-AM) is retiring after nearly 20 years at the radio station. Celania recently hosted the morning show alongside Chris McClain. He previously worked with Gary Williams on the Morning Sports Page. Celenia said “I had two highly prepared lead hosts in Gary and Mac and many others allowing me to just be me, but now it’s time to go. I will miss it more than it will miss me. If I made you think or laugh then I guess I did ok.”

Former CBS Radio President Dan Mason is keeping busy in sports media circles. Mason, who currently serves as Senior Advisor for iHeartmedia, will be calling a handful of college basketball games on television for the CBS Sports Network. He was also added recently as an analyst on the Horse Racing Radio Network. HRNN programming can be heard on Sirius 93, XM 93, online and podcast at horseracingradio.net, and on select HRRN affiliates.

Clay Travis wrote a column which focused on the continued decline in subscribers at ESPN. This led to a response from the worldwide leader. Nielsen, the company which supplies ratings data for radio and television companies has since removed their November 2016 Cable Network Coverage Universe Estimates (versus the prior month) citing an unusual change. The company says they take the accuracy of their data very seriously and are conducting a thorough analysis to determine whether or not there was an issue.

Prior to the start of the World Series, 670 The Score program director Mitch Rosen took to his station’s website to thank listeners for their support during the past 25 years. You can read Rosen’s piece by clicking here. The Score’s Chris Tannehill also put together an excellent production piece to summarize the Cubs season and get local fans ready for the matchup with the Indians. You can hear it by clicking here.

102.5 The Game in Nashville has a brand new program director and they didn’t have to look far to find him. Ryan Porth has been promoted from the station’s APD role to the top spot. Station General Manager Jana Hampton says “Ryan exceeded expectations as the APD and has proven himself worthy of the elevated role. He brings energy, understanding, knowledge, and a plan to win. The competition wasn’t even close.”

Jeffrey Wright has been hired by 92.9 ESPN in Memphis. He’ll serve as Executive Producer of the Geoff Calkins Show, and as a contributor to the station’s local programming. Wright spent the past four years in Oxford, Mississippi covering Ole Miss for the Yahoo/Rivals network and hosting the Oxford Exxon Podcast, the largest daily podcast in the Southeast.

Staying in Nashville, 104.5 The Zone doesn’t have the radio rights to the Predators but that isn’t stopping them from tapping into one of the team’s most popular new additions. P.K. Subban has been added as a weekly contributor and will join the station’s afternoon show 3HL every Wednesday.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford is down to a few finalists for its vacant program director position. A final decision is expected soon. Former PD Tim Spence left in order to take the reigns at Denver Sports 760. Both stations are owned and operated by iHeartmedia.

Longtime Golden State Warriors radio producer R.C. Davis has joined 95.7 The Game as a producer of the station’s weekday NBA show. The program “NBA This Week” is hosted by John Dickinson and Matt Steinmetz.

Congratulations is in order for Arizona Sports 98.7FM midday host Vince Marotta who has taken over duties as the P.A. Announcer of the Phoenix Suns. Marotta replaces Kip Helt.

Chris Herring has left his position as the New York Knicks beat reporter at the Wall Street Journal to join ESPN where he’ll serve as a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight and as a national NBA reporter for the True Hoop Network.

Sports Radio News

Craig Carton Making Responsible Gambling Content For FanDuel

“He will help shape the company’s responsible gaming policy, play a role in FanDuel building AI that can spot problematic gambling patterns, and host events in which he will help younger bettors understand what an addiction looks like.”

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FanDuel announced yesterday that it has hired its first ever “responsible gaming ambassador”. WFAN’s Craig Carton has agreed to take on the role. He has been open about his gambling addiction and advocated for those that believe they have a problem to seek help on air since returning to New York radio last year.

The content he creates for FanDuel will have a very specific focus. A press release says Carton will promote messages of “advocacy, prevention awareness and content development focused on the importance of wagering within limits”.

Craig Carton was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a ponzi scheme to defraud investors of money they were told was being invested in tickets for resale. In reality, Carton was using the money to repay some of his gambling debts.

“My story and personal history with gambling has been well documented,” said Carton. “More than ever, I want to use my experience and platform to shine a meaningful spotlight on the issue of problem gambling. It was important to me that I find a real partnership with a company that shared my passion for this issue. It became clear FanDuel shared the same goals and was comfortable working transparently with me for the sole purpose of protecting people.”

FanDuel is planning to utilize Carton in a number of ways. He will help shape the company’s responsible gaming policy, play a role in FanDuel building AI that can spot problematic gambling patterns, and host events in which he will help younger bettors understand what an addiction looks like.

He will also create audio and video for FanDuel’s Play Safe Campaign. FanDuel will help Carton’s WFAN program “Hello, My Name is Craig” find a bigger audience. The show airs on weekends and features Carton discussing his addiction and offering advice to others seeking help.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Craig to place even more emphasis on responsible gaming behaviors,” said Mike Raffensperger, FanDuel Group’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Everyone at FanDuel understands the importance of protecting our customers who are also our family, friends, neighbors and community members. Craig’s powerful personal story will help fuel our mission of making sure no bet placed results in hurting a loved one.”

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Sports Radio News

Marc Malusis: Stephen A Smith Spouting ‘Complete & Utter BS’

“Listen, I get he’s on ESPN and we’re doing out thing here, but it’s affecting a team we cover on a day-in-day-out basis with the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving, who is a very polarizing figure in this city.”

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WFAN’s Marc Malusis wants Stephen A. Smith to acknowledge that he either has inside information regarding the Nets or that he completely made up a trade rumor on First Take earlier this week. Smith said on First Take that the Brooklyn Nets would trade Kyrie Irving to Philadelphia if it meant they got Ben Simmons back in return, but the idea has been nixed by Kevin Durant.

Stephen A. Smith accused some in the media of lying about his report. He tried to claim that he what said on First Take was that the Irving for Simmons deal is a trade the Nets could do. That was enough to sett Malusis off.

“This is just complete and utter BS,” he shouted. “I mean, get the boots on!”

Marc Malusis claims that the idea of an Irving for Simmons trade isn’t totally absurd. Having James Harden on the roster would allow Brooklyn to bring in someone that does everything well but shoot. Still, he says Smith framed his stance as something he knows happened and Malusis is adamant it didn’t.

He was even more upset that Smith would say people in the New York media “lied” about what Smith had said. Marc Malusis pointed out that when you are the local media, you have to dive into a rumor like that. It doesn’t just get to be something that was said on ESPN.

“Listen, I get he’s on ESPN and we’re doing out thing here, but it’s affecting a team we cover on a day-in-day-out basis with the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving, who is a very polarizing figure in this city.”

It sounds like Malusis’s greatest objection is to Smith’s indignation at the idea that someone took his trade rumor seriously.

“Don’t all the sudden start waking back and saying ‘everyone’s spewing lies about what I had to say yesterday’ because you know what? We had to weed through the BS of what you said yesterday.”

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104.5 ESPN’s Matt Moscona Sets Up $100K Donation to Local High School

”It’s been tough on these kids, and this will definitely help us.”

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Guaranty Media and 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge recently invited a local Athletic Director from South Lafourche High School Brian Callais to come and promote an upcoming fundraising event host by Central High School on After Further Review with Matt Moscona.

During the phone interview, Callais informed listeners of the impact that Ida had on their school, including major damages to the high school that there are no funds to repair. Additionally, the school’s sports teams will be forced to travel for every game this season as their facilities are not fit to host other schools.

Little did Callais know, Matt Moscona had invited the founder of a Baton-Rouge-based cryptocurrency business called Game Coin to join him in the 104.5 ESPN studio to surprise Callias with a donation of $100,000 dollars to the school.

“This will go a long way,” said Callais after learning of Game Coin’s donation to his program. “Our [senior] student-athletes have not had a normal high school year since their freshman year…Their sophomore year, they were hit with the pandemic, and we’re looking forward to a regular senior year for them. It’s been tough on these kids, and this will definitely help us.”

Gamecoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies that is not totally for profit, as 4% of their 10% transaction fee goes to charitable donations to help youth sports groups.

“Growing up, I didn’t have everything that I thought I should have,” said founder of Game Coin David Mahler on Moscona’s radio program. “I just always wanted to be able to provide for people…and since I’m able to do that now, I added that as a part of Game Coin.”

Mahler also said in the interview that three more similar donations are already arranged and they will be announced within the next two weeks.

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