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.
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group
“The programming on the station does not change.”
Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1.
“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”
The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.
“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”
Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.
SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage
“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”
SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.
A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.
Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.
“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”
ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.
Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.
SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.
BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week
“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”
BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII.
Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.
The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.