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Under The Radar – December 5, 2016

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Here’s the latest sports media news making waves across the country. If you have a news tip to pass along or something exciting taking place inside your company and want to share it, please send your information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Big news out of New York City. Three key members of the New York Daily News‘ sports section are moving on. Longtime sports media columnist Bob Raissman, and baseball reporters Anthony McCarron and Andy Martino have elected to take buyouts from the newspaper. The Daily News saw its circulation plunge double digits in 2016, and new co-publisher and co-chairman Eric Gertler is looking to trim 6 million dollars in payroll according to the New York Post. The newspaper is also said to be looking to downsize its office space.

Last week, Steve Bunin announced he’d be leaving SB Nation Radio to return home to Seattle and join KING as a morning news anchor. To fill Bunin’s vacancy SB Nation Radio is conducting a nationwide search to find the right partner to join weekday host Sean Salisbury. The network has confirmed that Kayce Smith, Craig Shemon, Patrick Creighton, Brien Straw, Danny Mata, Fred Davis and Dave Shore will earn opportunities to audition. Others could be added as well. The plan is to exhaust all options before making a permanent decision on the network’s new afternoon host.

97.9 ESPN in Hartford have hired their next Program Director. An official announcement is expected soon. The iHeartmedia station had been searching for a new leader after former PD Tim Spence returned home to Denver to program Denver Sports 760 and newstalk station KHOW. Both Denver stations are owned and operated by iHeart, which means Spence has remained with the company.

Congratulations is in order for Landry Locker, who has agreed to join Sports Radio 610 in Houston as the new producer for MaD Radio, featuring Mike Meltser and Seth Payne. Locker stays with CBS, exiting his current position as morning show producer of 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Locker is a Texas native and the opportunity allows him to return to his home state while continuing his career on another top notch morning show.

With Locker exiting Cleveland, 92.3 The Fan Program Director Andy Roth is in the market for a new producer to work with his talented morning team of Ken Carman and Anthony Lima. The job posting is available in our jobs section. You can reach it by clicking here.

BSM sends its best wishes to WQAM midday host Orlando Alzugaray who had a health scare last week and was forced to miss a week of action on the Miami sports station. “The Big O” underwent surgery and is expected to return to his show this week. Robert Littal of Black Sports Online is filling in on Monday’s show.

With the holidays approaching, Marc James will be stepping in for Jim Rome on the CBS Sports Radio Network. James will host Rome’s program next Monday December 12th and Tuesday December 13th. He’ll also host the show December 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th.

WJR Lions pre/post game host and former Detroit Sports 105.1 weekday host Sean Baligian has been chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes to provide play by play of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 31st. The game will air on FOX Sports Carolina, the team’s local television home. Baligian says it’s a one game assignment but he’s hopeful of doing more play by play assignments in the future.

Former FOX Sports Radio and 670 The Score morning host Mike North has launched a daily podcast. “Mike North: Sticks and Stones” will post weekdays around 9:30am CT. The podcast will be available on Gow Media’s Podcast Arena network, AudioBoom, iTunes, and North’s website.

Speaking of new podcasts, former NBA player turned TNT NBA Analyst Chris Webber has entered the digital space with a new program available on Podcast One. “Fearless or Insane” debuted on Tuesday November 29th. The plan is for a new episode to drop every Tuesday.

Staying in the digital arena, former 95.7 The Game in San Francisco weekday hosts Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are taking their podcast program on the road. The duo will broadcast live from The BrickYard in San Francisco at 7pm PT on December 14th. The duo are also filling in on KNBR 1050 Tuesday from noon to 3p PT.

Former 102.5 The Game in Nashville Program Director Jeremy Bennefield has landed on his feet, and didn’t have to relocate to do so. Bennefield has accepted an opportunity at Nashville’s leading newspaper The Tennessean.

A new afternoon show has launched on 103.1 The Team in Columbus, MS. “The Drive with Steve and The Professor”, features Steve Rogers and Glenn “The Professor” Lautzenhiser, and now airs weekdays from 4p-6p ET. The show debuted on November 28th.

Townsquare Media has pulled the plug on ESPN Evansville 105.3. The station has flipped to Christmas Music and is being rebranded as My 105.3 WJLT. The station will switch to an AC format after the holiday season.

A round of applause for 1010XL in Jacksonville who raised over $115,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund last Tuesday. The station’s previous high was $92,000 which they raised last year. The Jay Fund is a local Jacksonville charity which was founded by Coughlin in 1996 and it’s purpose is to assist local families battling childhood cancer to make ends meet financially. For more information click here.

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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