A number of news items you may not be aware of from the world of sports media. As usual, if you have a tip to share or a press release to pass along, send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s this week’s news.
John Cassio has been hired by SiriusXM as the new program director of College Sports Nation. Cassio fills the vacancy left behind by TJ Cuttini. Prior to accepting the offer to join SiriusXM, Cassio was the program director for Fox Sports 97.3 The Fan in Fort Meyers, FL.
In Boston, WEEI.com has added Alex Reimer as a full-time contributor. Reimer will also continue making on-air contributions to Kirk and Callahan‘s morning show on WEEI.
Here’s a very cool idea that Atlanta sports radio personality Mark Zinno has developed. The evening host on 92.9 The Game has announced he’s launching the Hazard Ground Podcast, a program which will include conversations with military members and their stories of survival, combat, and beyond. To check it out click here. The first episode drops on Tuesday.
Congratulations to Owen Lademann who been named the new producer of Ken Carman and Anthony Lima‘s morning show on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. Lademann had previously produced Nick Wilson‘s evening show on the station. He fills the vacancy left behind by Landry Locker who left for Houston to produce MaD Radio on Sports Radio 610.
Look for former 97.5 The Fanatic host Jon Marks to resurface soon on the airwaves in Philadelphia. Marks’ non-compete is expected to expire soon. While it’s unclear which station he will be heard on, local sources say to expect him to join WIP. Stay tuned.
After winning a world series, the Chicago Cubs are satisfied sticking with what’s worked on their television broadcasts. The team has signed TV broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim DeShaies to contract extensions through the 2019 season.
Speaking of contracts, Ben Maller has inked a new deal to remain on the airwaves of FOX Sports Radio. Premiere Radio Networks, which operates FSR, has been very pleased with Maller’s performance and growth.
One additional contract extension comes from the CBS Sports Radio Network. Amy Lawrence has agreed to terms to continue patrolling the network’s airwaves overnight. The network has signed her to a multi-year deal.
Congratulations is in order for Cliff Saunders who has been retained for a 5th season on Houston Astros pre and postgame shows. Astros radio broadcasts are carried on NewsRadio 740 KTRH in Houston.
Matt Pauley is adding to his workload by adding anchor work at SB Nation Radio. Pauley also works for 620 WTMJ in Milwaukee as the station’s pre and postgame host for Milwaukee Brewers baseball.
A second sports station has been introduced in Eugene, Oregon. Steve Woodward has launched FOX Sports Eugene, which includes FSR programming, play by play from the Portland Trail Blazers and San Francisco 49ers, and local reports. The station is broadcasting on KORE 1050AM, which previously aired Christian programming for over four decades.
Meanwhile in San Antonio, Cox Radio has decided to exit the sports format. The company has flipped CBS Sports Radio 860 to the oldies format.
Alex Womer has been named Sports Blitz anchor on FOX Sports 1330 and Assistant Production Director of Connoisseur Media‘s six radio stations in Eerie, PA. Womer had worked for the company in a variety of roles before being elevated to full-time status.
In the TV world, ESPN is losing one of its play by play announcers. Eamon McAnaney is leaving the network for a full time anchor role with SNY.
ESPN high profile personality Stephen A. Smith is one of seven honorees who will be inducted into the 2016-2017 John B. McLendon Jr. Hall of Fame. The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association will hold its ceremony for the honorees on February 24th.
The WWE has hired Vic Travagliante as an on-air announcer. He will go by the name of Vic Joseph on the air. He’s recently served as the voice of the wrestling promotion House of Hardcore, and previously spent time working for the Cleveland Browns Network and CBS Cleveland.
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.
Paul Finebaum: ESPN, FOX Have Power To Tank EA Sports College Football Video Game
“Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football.”
The power brokers in college football now are the media. In particular, it is ESPN, who is set to take over the SEC’s media rights and FOX, who controls the Big Ten’s media rights. Paul Finebaum said recently on the Dynasty Mode podcast that those relationships give the two networks major control over college football.
Dynasty Mode is a podcast about EA Sports’ popular college football video game series hosted by BSM writers Arky Shea and Demetri Ravanos. Finebaum told the pair that if either ESPN and FOX or the Big Ten and the SEC don’t want to work together, the video game, which will return to store shelves in 2023 after a ten-year absence from the market, could be doomed.
“We’re a year removed from an absolute certainty, that was a 12 school playoff for the CFP, getting shot down for the very same reason,” he said. “So if they can shoot down the most important entity in college sports, I think they can shoot down this.”
Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football. He told Shea and Ravanos that he hopes power brokers at schools and networks realize that.
“I think it’s been very important and I don’t know how many people that are in those power five seats think about stuff like that.”
In the early 2000s, Tony Bruno brought a fictionalized version of his radio show to EA Sports’ Madden NFL series. Finebaum said he had not been approached yet by EA to do something similar for the new college football video game.
“I’m really surprised they haven’t because it would be a big money-making operation, at least for me. I don’t know about for them, but I am happy to participate,” Finebaum joked.
He added that the real value to EA Sports would be his audience. They could give the game a level of authenticity that many fans have missed as college football becomes a more corporate entity.
“You can replace me, but you can’t replace the callers. They are the most unique, and I think it takes a lot of work to nurture callers like that. I’m not campaigning for EA because I have people to do that for me,” he said. “Point being, what makes college sports what it is? It’s the fans. It’s not the fat cats that buy the one million or two million dollar suites. It’s not the people sitting with the president. It’s the rank and file that probably never get to campus.”
Matt Chernoff: WFAN’s Sal Licata ‘Doesn’t Have The Guts’ to Appear On 680 The Fan Again
“He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that?”
Would WFAN’s Sal Licata join Chuck and Chernoff on 680 The Fan in Atlanta again? According to Matt Chernoff, no.
During a May appearance on SNY, Licata declared the National League East race over, saying the New York Mets had wrapped up the division. The Atlanta Braves then proceeded to win 14 consecutive games. The Mets currently hold a seven game lead over the Braves in the division.
After the 14 game winning streak, Chuck and Chernoff had Licata on their show to confront him about the opinion, and things got slightly heated, with Chernoff and Licata eventually yelling at each other, before cooler heads prevailed.
The two hosts rekindled their disdain for one another after the Mets won four of five games against the Braves over the weekend, with the two trading barbs on Twitter. Licata joked Chernoff should hope the New York host doesn’t move to Atlanta to win a ratings battle, and called Chernoff a clown before deleting the tweet. He later tweeted “Funny. No invites from Atlanta sports talk radio today,” accompanied by a should shrug emoji. That caught the attention of Chernoff, who addressed it to open his show Monday.
“He (Licata) won’t come on,” Chernoff said. “He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that? He made a fool of himself and then lied about it to his own fans. There’s a reason he didn’t play the audio on his dumb little show. And next time when he’s an hour late, they have that to play instead. I mean, honestly, if he wants to come on, come on. He has no interest. He does not want this smoke.”
790 The Score Debuts In Providence
In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.
The station, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, has been revived and will serve as the market’s first sports and sports betting station.
“The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage,” said Holly Paras, VP and market manager of Cumulus Providence. “We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love 790 THE SCORE!”
In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch some of the top national talent on the airwaves throughout the day and night. This includes hosts like Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.
McNamara will host his show Kevin Mac Sports Hour daily from 5-7 p.m.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett News Media. He also works for ABC8 News and Newsradio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond, Virginia. His prior experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and iHeartradio Richmond. He can be reached by email at Jordan.E.Bondurant@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.