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Under The Radar – January 24, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Another week, another batch of news from the sports media universe. Here are a few nuggets you may have missed. If you have a future tip, story or press release to share, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

After spending the past fourteen years in Chicago, Chris Rongey is ready for a new opportunity. The talented on-air host and anchor at 670 The Score says details regarding his future will be available soon. Rongey recently hosted shows for 101 ESPN in St. Louis. No word yet where he’s headed but stay tuned for further details.

Here are two great stories worth sharing from the folks at 610 Sports.

  • During the Kansas City Chiefs-Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game, morning show members Bob Fescoe, Josh Klingler, and Steven Spector hung out at the home of former Chiefs and Colts offensive lineman Ryan Lilja, and invited the audience to watch and interact via Facebook Live. The result was 26,000 views and over 2 million people reached. A smart way to connect with fans during big events.
  • After Kansas City sports fans learned on Sunday of the passing of Royals pitcher Yordano “Ace” Ventura, every full time member of 610’s staff headed to the studio and/or Kauffman Stadium to be a voice of comfort for the local community. The station took calls, spoke with members of the organization, captured photos and videos of the way fans were showing their respects for the fallen star, and grieved with every fan in the market. A tip of the cap to the entire staff for stepping up to the plate during a difficult time.

More news to share from Kansas City, but this time it involves 810 WHB. On-Air host TJ Carpenter is no longer with the radio station. Carpenter had been with WHB for the past 4 years and was hosting the station’s evening program. Details of his departure remain unclear. To contact him for future on-air opportunities click here.

Sports Radio 94WIP in Philadelphia is adding “The Hot Stove Show” to its February schedule. Phillies Announcers Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will host the program every Wednesday evening throughout the month from 6p-7p. No word yet if the program will continue into March.

The Washington Capitals are returning their broadcasts to the FM dial in the nation’s capital. After 106.7 The Fan chose not to renew their radio agreement prior to this season, the Caps crafted a unique programming arrangement, which included airing games on WFED 1500 AM, unless conflicts came up. If they did, the team’s games shifted exclusively to online streams. The team says it knew the situation wasn’t ideal and have since resolved their radio dilemma by striking a deal to broadcast games on iHeartradio’s 104.7FM.

Also in D.C., add another name to the list of employees let go recently by ESPN 980. Tim Shovers, who worked as an update anchor, reporter, and producer has also been let go due to budget cuts. To reach him for future opportunities click here. 980 has also moved Scott Linn into afternoons with Steve Czaban, filling Andy Pollin‘s vacant spot.

Nascar writer Jeff Gluck has announced his departure from the USA Today. Gluck says family reasons are the driving force behind the change. He hopes to start a reader-funded Nascar website in the near future.

Sports Radio News

Kentucky and Missouri Stations Switch Formats, Add FOX Sports Radio

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports radio listeners in western Kentucky and southeast Missouri can rejoice, thanks to a recent decision by Withers Broadcasting to switch formats.

Folks in the Paducah area of Kentucky can now find FOX Sports Radio on 95.9 FM, while listeners in Cape Girardeau, Missouri can find FSR on 97.3.

Withers switched the two stations to sports talk from oldies and classic country.

Among the lineup of hosts that can be heard on the stations include Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, Jason Smith, Ben Maller and Outkick 360 hosted by Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky.

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Sports Radio News

Kevin McNamara to Host Two-Hour Show on 790 The Score in Rhode Island

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Kevin McNamara

Two months after announcing its triumphant return to the Rhode Island airwaves, Sports Radio 790 The Score is set to go live next week.

And in addition to the station’s lineup of national hosts and sports betting shows, former Providence Journal writer Kevin McNamara will be hosting the station’s only local show.

McNamara will host his show from 5-7 pm, sandwiched between You Better You Bet and Bet MGM Tonight.

McNamara, who hosted a one-hour show on WPRO, saw his time extended an hour. He said this is a great opportunity to get listeners involved early.

“In one hour I tried to be as newsy as I could,” McNamara told Bill Koch of The Providence Journal. “It’s basically a three-segment show — we’d try to have three different subjects. Now we’ll try to hit those three different subjects, but we’ll have a real avenue for calls.” 

The second hour of McNamara’s show will be simulcasted on WPRO.

The Score, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, will carry Providence men’s basketball, Brown men’s basketball and football, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics and the New York Yankees.

The station hopes to eat at some of the market share in Rhode Island currently held by both Boston sports stations, WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I think, because it’s new, I’d encourage people to give it a shot,” McNamara said. “It will be very different from the Boston-based sports radio that we’ve become used to.”

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Sports Radio News

Joel Utley, College Basketball’s Record Holder for Most Games Called, Retires

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record.

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Joel Utley

Joel Utley has announced he is retiring from broadcasting and as the voice of the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

Utley retires after 61 years as the team’s basketball play-by-play announcer which is a college basketball record. He broadcast 1,933 Kentucky Wesleyan games during that span, also a record for total games called. He began his career on December 2, 1961 when KWC defeated California State University – Northridge, 100-64. 

Utley also is the only broadcaster in the nation to call 12 NCAA Basketball Championship games (all levels) including eight Division II titles.

Joel Utley interviewing Rupp

“It was a tough decision to make, but the timing is right to step down,” Utley said. “What I have done as a broadcaster reflects my love for KWC. My career has been beyond any dreams I ever had.”

He is a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame and in September, Utley will be inducted into the Kentucky Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame.

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