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Under The Radar – February 6, 2017

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Another week of news to share that you may have not been aware of. To pass along future tips, press releases and relevant information, email JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the stuff you might have missed.

One of the biggest sports media questions of 2017 is, where will Mike Francesa land after he departs WFAN? Last week during an on-air reunion with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Francesa said he will be on the air somewhere on January 3, 2018. He also hinted that the next venture might not be conventional. Stay tuned.

Altitude Sports 950 in Denver is going thru a change to its weekday lineup. Tom Nalen has left the station and his position in afternoon drive with Nate Kreckman, forcing the station to make a personnell adjustment. Starting Monday, Kreckman will be joined on a daily basis by former Denver Bronco Ryan Harris. The new afternoon show will be titled “Kreckman and Harris“.

Also in Denver, Mile High Sports is bringing in former Sports Radio 810 WHB evening host TJ Carpenter for a look. Carpenter who has spent the past four and a half years in Kansas City is expected to do a few test shows this week.

Congratulations to Kyle Brown who’s been promoted to Assistant Program Director at 710 ESPN Seattle. The station also announced promotions for James “Boy Howdy” Osborn and Taylor Jacobs. Osborn will become the station’s Topical Content producer, which includes handling the station’s imaging and developing ways to produce content across all media platforms. Jacobs takes on the role of Audience Engagement Manager, which focuses on the brand’s social media strategy and engagement, database development, and digital brand messaging.

When you have a love for radio, you keep pushing forward regardless of the setbacks. That’s exactly what Jeff Pantridge did and as luck would have it, he’s now landed the afternoon hosting opportunity at ESPN Radio 94.1 in Virginia Beach. Congrats to Dave Paulus and the Max Media Virginia Beach crew on finding a quality replacement for Nick Cattles who left last month to join 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Former LSU center T-Bob Hebert, who’s also the son of former NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert is returning to Baton Rouge. The former offensive linemen will co-host a morning drive show with Jordy Culotta on 104.5/104.9 ESPN. The program “Off the Bench” will air weekdays from 7a-9a ET.

CRC Broadcasting has announced plans to launch a new sports radio station in Phoenix. 1580 The Fanatic will debut Monday, February 13th and feature a mixture of local programming and CBS Sports Radio and SB Nation Radio shows. The station’s weekday lineup will consist of The Morning Fanatics with K-Ray and Bauer from 6-9am, Fouhy on The Fanatic from 9-10am, Jim Rome from 10am-12pm, The Daily Blender with Jeffry O’Brien from 12-2pm, The Dean’s List with Jeff Dean from 2-3pm, and Roc and Manuch with Shawn Crespin from 3-6pm. This will be the 4th sports station to be available in the Phoenix market, joining Arizona Sports 98.7FM, FOX Sports 910 and NBC Sports 1060.

Also in Phoenix, congratulations is in order for Erin Maloney who has expanded her role on Arizona Sports 98.7FM. Maloney will be providing on-air updates during Bickley and Marotta’s midday show.

In the windy city, Julie DiCaro and Brian Hedger are teaming up to co-host a new Saturday program on 670 The Score. The debut broadcast took place this past Saturday February 4th immediately after the Illinois basketball game.

Heading to the nation’s capital, 106.7 The Fan has made a couple of moves. The radio station has struck a deal with Thom Loverro to contribute to all of the station’s weekday programs. Loverro had been a member of ESPN 980 but was let go due to budget cuts. Additionally, The Fan has partnered with the Washington Capitals to bring head coach Barry Trotz on the Sports Junkies every Wednesday morning at 8am.

Congratulations are in order for Jack Fritz who has been hired as a producer at Sports Radio 94 WIP in Philadelphia.

CBS Sports Radio is losing the talents of Max Herman. The on-air anchor has announced he’s moving to Vancouver where he hopes to produce content for an interested company. Herman worked his final shift on CBS Sports Radio last week.

Former NFL Defensive Coordinator and San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Mike Nolan will be departing SiriusXM‘s NFL channel in order to accept a new opportunity with the New Orleans Saints.

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Mad Dog Launches Digging Up The Past Podcast

This season of Russo’s podcast focuses on great MLB teams that fell short.

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Courtesy: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Few people in sports media love Major League Baseball like Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, and that love just got a new avenue for expression from Sirius XM. Russo is hosting a 10-part podcast series with the company that dives into what he believes are the ten best major league teams that didn’t win the World Series.

Digging Up The Past launches a new season with full deep dive episodes for every one of these teams, starting with the 1954 Cleveland Indians, which is available now. Russo and specific guests discuss the magic those teams created throughout the season and what ultimately felled their chances of lifting the Commissioner’s Trophy when it was all said and done.

“Hear Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo for another season of his Sirius XM podcast, Digging Up The Past,” The show trailer states. “Join Christopher for a journey through baseball’s decorated history, for an examination of the best single-season teams that failed to capture postseason glory.” 

The show is scheduled to debut episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays over the coming weeks as the baseball season ramps up for the October playoff push.

“Throughout the decades, Major League Baseball has produced several great teams that fell short of winning the World Series for numerous reasons,” The trailer continued. “Some were taken down by improbable heroes, or hall of fame talent. While others suffered the indignity of bizarre occurrences and self-inflicted wounds. Join Christopher as he tells the tales of these gut-wrenching collapses and heartbreaking losses in a way that only he can.”

The other nine teams slated to be on the show are as follows: 2001 Mariners, 1969 Cubs, 1991 Pirates, 1965 Twins, 1995 Indians, 1978 Red Sox, 1994 Expos, 1977 Royals, and the 1993 Giants. Every one of these tales is available for listening over the coming months on most major podcast platforms.

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Study: Easier To Reach Sports Bettors Through Radio Than TV

The study was conducted in Michigan this past winter and then expanded nationwide in the spring.

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Courtesy: Westwood One

Westwood One and Cumulus Media have crunched the numbers on reaching sports bettors and found some interesting data.

The company discovered that sports bettors are more reachable through AM/FM radio advertising than television advertising. The study began in Michigan this past February and expanded into all 12 fully legal gambling states in April.

Westwood One commissioned the study from MARU/Matchbox, which surveyed 718 adults over 21 years old in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The study discovered that 71% of adults 21+ are aware sports betting is legal in their state. When the surveyors asked study participants how likely they are to place a legal wager, 23% of adults 21+ said they are very or somewhat interested in online sports betting.

The numbers tailed off the older the participants got. Around half of the adults, 21-34, say they would be interested. Interest drops to 30% amongst adults 35-54. For people 55 and older, there isn’t much interest in online sports betting.

When looking at gender specifically, twice as many men (32%) versus women (15%) say they would be interested in online sports betting.

Advertising is paying off for the brands willing to go all in, namely DraftKings and Fanduel, who have strong brand recognition in this study. Participants selected any sports betting websites they have heard advertising from in the prior month, and those brands dominated.

Among participants, 36% recognized DraftKings, and 32% recognized Fanduel. The next closest brand was BetMGM at 15%, followed by Bet Rivers and William Hill at 8% and 6%.

Every small study can be taken with a grain of salt, but these numbers show that the best way to reach sports bettors is through radio advertising. In a time where money is pouring in left and right from sports gambling, this is welcome data for station managers across the country.

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Dan Patrick Appreciates Radio Success More Than ESPN Tenure

“I just kept thinking let me look at what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. I really missed an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy it.”

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Getty/John Lamparski

If you watched ESPN from 1990 to about 2007, Dan Patrick’s face is one you most likely saw often on an 11 PM ET edition of SportsCenter. While it seemed like Dan Patrick was having fun hosting SportsCenter with Keith Olbermann, that wasn’t always the case. 

Patrick was the guest on a recent episode of The Ryen Russillo Podcast and talked about many different topics. When Russillo asked Patrick what he would consider the best work he has ever done, Patrick had a tough time answering the question and he was more focused on mistakes than the great work he was doing.

“Even when Olberman and I were doing SportsCenter and we were at the top of our game, I just kept thinking let me look at what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. I really missed an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy it,” he said.

Although Olberman and Patrick were the faces of ESPN during the early and mid 90s, the SportsCenter legend said there was a time when he thought they would be fired.

“We were dressed down one time and it was really bad because management, I think, thought we were full of ourselves and we might have been. I thought I was going to get fired. To think I had just won a Sports Emmy, I was feeling pretty good. There was talk that Keith and I would host SNL. We’re thinking they got to love us, they didn’t. They worried we were going to be out of control. I think that led to the breaking point with Keith. I tell people Keith is the best teammate you could ever ask for.” 

Dan Patrick is more proud of the success he has now with his radio show compared to when he was on SportsCenter. He says that is largely because of how the show was built from the ground up. 

“I had guys who I had worked with at ESPN and I asked them to take a leap of faith. We had 12 radio affiliates. I didn’t have any TV partner. I had nothing. We were doing the show in my attic and those guys gave up their jobs at ESPN and they joined me. I didn’t know what I had, but I knew what we could be.”

DP reflected on the growth of the show. He told Russillo that he feels lucky that there was immediate interest from a major market. That emboldened him to make bigger moves that turned the show into the go-to model for radio/TV simulcasts.

“I truly believe if I don’t get on KLAC in Los Angeles, I don’t know if we are anywhere near the success that we are. That helped save me. We were going bankrupt and I told Paulie, my producer, “dude, we’re in trouble”.

“I couldn’t let these guys down. I walked out to the parking lot and I cold-called DirecTV and I called Chris Long (former programming director). I don’t know why I called DirecTV. I just thought they carry sports, but they don’t have any name attached to it. To do that and build this to where it is today, we did that on our own.”

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