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Under The Radar – February 27, 2017

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The month of February comes to a close with a batch of industry news that may have slipped by you. A quick reminder that if you have a news tip, press release or a story involving your brand or one of its personalities, and you’d like to be included in a future UTR column, send the details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Congratulations to Laurence Holmes who has signed a new deal to remain 670 The Score‘s evening host. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Holmes acknowledged exploring a few options after his deal expired, and despite being initially disappointed in not receiving an opportunity to move up in the lineup following Terry Boers‘ retirement, he’s thrilled to remain in a position where he can continue to inform and entertain Chicago sports radio fans on a nightly basis.

Speaking of Chicago, congratulations to ESPN 1000 who turned in a stellar January in the ratings. The radio station won the head to head battle against 670 The Score in middays, afternoons, and M-F 6a-7p led by strong showings from Waddle & Silvy and David Kaplan, who were both 1st in their respective timeslots. The Score continued to lead the way in mornings thanks to another great showing from Mully & Hanley. The January book contained two weeks of The Score’s new weekday lineup.

A big January from the Atlanta Falcons helped fuel record ratings for 92.9 The Game. The station turned in an overall rating of 4.4., its highest number since launching four years ago. Congratulations to Terry Foxx, Sean Thompson and the entire staff.

Shifting to Salt Lake City, ESPN 700 has added a new partner alongside afternoon host Sean O’Connell. Former University of Utah All-American Punter and Melbourne, Australia native Tom Hackett is joining the show on a full time basis starting Monday. To see the video announcement about the new program click here.

Meanwhile in San Diego, it appears that Tony Gwynn Jr. will be joining the Padres broadcast team. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Gwynn is likely to appear on 30 telecasts on FOX Sports San Diego, and 30 radio broadcasts on FM 949. The specifics of his role are still being sorted out.

The Miami Herald reports that the Miami Marlins have dropped Carl Pavano as a studio analyst from their television broadcasts. The team is retaining the services of former players Jeff Conine, Preston Wilson and Jeff Nelson on its pre-game and post-game shows.

In Charlotte, WFNZ morning show producer Travis “T-Bone” Hancock has created a new podcast called “The Boneyard“. Hancock says the show will take listeners behind the scenes of the station’s morning show “The Mac Attack” and include in depth conversations with a few of the station’s callers and personalities. To hear the first episode click here.

97.1 The Ticket in Detroit is bringing back its popular golf show, “Lesson on Golf” hosted by Jeff Lesson. The show has been a mainstay on the station’s airwaves for the past 20 years.

Further north in Toronto, Colin Teskey has begun anchoring sports updates on a part time basis for Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Teskey also serves as a co-host of The Regulars on Extra 90.5 in Peterborough, Ontario.

The Erie Sea Wolves have signed a new two year agreement with FOX Sports Radio 1330 to broadcast more than 140 games on the Erie sports radio station. The sports station is owned and operated by Connoisseur Media.

After 13 years, Tony Castleberry is leaving The Daily Reflector in Greenville, North Carolina. Castleberry has landed a digital content producer job with WECT in Wilmington.

MLB.com has added Mark Feinsand as an Executive Reporter. Feinsand spent 16 years with the New York Daily News covering the New York Yankees. He has a new book “The New York Yankees Fans’ Bucket List” coming out April 15th.

And to close out this week’s column, Alexa Datt has launched a new show titled “12:25 Live“. The program airs M-F on both MLB.com and Facebook Live. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig made an appearance on the debut program which took place this past Friday.

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Greg McElroy: ‘Kayvon Thibodeaux Offended Me’

“McElroy, while offended, decided to offer some friendly competition to Thibodeaux.”

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Top NFL Draft Prospect, Kayvon Thibodeaux, had some harsh comments for the Crimson Tide in his interview with FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt on Monday.  The Oregon defensive end claimed the difference in the quality of education between Oregon and Alabama was the reason he ultimately chose to head to Eugene out of high school.

“I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks,” Thibodeaux said in an interview with FOX’s Joel Klatt. “So now, do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard.” 

Thibodeaux continued to bash the Southern institution’s quality and reputation. 

“If I would have went to Alabama … I don’t know if my degree would mean anything,” Thibodeaux said.

National championship quarterback, media personality, and Alabama alum Greg McElroy took issue with the statements.

“I just take real personal offense, man,” McElroy said Thursday on JOX 94.5’s McElroy & Cubelic. “I genuinely do. I don’t care. Don’t come. If you think so little of us, don’t come. Fine by me, because I know the people that live in this state. I chose Alabama, because I love Alabama. If you don’t want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially provide you, it’s on you. You’re missing out.”

Cole Cubelic and McElroy also brought up the fact that Thibodeaux said “stigmatism” when he meant “stigma.” 

“He says he doesn’t like the stigma that athletes are dumb jocks, and yet, he sounds like a dumb jock,” McElroy said. 

McElroy, while offended, decided to offer some friendly competition to Thibodeaux.

“What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to cut down Alabama,” McElroy said. “And as someone who has always taken his academic situation very seriously, I’ll just come at him with this — if he’d like to take an IQ test, I’m available. If he’d like to take the Wonderlic test, I’m available. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I will put my degree up against his any day of the week.”

McElroy was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2010. The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award for 102 students to attend the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. 

“I’d like to show him the offers, because I would be willing to bet that Harvard didn’t offer him,” McElroy said. “I think they probably would have taken him, but Harvard did offer me — as did Yale, as did Princeton, as did almost every Ivy League school along with Duke, Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. And I chose Alabama, so put ‘er there Kayvon Thibodeaux.”

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Sports Radio News

Howard Eskin Tells Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie That Tom Brady Dyes His Hair

“Brady is leaking oil.  The fact that he’s leaking oil and he’s not the same and his age shows a little bit, other than his hair which he colors, he’s really good but anybody can be beaten.”

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Howard Eskin joined Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94 WIP to preview the upcoming Bucs vs Eagles game.  Eskin gave his thoughts on why the Eagles had a realistic shot to win. For Philadelphia sports talk legend, a lot of it came down to Tom Brady.

“Brady is leaking oil,” Eskin said. “The fact that he’s leaking oil and he’s not the same and his age shows a little bit, other than his hair, which he colors, he’s really good but anybody can be beaten.”

That statement caught DeCamara and Ritchie a little off guard.  They weren’t convinced that Brady is using any artificial enhancement to keep his locks chestnut brown.  Howard Eskin would not back down and told the hosts to check the archives.

“Look at the pictures over the years, there’s no question,” Eskin said. “He’s so vain so that just kind of falls into place.  He’s a terrific quarterback but he doesn’t want people to realize he’s 44 or 45.”

Maybe Eskin is right, and the fountain of youth is starting to dry up for Brady.  Or maybe, as he has done before, he’ll prove everyone wrong and win another Super Bowl.  Only time will tell.

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Sports Radio News

97.1 The Ticket Lets Fans Sound Off On Matthew Stafford With Playoff Watch Party

“The former Lions quarterback remains a polarizing figure in the city, so Costa and Riger are giving fans the chance to get whatever sort of closure they need with a playoff watch party.”

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Detroit

Jim Costa and Jeff Riger aren’t just hosts at 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. They are also Detroit sports fans. That means they have strong feelings about Matthew Stafford.

The former Lions quarterback remains a polarizing figure in the city, so Costa and Riger are giving fans the chance to get whatever sort of closure they need with a playoff watch party. The pair will host the virtual event, which will stream on The Ticket’s website and Facebook page.

“It’s the rare chance to settle a sports debate,” Jim Costa, who still supports Stafford, told BSM. “It gives fans of Detroit closure on Matthew Stafford. People are still so emotionally invested in him even though he doesn’t play here anymore with both sides still believing they’re right about why he didn’t win a playoff game with the Lions.”

Other hosts from 97.1 The Ticket will pop in to watch along with Costa and Riger. They will play drinking games and place prop bets throughout the game.

With Jim Costa and Jeff Riger having strong, opposing feelings on Stafford, the final result will yield a punishment for the loser. Someone will have to take a “shot of reality,” which Costa promises will be “really gross”.

Matthew Stafford and the LA Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL’s first-ever Monday night playoff game this week. It will be the conclusion to the league’s Super Wild Card Weekend.

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