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Under The Radar – February 27, 2017

Jason Barrett

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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.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami, according to sources.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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