The sports media news cycle continues to spin, and this week’s information includes a number of comings, goings, and new additions. To have your station, company or personal news shared in a future edition of UTR, please pass along all information via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to the news.
After 16 years, Matt Abbatacola has left 670 The Score in Chicago. The Chicago sports radio veteran served as a producer, anchor and reporter, and enjoyed a long run as Boers and Bernstein’s executive producer. He turned in his resignation to pursue other opportunities according to Robert Feder’s website.
It’s good to see “The Big Dog” Steve Duemig back on the airwaves in Tampa at WDAE. After a three month absence from the airwaves and an intense battle with cancer, Duemig returned to his afternoon drive slot last Monday. He says he’s feeling good and is excited to be back. To hear his emotional opening monologue click here.
ESPN 99.3FM in Southwest Florida is adding to its afternoon show. Former WEEI host Pete Sheppard has been brought in to partner with Craig Shemon weekdays from 2p-6p ET. “Shemon and Sheppard” made their debut on the station on Monday afternoon. You can learn more information by visiting the station’s website 993ESPN.com
Former ESPN Cleveland 850 WKNR talk show host Mark “Munch” Bishop has resurfaced. Bishop has signed on to host afternoons for FOX Sports Radio 1350 in Akron, Ohio. In addition to being offered locally, Bishop’s program will receive regional syndication on The Sports Animal in Youngstown, and FOX Sports Radio 1340 in Mansfield.
Joe Raineri is back on the south Florida airwaves again. The former sports talk show host on Alpha Media’s FOX Sports Radio 640 has made a format switch. Raineri is now hosting mornings on Revolution Radio 93.5FM. The station bills itself as an electronic dance station.
A new midday show is launching in June on FOX Sports Knoxville. The station has confirmed that “Talk Sports” will debut June 19th and air weekdays from 10a-1p ET. The show will be hosted by Jon Reed and Boomer Dangel.
Coming up on Saturday June 3rd, Mad Dog Sports Radio‘s Morning Men featuring Evan Cohen and Mike Babchik will present their fan appreciation party, FALCon 2017. For information on how you can attend the event click here.
101 ESPN in St. Louis is hosting its 4th Annual Baseball Camp for Kids, which gives kids ages 6-13 a chance to learn the fundamentals of baseball from a few of its hosts, who just so happen to possess on the field credibility. The event takes place at GCS Ballpark on June 3rd! Former Cardinals and World Series Champions Chris Duncan (middays) and Brad Thompson (afternoon show), and former Miami University Baseball Player Kevin Wheeler (middays) will serve as primary instructors. For more information on the promotion click here.
Congratulations to Ryan Chell who has signed on with WFNZ in Charlotte as producer of Primetime with Chris Kroeger. Chell previously worked for SiriusXM in Washington D.C. before making the move.
Ryan Radtke is leaving his position as the University of Nevada Wolf Pack‘s play-by-play voice of football and men’s basketball in order to join Westwood One as a play-by-play announcer for college football, college basketball and other sporting events. Radtke spent nine years calling Wolf Pack games and also served as the voice of the Reno Aces minor league baseball team.
New agreements have been secured by Learfield Sports with two of its existing partners. The broadcast group has extended their partnership with Utah State University and the University of North Dakota.
Alpha Media has launched a brand new sports radio station in Peoria, Illinois. The Larry Wilson led company has introduced 95.9 The Sports Nut to local listeners. The station’s programming will be largely provided by FOX Sports Radio. A local show is being hosted by Scott Robbins from 4p-6p CT.
In Nashville, ESPN 94.9 The Game 2 has added a weekly Soccer show on Saturday mornings at 8am ET. The show, which has been created in conjunction with the Nashville Soccer Club, will feature Julian Council, hosting alongside different members of the club’s front office and coaching staff. To read the press release click here.
Paul Esden Jr. has been hired as a producer at 1260 The Score in Syracuse. Esden previously worked for ESPN Syracuse 97.7 and 100.1.
Speaking of producer hires, congratulations to Gavin Kinsel who’s been named Executive Producer of the NBA on TuneIn.
Gary Lawless has left the Winnipeg Free-Press and TSN in order to join the NHL’s new expansion franchise the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Lawless worked his final shift in Winnipeg on Friday and is in transition to the city of sin. You can read his introductory column to Golden Knights fans by clicking here.
Jay Glazer Tells Pat McAfee About Mental Health Struggles
“Glazer devotes time to mental health advocacy and is also heavily involved with Merging Vets & Players.”
Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer has been public about his battles with mental health, and he opened up about what he experienced on The Pat McAfee Show following his recent interview with Lane Johnson.
The Eagles’ offensive tackle sat down with Glazer a few weeks ago to dive into the mental health struggles that have kept him from playing in multiple games this season.
“It’s so funny, man,” Glazer told McAfee. “When I did the Lane Johnson interview a couple of weeks ago. That Friday, I had a mental health breakdown at about 3 o’clock in the morning. It woke me up, which doesn’t happen often, and it woke me up with this feeling of dread and doom, like, man, my world is just coming to an end. And I don’t dictate the rules of this thing. I just fight back against it.”
Glazer devotes time to mental health advocacy and is also heavily involved with Merging Vets & Players. The foundation helps athletes and veterans come together and help one another transition to lives off of the battle and playing fields. He has also written about his mental health journey in the book Unbreakable: How I Turned My Depression and Anxiety into Motivation and You Can Too.
“I was supposed to go to dinner with Michael [Strahan] that night,” Glazer continued describing the attack, telling McAfee he had trouble discussing it with Strahan.
“So this guy has been my best friend for 30 years,” Glazer told McAfee. “I never, ever, ever, in 30 years, went to him until two weeks ago and said, ‘hey I’m having a bad day, I’m struggling.’ and he’s like, ‘why haven’t you talked to me about it?’ and I said, ‘I don’t make the rules with this thing.'”
Those last eight words from Glazer highlight the most confounding part about every person’s mental health struggles: they are all unique. No one is suffering the same way or projecting those struggles onto others in the same fashion.
Watch Glazer’s entire back and forth with McAfee above; it’s worth the time.
Boomer & Gio: Why Does New York Post’s Premium Sports Site Exist?
“The stuff that is Post Sports+ I wouldn’t touch with somebody else’s eyes.”
With the departure of Steve Somers from WFAN, along with the implementation of new premium subscription services, such as The Athletic and ESPN+, WFAN welcomed sports media columnist for The New York Post Andrew Marchand to the program to talk about the latest happenings across the industry. The conversation centered around a foray into the concept of “Post Sports+,” a new paid subscription service being offered by The New York Post which is being branded as “A whole new ball game for The Best Sports in Town.” Many of Marchand’s columns about the latest news in sports media are available to read for free on The New York Post website, and he often tweets about the latest news in the industry on his own personal Twitter page, making his role within the service seem, at least to the hosts of Boomer and Gio, confounding.
“I read the New York Post sports section every day,” said Gregg Gianotti. “I think it’s some of the best reporting that we have in the City… I’m a guy who is consuming your stuff every single day. The stuff that is Post Sports+ I wouldn’t touch with somebody else’s eyes… If you’re going to do Post Sports+, why not put the good stuff behind the paywall?”
Marchand explained the strategy being enacted by The New York Post to augment its revenue stream.
“I think what we’re doing is more additive,” said Marchand. “[For] people that have read the Post online previously, nothing’s changed. If you like sports media, I’m now doing a Monday newsletter all about sports media [where] I’m trying to give you more in terms of inside the business. That’s extra, and part of your monthly subscription… Obviously, what we’re trying to do is add revenue, but do it without taking that core business where we’re getting millions of people every day who come to the website.”
Marchand continued to elaborate on the strategy when pressed by Giannotti regarding just who this subscription service was appealing to, ostensibly positing that it is an effort to ensure that The New York Post stays around for another 220 years.
“You’re not getting everybody,” elucidated Marchand. “That’s not how a subscription works. If you get one out of 10 people, then you have a chance at success. Because of the digital world, [distribution] has changed. Back in the day, The New York Post could only reach as far as the trucks would drive. Now [with] distribution, you can reach around the world. I don’t know our demographics of Post Sports+, but in theory, when you look at a subscription site, you get a certain amount that’s additive revenue to The New York Post, and that’s the idea behind it.”
Show co-host and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason then chimed in on the discussion, discerning what he does when WFAN asks him to participate in extra station activities, such as meeting with sponsors, in a lighthearted exchange.
“I wouldn’t really do a lot,” said Esiason. “I used to do a lot. No more — I just tell them to go eff off and leave me alone… No, I’m just kidding.”
“That might have worked with [Mark] Chernoff, but is that going to work with Spike Eskin?,” questioned Marchand, generating laughter in the studios at 345 Hudson St.
Esiason then spoke about the burden it is for him to be bothered by multiple subscription services from The New York Post; that is, having to subscribe to both the paper itself and Post Sports+ to get a full plethora of stories. He believes the paper is making a mistake in this regard, and, as a writer, Marchand agrees.
“I’ve asked about that because I actually agree with you on that one,” said Marchand. “I’ve been told that they’re working on that. I tend to agree that there should be some sort of deal there — [maybe] if you’re paying for The New York Post app, maybe you get Post Sports+?”
Whatever the future holds for Post Sports+, Marchand figures to be covering the world of sports media across multiple platforms, aligning with the approach many sectors of traditional and digital media are beginning to take in producing and distributing their content to the largest audience possible.
Nick Cattles Named PD, Host At KHTK In Sacramento
“I couldn’t be happier or more excited to join a brand with such a rich tradition.”
Nick Cattles is trading the Atlantic Ocean for the Pacific. The Virginia Beach host has been named the new program director and afternoon drive host at Sports Radio KHTK in Sacramento.
The move to northern California signals the end of Nick’s time with ESPN Radio 94.1. Cattles enjoyed two stints with the Max Media radio station, separated by two different opportunities in Boston with 98.5 The Sports Hub. Cattles had been ESPN Radio 94.1’s afternoon drive host since 2017. Over the past few years Cattles additionally hosted on a part-time basis for WEEI and the ESPN Radio network.
“I couldn’t be happier or more excited to join a brand with such rich tradition,” Cattles said in a press release. “I look forward to this challenge and doing whatever I can to make sure KHTK remains the king of sports talk in Sacramento.”
Jason Ross, who currently serves as the afternoon host and PD of KHTK, will remain with the station. He also will continue to be heard as the radio voice of both Sacramento State and the Sacramento Kings.
“The Sports Programming team at Bonneville International has had our eye on Nick for a while and we couldn’t be more excited that he will be joining our team in Sacramento to lead KHTK,” Chad Rufer, Group Director of Programming for Bonneville Sacramento said in a press release.
Cattles is part of the BSM Member Directory and learned of KHTK’s opening through BSM.
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