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Under The Radar – May 30, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Holiday weekends have a tendency to keep the news cycle in sports radio a little lighter. Nonetheless there were still a few items of note to pass along. A reminder, if you have news about yourself, your station or your company to share, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

After Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported that tensions were high and the atmosphere around ESPN’s ‘Mike and Mike‘ had turned poisonous, Mike Golic has responded by taking aim at internal leaks. In an interview with the South Bend Tribune, Golic says things have been blown out of proportion and he and his longtime radio partner are fine. He is however frustrated that people working on his show have been talking anonymously about in-house issues. Golic says the biggest lingering issue is the expiration date for the show, which still hasn’t been decided on by ESPN executives.

When the 2017-2018 NBA season begins, the New York Knicks will have a new radio voice. The team has decided to part ways with Mike Crispino who had called the team’s games since 2013, in addition to a separate stint working for the franchie from 2009-2011. Analyst Brendan Brown (Hubie’s son) is expected to return. Knicks games can be heard in New York on 98.7FM ESPN New York.

Congratulations to Marc Silverman and Tom Waddle of ESPN 1000 in Chicago. The popular afternoon team known to local listeners as Waddle & Silvy are celebrating 10 years on the air together. To commemorate the joyous occasion, the duo are broadcasting live from El Dorado Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico for two days. Day 1 took place on Memorial Day. The final remote broadcast occurs Tuesday afternoon. As part of the on-air special, Waddle & Silvy will welcome visits from a few special guests and longtime friends of the show, plus reminisce and share audio moments from various milestones over the past 10 years.

ESPN 700 is making changes yet again to its weekday lineup. Popular local afternoon host Sean O’Connell, who doubles as a UFC fighter, was informed last week that his contract was not being renewed. He is now searching for his next opportunity. You can reach him by clicking here. Expect 700 to make a formal announcement about the future of its afternoon show soon.

In Miami, WQAM has adjusted its drive time shows. The afternoon program which featured Marc Hochman, Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz, is now a two-man affair with Hochman and Crowder. Krantz moves into mornings opposite longtime market veteran Joe Rose. With Krantz changing shows, Rose’s former on-air partner Curtis Stevenson has exited the radio station. Sensing an opportunity to strengthen its programming, local competitor 790 The Ticket brought in Stevenson for a few shifts this past weekend. No word yet on if the station is carving out a role for him.

92.9 The Game is taking a look at Doug Stewart for its vacant evening shift. The former member of the 2-Live Stews will host this Thursday and Friday night from 7p-11p ET.

A new weekday program is being added to SB Nation Radio‘s weekday schedule. Starting June 5th, “The Sports Bosses” will take over the 10a-12p timeslot. The program features Miami-based radio hosts Jim Rodriguez and Brad Johnson.

Henson Media is bringing ESPN Radio back to the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. The new station is expected to launch in June and will include ESPN Radio programming, Matt Jones‘ Kentucky based show, a 1-hour local afternoon show, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and more. The brand will be positioned on the air as “The Ref.”

Former University of Arkansas defensive lineman Geno Bell is returning to his alma mater to serve as the sideline reporter for Razorbacks football on the IMG Razorback Sports Network. Bell replaces Quinn Grovey who was elevated to the lead analyst spot on the broadcast opposite play-by-play voice Chuck Barrett.

NHL writer Craig Custance announced on social media that his final day working for ESPN was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He had worked for the network for the past 6 years. Custance says that the decision to leave was difficult but his next opportunity was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He expects to make an announcement in the near future.

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Stan Norfleet To Replace N.D. Kalu On SportsTalk 790 in Houston

“My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

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Change is afoot at SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Chris Gordy will have a new co-host in middays as N.D. Kalu exits and Stan Norfleet comes aboard for Next Up.

Kalu, a former Houston Texans defensive end, has decided to leave radio behind. Instead, he will focus on his real estate business.

“N.D. is a tremendous talent and one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He will be missed,” said iHeartMedia Houston’s head of AM programming, Bryan Erickson.

Stan Norfleet comes to Houston after most recently being on WFNZ in Charlotte. He is no stranger to Texas, though. He finished his college football career at Texas Southern University. He also worked in the sales departments for both the Rockets and the Texans.

“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” Stan Norfleet said in a press release. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

In addition to his time on air in Charlotte, Norfleet has also been heard on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and seen on Raycom’s regionally syndicated ACC Network. He is also a former columnist at BSM.

“Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does,” said Erickson. “He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.”

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Mark Sanchez Jokes ‘Tom Brady Is Going To Ruin My Career For a 2nd Time’

“I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”

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Photo: Getty Images

Now that Tom Brady is done on the field, it is only a matter of time before he makes his way to the broadcast booth. Before the 2022 season began, FOX announced that Brady had signed a ten-year deal with the network that will put him in the top NFL play-by-play booth and make him a brand ambassador.

That has created speculation and uncertainty for Greg Olsen, the current analyst on FOX’s top NFL crew, but it won’t stop there. The effects will almost certainly trickle down. Mark Sanchez was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and joked that he knows his place is a little less certain now than it was last week.

“I guess thanks for ruining the trajectory of my career for the second time, Tom,” Sanchez said with a smile. “I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”

Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games during Tom Brady’s Super Bowl drought. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the then-Washington Redskins during his ten-year NFL career.

He began his broadcasting career in 2019. He was first with ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst for college football. Before the 2021 NFL season, he moved to FOX, where he joined Kevin Kugler in the broadcast booth.

With a few years and plenty of reps under his belt, Mark Sanchez is a broadcast veteran. He joked that that will give him some clout over Tom Brady when the GOAT makes his FOX debut.

“Hopefully he doesn’t get too annoyed with the hazing we put them through as rookies here at FOX. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too annoying for him.”

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Adam Jones: ‘I Hold No Animosity Towards 98.5 The Sports Hub’

“I think we did a good thing at night for 10 years, but nights are nights, and I honestly was ready for something different.”

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Adam Jones left one Boston sports talker for another. Earlier this month, he left his nighttime show on 98.5 The Sports Hub to join Meghan Ottolini and Christian Arcand in afternoon drive on WEEI.

In an interview with Alex Reimer of WEEI, Jones made it clear that there was no bitterness towards his old station. It was just time for a lifestyle change.

“I had done 10 years at night,” he said. “My kid is going to be going to school next year. It’s a good life-work balance, which I know a lot of people probably overuse, but it will be a good life-work balance to be home at night for the first time in 10 years and be able to do dinners at home. And it’s a new challenge. I would like to be in a more prominent day part, and try to carve out a niche there, and try to be successful there. I think we did a good thing at night for 10 years, but nights are nights, and I honestly was ready for something different.”

Jones says he knew that if he wanted to make a move, it likely wasn’t going to happen on 98.5. The station’s daytime lineup has a very successful track record and management likely isn’t eager to do anything to jeopardize that.

“I hold no animosity towards 98.5…I think people wonder that and ask that. I get why you’re not gonna get rid of Fred, or Rich, or Wallach, or Beetle, or Zo, or Hardy, or Felger and Mazz and Big Jim. There are limited opportunities.”

Now, Adam Jones is focused on making things work with Mego and Arcand. He told Reimer that there is plenty to consider and that he and Mego are trying to find their goto hot buttons.

He said they are not trying to manufacture debates. They just want to make sure the show is entertaining and doesn’t bore listeners.

“I guess there’s a journalistic aspect to this job,” Adam Jones said. “I’m not a journalist, I’ve never pretended to be a journalist. I didn’t go to school for journalism. It’s not my job. My job is to be entertaining. People might disagree, and that’s fine.”

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