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Under The Radar – June 6, 2017

Jason Barrett

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Catching up on some news items from the past week. Here’s a number of developments that you may not have been aware of. To have your individual or radio station’s news included in a future edition of Under The Radar please send along any pertinent information via email to [email protected]. Now on to the news!

WEEI in Boston should gain a few extra ears on June 16th when the station utilizes Roger Clemens as a radio analyst for the Red Sox game against the Houston Astros. The game takes place in the city of Houston. Longtime Sox announcer Joe Castiglione will miss the 3-day Houston trip, and Clemens’ appearance is being billed as a one-day stint. No word on if other opportunities in broadcasting could be on the horizon for Clemens.

Former Boston Red Sox play by play announcer Don Orsillo will reunite with his former club for a day when he works the FS1 broadcast of the Sox-Astros game on Saturday June 17th. Orsillo will call the game with Eric Karros and Tom Verducci. In addition to national work, he serves as the lead voice of the San Diego Padres.

After previously announcing he’d reduce his broadcast schedule due to health problems, Fred Manfra was forced to adjust those plans and bring his tenure in the Baltimore Orioles radio booth to a close. The popular O’s voice worked his final series this past weekend. He is relocating to Tampa, Florida to be closer to family and says two knee replacement surgeries await. He’s previously undergone two hip surgeries and back surgery. Congrats to Fred on a storied run in the Orioles radio booth.

WFAN overnight producer Russell Mafes has announced that he’s exiting the New York sports radio station after spending the past decade working for them. His last day will be June 9th. Mafes says he has accepted an opportunity with the Nassau County Police Department and will be leaving the sports media business.

Speaking of WFAN, while the station celebrates 30-years of broadcasting excellence, and has featured some of the true heavyweights of sports talk radio, the true architect of its creation is Jeff Smulyan. The CEO of Emmis Communications made a special guest appearance last week on Mike Francesa‘s show and talked about the history of the brand, how the station was launched, and why he felt sports talk as a format could work in the big apple. It was an interesting interview. To hear the conversation click here.

Staying in New York, congratulations to Steve Cohen, Steve Torre and their Mad Dog Radio morning show, The Morning Men, featuring Evan Cohen and Mike Babchik. The show held its special event, FALcon 2017 for its dedicated listeners this past Saturday at Rock and Reilly’s in New York City. The event was well attended and included on-site appearances by Ed Hendry of FOX News and Andrew Perloff of The Dan Patrick Show, the show’s update anchor Maria Marino,  plus a call-in from Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. To hear the show on demand click here.

The Oakland Raiders have found a broadcast home in Las Vegas. Despite being a few years away from relocating to the city, the team has announced their games will air in sin city on Beasley Media Group‘s local stations News-Talk KDWN and Country KCYE.

A job well done by the folks at 97.1 The Fan in Columbus. On Monday, the station was tipped off that something big was developing with the Ohio State basketball program. It was expected the school would announce head coach Thad Matta would be leaving after the season. Instead, the news became Matta leaving immediately, all of it captured in real-time by The Fan’s staff while other market brands were removed from local programming.

The Los Angeles Kings have named Alex Faust as their new television play-by-play announcer. Faust takes over for Bob Miller, who retired this past April after calling Kings games the past 44 years. He’ll join television color analyst Jim Fox on FOX Sports West starting with the 2017-18 season.

104.5 The Zone received some unexpected recognition during the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on NBC. During last Monday’s game, the catfish thrower was captured on television wearing a t-shirt of the station’s Midday 180 show. That act generated a ton of media attention, and the Midday 180 followed it up by creating a GoFundMe account to pay for the Catfish Thrower’s legal defense with all proceeds over his fine amount going directly to the Nashville Predators Foundation. Tennessee Titans All-Pro Taylor Lewan was one of the early contributors to the fund.

Cleveland and Detroit radio personality Matt Dery produced a podcast highlighting the top 10 NFL play by play announcers. Green Bay Packers announcer Wayne Larrivee was given top honors To hear the podcast click here.

Allen Smothers has signed on to host mornings for 100.3 The Team in South Carolina. The show can be heard throughout 13 counties in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand regions of the Palmetto State. For more information about the radio station click here.

The University of South Carolina Athletics and IMG have signed a multi-year deal with 107.5 The Game in Columbia, South Carolina which will keep the station in place as the official flagship station for Gamecock Sports.

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Jonathan Hood: ‘I Don’t Understand the Chip on the Shoulder from John Schriffen’

“If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photos of Jonathan Hood and John Schriffen

The Chicago White Sox have not been much to talk about this season; however, their new television play-by-play voice has been talked about a lot in the first quarter of the baseball season. John Schriffen had big shoes to fill when he took over for fan-favorite Jason Benetti and some have been critical of his upbeat style while others have taken him to task for particular things he has said. This was a topic on the Kap & J. Hood morning show ESPN Chicago with Daniel Kaplan and Jonathan Hood.

Kaplan and Hood played a recent clip of Schriffen where fill-in analyst Gordon Beckham had made a mistake during an ad read. After the read Schriffen remarked, “If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

“That is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard…that’s just a dumb comment, dumb,” said Kaplan.

Hood added, “He has, what I consider to be a dream job. To be the voice of a team is just amazing. People turn to you, especially during these dark times for the White Sox, for some optimism, some entertainment, some hope. And you decide that you want to be able to take time out of the broadcast to address criticism that you’ve received as the voice of the White Sox?

“…You always have big shoes to fill when you are the new guy. And so, for you to step on the rest of the Chicago media, saying people that clip things you say are ‘radio losers’ and ‘they don’t matter’ you’re not currying favor with your listeners or the people that are supposed to be here to support you.”

Kaplan added, “All you did was set yourself up for that to be another drop that continues to get played on multiple stations.”

Hood talked about the difficulty of being in a new market and mentioned Benetti had not had the smoothest of transitions taking over for Hawk Harrelson. Still, Hood said he is just not understanding why Schriffen would go after the media. Hood said, “I don’t understand the chip on the shoulder from John Schriffen…I don’t get that, I don’t understand that…No one is out to get John Schriffen…he is new to this city, he is new as a White Sox broadcaster. What I would say to him is “what is the point of all of it if you’re arguing with The Score or you’re arguing with us about clips?’ How about just focus on being the best broadcaster you can be.”

Kaplan later said he would probably react similarly to how Schiffren has to some of the criticism saying, “I actually sort of respect Schriffen doing it, I just think he did it in the wrong place. You shouldn’t do it on the broadcast.”

Hood added, “It’s just not been a good start for him.”

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Fred Toucher Takes a Jab at Rich Shertenlieb

“At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it.”

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Photos of Fred Toucher Rich Shertenlieb

Boston radio had a major change this morning when former 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb started his new morning show, The Rich Shertenlieb Show, on 100.7 WZLX. Shertenlieb was paired with Fred Toucher for 17 years before leaving the station just over six months ago.

On his debut show on the classic rock station, Shertenlieb addressed a feud he had with his former employer over access to social media accounts which he says were personal accounts he had started. He said he spent “five figures” with an attorney but then gave up and gave access to the station. “My rationale was this,” he said. “Instead of me spending all that money paying attorneys to fight this why not spend that money in a much better place…The minute I get back my 150,000 followers…I am writing a check to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.” Shertenlieb’s X account currently has 18,000 followers.

Fred Toucher and Rob ‘Hardy’ Poole came out of a break during Toucher & Hardy talking about how someone told Toucher old promos for Toucher & Rich had accidentally aired that weekend and joked about putting their boss “on blast.” Then Toucher says, “At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it…If you listen to me, I’ll give you a chunk of change to charity.”

Shertenlieb hosts his new show with Boston television personality and sportswriter Michael Hurley on a full-time basis and has a rotating cast that includes former New England Patriot Ted Johnson, Charlotte Wilder, formerly of FOX Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated and Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal.

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Jim Rome Announces Launch Date on X will be May 28

“We have been building this thing since the end of Super Bowl, we are finally ready to roll it out, or we will be a week from tomorrow, I am hyped.”

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Screengrab of Jim Rome broadcasting on X
Screengrab from Jim Rome X Account

Jim Rome announced back in February he was ending his simulcast with the CBS Sports Network and that his show would go dark on video “for a short period of time.” That short period turned out to be about three months and will end on May 28 when the show launches a video stream on X.

Rome announced on his show today, “Tremendous news, tremendous news and I’ve been waiting but I am finally ready now to announce it…This radio program is going to launch on the X platform a week from tomorrow, May 28th…That’s how you can watch the show going forward on the live stream on X.”

Rome stressed that nothing changes as far as how people can listen to the show on one the many radio affiliates across the country or on SiriusXM. “But, if you want to watch this show, the live stream begins a week from tomorrow on the X platform,” he said.

Rome introduced the hashtag, JimRomeOnX, and told his fans they “have a much better chance of getting your post read and seeing your post on the stream as it is impossible for us to get to all of them anyway.”

“Tuesday, a week from tomorrow is the big day,” Rome said. “It is go time. We are all fired up. It is finally going to happen. We have been building this thing since the end of Super Bowl, we are finally ready to roll it out, or we will be a week from tomorrow, I am hyped. Make sure you’re a part of this. It’s going to look great. If you’re seeing this now you are getting a taste.

“We will be streaming for the first time ever. As many of you know, I have been on cable, some national TV, but we have never even streamed our content, ever.”

Rome then gave his fans a quick look at what the studio will look like for the X live stream, a screengrab of which is the featured image on this story.

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