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Under The Radar – June 19, 2017

Jason Barrett

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The news keeps trickling in so this week we have 15 items to fill you in on. A reminder, it’s extremely helpful to us when you pass along news tips, press releases and social media links. That allows us to stay informed and keep the rest of the sports radio industry updated. If you have future information to pass along, please send it via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now on to the news!

A war of words escalated last week in the big apple between Craig Carton of WFAN and Peter Rosenberg of 98.7 FM ESPN NY. The spat began over differing views over LeBron James’ home being vandalized in Los Angeles. After Carton shared why certain parts of the story didn’t make sense to him, Rosenberg took exception. That then led to a caller bringing up Rosenberg ‘s rebuttal to Carton who fired back. Rosenberg then countered via a video post.

Staying in New York, the New York Post caught up with Brandon Tierney of CBS Sports Radio. The headline of the piece is sure to raise a few eyebrows, “Why I am not chasing Mike Francesa’s throne anymore.” To read the article click here.

A little further north in Albany, congrats are in order for Jeff Levack of 104.5 The Team. The afternoon host announced via social media that he’s signed a new 2-year contract to continue working for the radio station.

106.7 The Fan has announced they’ve reached agreement with Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins to once again contribute throughout the NFL season. Cousins will appear weekly with Grant and Danny for the third straight season. In addition, Cousins will appear on the station in July, two days after the deadline passes for the Redskins and Cousins to reach a long-term deal. Whether he does or doesn’t sign a new deal, he plans to give only one interview afterwards, and that will be to The Fan.

Shifting to the west coast, Tim Montemayor has joined 1580 The Fanatic in Phoenix. The sports radio veteran has previously worked in Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Sacramento and Salt Lake City and is now hosting weekdays 12p-3p MT on the station. He made his weekday debut on June 5th.

An interesting look at the latest Toronto sports radio ratings was provided by Toronto Sports Media. In the latest book, The FAN 590 maintains a commanding lead over local competitor TSN 1050. The Fan’s highest rated performance was from 9a-12p when Jeff Blair and Baseball Central are on the air. The two stations have their closest contest between the hours of 1p-4p ET. Click here to see the full details.

In Vancouver, longtime Canucks writer Iain McIntyre has announced that he’s joining SportsNet in September. McIntyre will produce content for the company online and television. He’ll also contribute on radio once the company launches their new sports radio station SportsNet 650.

Westwood One has set their broadcast crew for the College World Series Finals June 26-28 live from Omaha. Kevin Kugler and Scott Graham will call the action, and 1620 the Zone’s John Bishop will contribute as field reporter for the series. Bishop serves as the voice of Creighton baseball and basketball and co-host’s The Zone’s afternoon show Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Elsewhere in the network play by play space, Touchdown Radio has announced its 2017 college football schedule. This year’s broadcast team features Roxy Bernstein and Taylor Zarzour calling the action, and former Miami Hurricanes quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta providing analysis. To see the network’s full game schedule click here.

Congratulations is in order for 101 ESPN. The St. Louis sports radio station won the award for Best Original Programming at the 2017 Missouri Broadcasters Association Annual Convention. The piece of content which the station produced to earn recognition was their “Legends of the Dome Charity Flag Football Game” featuring a live game broadcast from the Edward Jones Dome which featured former members of the St. Louis Rams.

Greg Peterson is on the move. After spending the past year with 102.9/750 The Game in Portland as a producer and on-air contributor, Peterson has accepted an opportunity in Las Vegas with the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSIN) which features Brent Musburger. He’s expected to serve as a producer and college basketball analyst.

Another off the air addition has been made in Houston. SB Nation Radio has added Christopher Tubbs as the new producer of GameNight with Matt Perrault. Tubbs will officially relocate to his new job on July 17th.

Sports Radio 610 in Houston debuted a new Saturday show this past weekend featuring Landry Locker and Matt Hammond. The duo teamed up from 1p-4p CT.

A new play by play announcer has been hired by Learfield Sports for Mississippi State football and men’s basketball games. Neil Price has been named the new voice of the Bulldogs. He takes over for Jim Ellis who retired in March.

Jason Myrtetus of 97.5 The Fanatic has announced plans to launch a new podcast titled Stick To Hockey. Myrtetus says he considered taking the plunge for the past few years and is finally ready to give it a go. The plan for the new audio offering is to provide discussion, debate, news, guests, and interaction on the coolest game on ice.

In the print world, the sale of Yahoo to Verizon has led to a few talented writers losing their positions. Among the affected include Kelly Dwyer and Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports. Dwyer contributed to Ball Don’t Lie and Edholm to Shutdown Corner.

Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

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Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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Sports Radio News

DiPietro & Rothenberg: NFL TV Partners Should Schedule Jets and Giants at Opposite Times

Jordan Bondurant

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For the first time in a long time, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are factors in the NFL playoff picture. After years of both franchises occupying the bottom portions of the league standings, fans in New York and the surrounding area have a reason to believe. On DiPietro & Rothenberg on ESPN New York, Dave Rothenberg said he thinks the league should put both teams in more marquee windows.

“When you start to think about flexing games, you start to think about you know what, the Giants and Jets should be flexed into better time slots,” he said.

Co-host Rick DiPietro said it sucks now that both teams are playing well, fans are essentially forced to flip back and forth between games.

“It’s awful. It really is,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it ruins the Sunday because that would be hard. But it’s not my favorite.”

Still, it’s not lost on Rothenberg that football fans in the city now have something to cheer for NFL wise as the last chunk of the regular season approaches.

“When was the last time the Jets and Giants in December had meaningful football games?” Rothenberg asked. “Years and years and years.”

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