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Under The Radar – July 3, 2017

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Independence Day may be upon us but that doesn’t mean the sports media news cycle stops. A reminder, it’s helpful when you pass along any personal or brand information. We create UTR each week to keep members of the sports media business informed about the latest industry developments. Please do your part by forwarding any pertinent details via email at JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

We hope you enjoy your July 4th holiday, but before you fire up the grill, drink a few cold ones and take a dip in the swimming pool, be sure to read the news and stay informed. Here are this week’s stories.

BSM has a few upcoming projects that will require additional contributions from industry members. If you have a passion for sports radio, an ability to write, a good ear, and want to increase your profile in the business, send an email by clicking here. There may be future opportunities to earn compensation but if money is your end game, it’s wiser to pursue other outlets that are working with higher budgets.

Budget cuts have claimed another talented programmer/on-air talent. Gregg Henson has been let go by iHeartmedia. Henson had been programming ESPN Pittsburgh and doubling as an afternoon talk show host with Jim Costa and Drew McCarthy in Detroit and Grand Rapids. To reach Gregg to discuss future opportunities email him by clicking here.

In recent months the media industry has seen a steady reduction in talented writers. Just last week FOX Sports and MTV made major changes to their digital approach, choosing to eliminate written content in favor of heavier video distribution. Although opinions remain split on the financial upside of written material, Clay Travis of FOX Sports Radio and Outkick The Coverage wrote an excellent piece on the future of sports writing. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read it I highly recommend it. You can do so by clicking here.

After decades of deadlines and covering every major sports development in the Bay Area, Mark Purdy has decided it’s time for a change. The exceptional wordsmith of the San Jose Mercury News has revealed he will leave the newspaper after more than three decades of providing journalism excellence. His final column will be published in August. In a piece this week where he announced his forthcoming departure Purdy said he’s not done writing but changes to the journalism profession have forced many to alter their approach and he’s looking forward to exploring new possibilities and enjoying a little more free time with his wife. To read the piece click here.

WEEI afternoon host Rich Keefe may not be invited over for dinner anytime soon by Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. During Farrell’s weekly interview on the Boston sports station, Keefe asked about a local report about the team’s position coaches being frustrated with the Sox skipper over the way he was using closer Craig Kimbrel. Farrell denied the report and appeared none to pleased with Keefe. To watch their exchange click here.

Congratulations is in order for St. Louis Blues television personality Darren Pang. The outstanding hockey analyst has confirmed he’s agreed to a new three year deal to remain with the team and its television partner FOX Sports Midwest.

In other television news, the NFL Network has added a new reporter to its staff. Tom Pelissero has left the USA Today and will be contributing on-air and on NFL.com. He’s also expected to continue hosting radio shows on 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis and SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Dallas based radio host Matt Mosley, who has been working with Ed Werder on the Doomsday Podcast, revealed thru social media that he’ll be heard this week on the ESPN Radio Network. Mosley will work nights alongside Cincinnati talk show host Mo Egger and Joe Ovies of 99.9 The Fan.

In what’s being billed an upset of epic proportions, NBC Sports Radio has agreed to turn over the airwaves once again to Rob “Stats” Guerera. Mike Florio’s executive producer will host Pro Football Talk Live Tuesday morning July 4th from 6a-9a ET.

Former 95.7 The Game midday hosts Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff will be earning some air time on KNBR. The two men are scheduled to host on the Bay Area sports radio station on Monday July 3rd from 9a-1p.

The final fill-in news comes from Phoenix where Jody Oehler of FOX Sports 910 will earn an opportunity to present himself to a national audience this Wednesday-Friday. Oehler will step in on FOX Sports Radio for Rich Eisen.

A tip of the cap to 97.3 ESPN. The Atlantic City sports radio station won the Most Creative Localization contest of the Mike and Mike Dream Finals campaign. The station used Mike and Mike’s winning word and localized the promotion by tying in the station’s LPGA VIP experience promotion which rewarded a listener with an opportunity to play in the LPGA Pro-Am and earn an inside the ropes experience during the event. For winning the contest, the station received a $1000 gift card and an opportunity to be featured in a future case study by ESPN Radio.

In late May, ESPN Pensacola was abruptly shut down. As a result, Paul Chestnutt and Chad Brillante were left without jobs. Fortunately for both men, that stint on the unemployment line didn’t last long. Chestnutt has been hired by WPNN (103.7 FM and 790 AM) to host his hour-long “Sports Roundtable” show. Brillante has been added to The Ticket Sports Network (97.1 FM in Pensacola, 100.3 FM in Crestview-Fort Walton-Destin, and 93.5 FM in Panama City) to host afternoons.

Up north, Andy McNamara has shared that he’ll be hosting a new Wednesday night program across Canada called CFL Weekly. The show will be heard on the TSN Radio Network and focus on the Canadian Football League.

A couple of play-by-play news items to pass along. First, AJ Ricketts has been named the new voice of Florida International University football.  Second, former Boston College and North Carolina State head football coach Tom O’Brien has been named the new radio color analyst for the Navy Football Radio Network. O’Brien takes over for Omar Nelson who moved into the position of Football Recruiting Coordinator.

Additionally in the play by play arena, SiriusXM MLB radio host and TNT television host Casey Stern will make his debut as an NBA play by play announcer. Stern is scheduled to call summer league action on NBA TV July 7-9. He’ll be working with Isaiah Thomas and Steve Smith.

Congratulations to accomplished writer and reporter Bruce Feldman. After enjoying stints with ESPN and FOX Sports, Feldman has announced he’s joining Sports Illustrated to cover and write about college football.

Greg Smith has announced he’s leaving the Gregath and Smith show on ESPN 1480. Smith has signed on to be a Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity. The website has also added Derek Peterson as a writer and Huskers football reporter.

Continuing with some additional writing news, former CBS Radio digital host Jake Brown has joined SNY on a part time basis. Brown will be contributing written pieces about the NY Knicks for the TV station’s website.

Sports Radio News

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.”

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Courtesy: The Pat McAfee Show

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.

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Sports Radio News

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.”

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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.

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Sports Radio News

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.”

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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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