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Under The Radar – July 24, 2017

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It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but another week passes, and the sports media news cycle keeps on spinning. Although this week was a little slower than the past few. A reminder, you can have your individual or company news featured in this article by forwarding any pertinent information to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now here’s the latest developments.

Vice Sports has become the latest digital brand to overhaul its writing team in favor of video content. The company is parting ways with 2% of its 3,000 employees as it becomes heavier focused on original video programming. Among the cuts were Aaron Gordon, Jorge Arrangure, and Patrick Hruby. To read more about it click here.

Adrian Wojnarowski may not have been able to raid the entire Vertical staff and take them with him to ESPN, but that doesn’t mean the network isn’t committed to adding to its NBA reporting team. Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com have agreed to join the company as NBA Draft Analysts. The Draft Express website had produced millions of readers over the past 14 years, but with their new opportunity at ESPN, Givony and Schmitz plan to produce all of their content exclusively for ESPN and its multiple platforms. Archived material will remain available on the Draft Express website.

Also heading ESPN’s direction is Nick DePaula. The former feature writer for The Vertical, and creative director and Editor-In-Chief for Sole Magazine and Nice Kicks, has signed on with the network to provide additional coverage on hoops and athlete’s footwear.

Darius Rucker has decided that calling into sports talk shows isn’t enough. The county music star has reached an agreement with SiriusXM to host a new golf show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. The show will be titled “On Par with Darius Rucker” and it’s slated to debut Wednesday July 26th. The show will air monthly once its officially launched.

Congratulations to SportsNet 590 The Fan program director Dave Cadeau who has been elevated by Rogers Media to National Format Director. In addition to continuing to program the Toronto sports radio station, Cadeau will assist other sports radio properties under the Rogers umbrella.

Longtime Nashville sports talk show host George Plaster is returning to the local airwaves. A new program is being developed and will air on Classic Country WSM-AM. The show won’t interfere with Plaster’s position of Associate Director of Athletics at Belmont University. Plaster previously hosted on 102.5 The Game.

WQAM’s Ant Calatayud is bound for Bristol. The Miami radio producer is moving to Connecticut in August to join ESPN where he’s expected to contribute to the network’s Podcenter team.

Atlanta sports radio station 680 The Fan gave former Bills and Falcons wide receiver Peerless Price an opportunity to host last week. Price stepped in alongside fellow former wideout Brian Finneran and radio host/anchor Sandra Golden. Lead host Steak Shapiro had time off.

iHeartmedia has taken the plunge into the sports format in Tucson, Arizona. The company has launched FOX Sports 1450 featuring FOX Sports Radio network programming. The station also is the local home for Tucson Roadrunners minor league hockey.

The Baltimore Ravens have announced a new nine-part podcast series which will dive into the lives of the Harbaugh family. Man of the Crowd is hosted by Sarah Ellison and features more than 25 interviews with family members, friends, co-workers and reporters, offering fans a better understanding of what makes the Harbaugh family tick. For more information click here.

While some in the media begin to write obituaries for written content, others are taking advantage of the opportunity to add talented writers to their websites. The Athletic are the latest to do so. After previously hiring Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson to spearhead their Bay Area coverage, Kawakami revealed that Phil Taylor, John Middlekauff, Dieter Kurtenbach, Danny Leroux and Bay Area Sports Guy have been added as contributors.

Former Sports Illustrated writer Greg Bedard is also taking a more prominent role in overseeing a digital brand. Bedard has launched BostonSportsJournal.com, which includes Sean McAdam, Christopher Price, and Brian Robb and focuses primarily on the Boston sports scene. The website’s model replicates what Dejan Kovacevic installed in Pittsburgh with DKPittsburghsports.com. Kovacevic’s brand has amassed over 38,000 subscribers while adding strong corporate advertising support. Bedard is hoping to accomplish the same with his new digital venture.

Sticking in the San Francisco area, NBC Sports Bay Area recently launched a new show, Giants Outsiders, featuring Grant Brisbee and Therese Vinal. The show is thirty minutes in length and offers viewers an entertaining and fresh take on Giants games with an emphasis on viewer interaction via Twitter and Facebook. The show is also synced with Facebook Live to produce a unique interactive experience.

Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Yankees Are Going To Give Marc Malusis A Heart Attack

“To turn what the Mets did into a referendum on the Yankees’ incompetence is a joke. It’s an absolute joke.”

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Over on WFAN in New York, there seemed to be some friendly ribbing going on Tuesday from afternoon hosts Criag Carton and Evan Roberts. Marc Malusis was very upset by the New York Mets’ free agency acquisitions and the inaction to this point by the New York Yankees front office.

Malusis said in part that it was frustrating to see teams like the Texas Rangers and the Mets go out and sign sought-after free agents like Marcus Semien and Max Scherzer, while the Yankees front office essentially sits on its hands.

“You have the Yankees here basically collecting their coins, looking under the seat cushions to see exactly who they can find and who they can sign,” Malusis said.

He added that it was a disservice to Yankees fans to justify not signing anyone of note at this point by appealing to lesser player acquisitions and trying to convince fans to wait for prospects to develop.

“As a Yankee fan, you have every right to be frustrated,” he said. “And if you don’t go out and add one of these shortstops this offseason, it further shows the breaking point between the ownership and the leadership of the Yankees, and the fan base and how the Yankees operate right now as an organization. And I think you can easily make the argument that would be a failure.”

Meanwhile, Carton and Roberts opened their show saying it was ridiculous for Malusis and Yankee fans to be overreacting at this point.

“Malusis damn near had a heart attack at 10 o’clock this morning,” Carton joked. “I was worried about him. I called him to make sure he didn’t pass out.”

Ultimately Roberts explained that the Mets were further away from being a team capable of making a postseason appearance and run than the Yankees, who have routinely been among the league’s biggest buyers of marquee talent during free agency. Carton agreed and said Yankee fans need to just pump the brakes and calm down.

“To turn what the Mets did into a referendum on the Yankees’ incompetence is a joke. It’s an absolute joke…The New York Yankees have never sat still…Like shut up. It’s embarrassing.”

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Sports Radio News

Bill Michaels Steps Up To Help Waukesha Victims & Families

“When people ask why do this? I say, because we need to.”

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Wisconsin sports radio host Bill Michaels is stepping up to help Waukesha, Wisconsin. The small Wisconsin town has earned a flood of media attention recently after Darrell Brooks Jr. drove his SUV thru the town’s Christmas parade, killing six people, including an 8-year old boy, Jackson Sparks. Brooks has been charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. He is being held in a Wisconsin jail on five million dollars bail and faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

With so many impacted by the tragedy, Michaels decided to use his radio platform to help raise funds for the victims and their families.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin sports voice called on his audience and local people to join him in making donations to help those affected. Michaels broadcasted from Nice Ash Cigar Bar, and encouraged people to donate to the Waukesha Foundation Fund. He shared on the air that he was headed to the Christmas parade on November 21st, when he learned that something had gone awry at the event.

“We’re out here today raising funds for the victims, their families, and those in need down here,” shared Michaels on his radio program ‘The Bill Michaels Show’. “This is one of those situations where people say ‘thoughts and prayers’ which is great, but you need to do something. When people ask why do this? I say, because we need to,” Michaels added.

As of Monday afternoon, seven children were still hospitalized at Children’s Wisconsin.

To help raise awareness for Jackson Sparks, the eight year old boy who was killed in the senseless tragedy, Wisconsin native and Texas resident Todd Ahrens took to social media asking people to wear baseball jerseys on Friday in honor of the boy’s love for the sport. The social post created by Ahrens has gone viral, being shared and liked by thousands all across the country.

Those interested in making a contribution to the Waukesha Foundation Fund to help the families and victims affected, can do so by clicking here.

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Sports Radio News

David Feherty Launches Weekly SiriusXM Show

“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind.”

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Via NBC Sports Pressbox

SiriusXM announced today that David Feherty, who has been entertaining golf audiences with his witty perspective on the game for more than two decades, is joining SiriusXM to launch a new weekly show.

Feherty will team up with fellow former pro and SiriusXM host John Maginnes for Feherty and Maginnes. The show will be on Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel.

They will preview the new show this Wednesday at 5pm. The show officially starts in its new time slot on January 3rd, as the PGA TOUR season picks up steam with the Hawaii tournaments.

“I can’t wait to work with John Maginnes,” said Feherty.  “He is one of my favorite people and SiriusXM will be a really fun platform for us. The over/under on both of us getting canceled is about six weeks!”

The format will include long form interviews with personalities from the world of golf with storytelling to the listeners coming from the golf expertise of Feherty and Maginnes, who both had playing careers on the PGA Tour.

“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests.  We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”

Feherty spent time following his playing career at CBS and NBC as well as his own show on the Golf Channel.

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