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Under The Radar – August 14, 2017

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Sports media news continues to trickle in and this is the place where you learn about some of the developments you may not have been aware of. If you’d like to have your personal or station news included in a future edition of UTR, please send details via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me. Now here’s the latest activity.

Congratulations to Jeff Rickard who has been promoted to Program Director at 107.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. The veteran national sports talk show host had been working for the station as its Executive Producer, and with Greg Rakestraw being tasked with developing the company’s Network Indiana project, Rickard has been given an opportunity to take on a bigger role overseeing day to day programming operations.

Staying in Indiana, Luke Martin has been named the new voice of Indiana State football. Martin will also have an extended role covering Indiana State baseball.

Thirty three years of calling Kansas City Chiefs games is plenty for former quarterback Len Dawson. The radio voice of the Chiefs will wrap up his legendary career calling the team’s games for the 2017 season before the organization turns the microphone over to a new announcer next season. Dawson said, “I’ve been blessed for what I had the opportunity to do. I could not have accomplished so much without my teammates and colleagues – I am grateful for each of them.”

Continuing with Chiefs news, KMOX (1120 AM) is back as a radio affiliate of the team for the 2017 NFL season. When games conflict with KMOX’s Cardinals or Blues commitments, they’ll be moved to 590 The Fan, KFNS.

Speaking of 590 The Fan, KFNS, the station is also gearing up for football season by making a number of solid moves. First, they’ve signed on as an affiliate of the Dallas Cowboys, airing all of the team’s games for the 2017 NFL season. In addition, former Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr will be appearing three times per week on the station as a contributor. Farr last worked for 101 ESPN before moving to Los Angeles. The station has also added former front office executive Mike Lombardi for two call-ins per week.

The New York Daily News reports that the New York Mets radio contract is set to expire at the end of the 2018 season. Talks have begun between the team and its radio partner, iHeartmedia New York. Mets games air on WOR 710AM.

A pretty cool story worth sharing. 920 The Jersey host and program director Zach Gelb will get his shot to fill in on WFAN in New York this weekend. Gelb will host the 2am ET shift early Sunday morning. Zach’s father Bob works for The Fan in sales after previously contributing to the programming department.

Talkers produced a fantastic piece highlighting the growth of WEEI‘s digital brand. The radio station recently celebrated nine years of digital excellence. To get familiar with the brand’s story click here.

Congratulations goes out to Evan Wilner. After seven years at MLB Network Radio, Wilner is moving over to SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation to serve as the channel’s Executive Producer.

Former 97.5 The Fanatic and Bleacher Report radio host Nick Kayal underwent some vocal troubles over the past two years. Fortunately things have turned in a positive direction with Kayal announcing that he’s been cleared to return to broadcasting following vocal cord surgery.

A newcomer is Portland bound. Brandon Droz has signed off in Grand Junction, CO, where he had worked for 1340 The Team, Magic 93.1, 92.3 The Moose, 1100 KNZZ  and 96.1 KSTAR, in order to join the Portland sports radio scene. Droz hasn’t said yet which station he’s joining. Stay tuned.

Alpha Media has struck a deal with Coastal Carolina University for WRNN-AM/FM to serve as the new flagship station of the Chanticleer Sports Network through the 2019-2020 season. The new agreement gives the radio station the ability to carry live game-day coverage of football, baseball, and men’s basketball.

Hall of Fame second baseman and former Cincinnati Red Joe Morgan will join Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley on Reds Wednesday home-game broadcasts through the remainder of the MLB season. Morgan will work Reds games against the Cubs, Mets, Brewers and Cardinals for FOX Sports Ohio.

Brett Dolan, a broadcasting veteran with twenty seven years of experience working on game broadcasts for the Houston Astros, ESPN, Root Sports, Comcast SportsNet and Fox Sports Television, has been chosen as the SEC Network voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Dolan will be the Razorbacks’ lead play-by-play announcer and host a number of Razorback programs on RSN and Cox Sports Television. He’ll also oversee the strategic planning of video content for ArkansasRazorbacks.com. An official announcement will be made later this month.

After nine years at ESPN, Jason Vida has moved on to become the Associate Director of Athletic Public Relations for the University of Richmond.

While one departs the worldwide leader, another joins. David Albiani has been added as a production assistant. Albiani also contributes to Cover32.com writing about the New England Patriots.

WCTV in Tallahassee has a brand new sports director. Kevin Keane has accepted the opportunity and is heading home. He had been working for KGWN in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

In a surprising move in the windy city, Chris Boden is out at CSN Chicago after ten years. Boden says he was let go but is grateful for his time with the company. He hopes to find a new broadcast home real soon.

The run has also come to an end for Kevin Bowen. After spending five years working for the Indianapolis Colts and contributing to radio, television and print, Bowen says the team notified him they were parting ways. He called the opportunity a dream come true situation and thanked Colts fans for paying attention to his work.

Congratulations to Phoenix Carnevale on being hired by AXS TV. She’s been added as the channel’s cage/ringside reporter for MMA fights.

Effective today, Nate Scott is working for SB Nation. He says he’s looking forward to the opportunity to work with the best crew of storytellers working online today.

In Denver, Nick Kosmider has been added to the Denver Broncos beat at the Denver Post. He’ll work in tandem with Nicki Jhabvala covering the team.

Dean Straka is ready to start breaking news on the Big 12. Straka has announced that he’s signed on to work for Diehards.com. The site has also added Grant McGalliard as a freelance reporter.

And finally, after two years with the Shawano Leader, Chris Caporale is leaving to become the sports editor of the Daily Jefferson County Union.

Sports Radio News

Craig Carton Making Responsible Gambling Content For FanDuel

“He will help shape the company’s responsible gaming policy, play a role in FanDuel building AI that can spot problematic gambling patterns, and host events in which he will help younger bettors understand what an addiction looks like.”

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FanDuel announced yesterday that it has hired its first ever “responsible gaming ambassador”. WFAN’s Craig Carton has agreed to take on the role. He has been open about his gambling addiction and advocated for those that believe they have a problem to seek help on air since returning to New York radio last year.

The content he creates for FanDuel will have a very specific focus. A press release says Carton will promote messages of “advocacy, prevention awareness and content development focused on the importance of wagering within limits”.

Craig Carton was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a ponzi scheme to defraud investors of money they were told was being invested in tickets for resale. In reality, Carton was using the money to repay some of his gambling debts.

“My story and personal history with gambling has been well documented,” said Carton. “More than ever, I want to use my experience and platform to shine a meaningful spotlight on the issue of problem gambling. It was important to me that I find a real partnership with a company that shared my passion for this issue. It became clear FanDuel shared the same goals and was comfortable working transparently with me for the sole purpose of protecting people.”

FanDuel is planning to utilize Carton in a number of ways. He will help shape the company’s responsible gaming policy, play a role in FanDuel building AI that can spot problematic gambling patterns, and host events in which he will help younger bettors understand what an addiction looks like.

He will also create audio and video for FanDuel’s Play Safe Campaign. FanDuel will help Carton’s WFAN program “Hello, My Name is Craig” find a bigger audience. The show airs on weekends and features Carton discussing his addiction and offering advice to others seeking help.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with Craig to place even more emphasis on responsible gaming behaviors,” said Mike Raffensperger, FanDuel Group’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Everyone at FanDuel understands the importance of protecting our customers who are also our family, friends, neighbors and community members. Craig’s powerful personal story will help fuel our mission of making sure no bet placed results in hurting a loved one.”

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Sports Radio News

Marc Malusis: Stephen A Smith Spouting ‘Complete & Utter BS’

“Listen, I get he’s on ESPN and we’re doing out thing here, but it’s affecting a team we cover on a day-in-day-out basis with the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving, who is a very polarizing figure in this city.”

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WFAN’s Marc Malusis wants Stephen A. Smith to acknowledge that he either has inside information regarding the Nets or that he completely made up a trade rumor on First Take earlier this week. Smith said on First Take that the Brooklyn Nets would trade Kyrie Irving to Philadelphia if it meant they got Ben Simmons back in return, but the idea has been nixed by Kevin Durant.

Stephen A. Smith accused some in the media of lying about his report. He tried to claim that he what said on First Take was that the Irving for Simmons deal is a trade the Nets could do. That was enough to sett Malusis off.

“This is just complete and utter BS,” he shouted. “I mean, get the boots on!”

Marc Malusis claims that the idea of an Irving for Simmons trade isn’t totally absurd. Having James Harden on the roster would allow Brooklyn to bring in someone that does everything well but shoot. Still, he says Smith framed his stance as something he knows happened and Malusis is adamant it didn’t.

He was even more upset that Smith would say people in the New York media “lied” about what Smith had said. Marc Malusis pointed out that when you are the local media, you have to dive into a rumor like that. It doesn’t just get to be something that was said on ESPN.

“Listen, I get he’s on ESPN and we’re doing out thing here, but it’s affecting a team we cover on a day-in-day-out basis with the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving, who is a very polarizing figure in this city.”

It sounds like Malusis’s greatest objection is to Smith’s indignation at the idea that someone took his trade rumor seriously.

“Don’t all the sudden start waking back and saying ‘everyone’s spewing lies about what I had to say yesterday’ because you know what? We had to weed through the BS of what you said yesterday.”

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Sports Radio News

104.5 ESPN’s Matt Moscona Sets Up $100K Donation to Local High School

”It’s been tough on these kids, and this will definitely help us.”

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Guaranty Media and 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge recently invited a local Athletic Director from South Lafourche High School Brian Callais to come and promote an upcoming fundraising event host by Central High School on After Further Review with Matt Moscona.

During the phone interview, Callais informed listeners of the impact that Ida had on their school, including major damages to the high school that there are no funds to repair. Additionally, the school’s sports teams will be forced to travel for every game this season as their facilities are not fit to host other schools.

Little did Callais know, Matt Moscona had invited the founder of a Baton-Rouge-based cryptocurrency business called Game Coin to join him in the 104.5 ESPN studio to surprise Callias with a donation of $100,000 dollars to the school.

“This will go a long way,” said Callais after learning of Game Coin’s donation to his program. “Our [senior] student-athletes have not had a normal high school year since their freshman year…Their sophomore year, they were hit with the pandemic, and we’re looking forward to a regular senior year for them. It’s been tough on these kids, and this will definitely help us.”

Gamecoin is one of the few cryptocurrencies that is not totally for profit, as 4% of their 10% transaction fee goes to charitable donations to help youth sports groups.

“Growing up, I didn’t have everything that I thought I should have,” said founder of Game Coin David Mahler on Moscona’s radio program. “I just always wanted to be able to provide for people…and since I’m able to do that now, I added that as a part of Game Coin.”

Mahler also said in the interview that three more similar donations are already arranged and they will be announced within the next two weeks.

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