Just when it seems things should slow down, another flurry of activity hits. This week’s UTR is once again jam packed and features the largest number of news and notes items since we began producing the column. My thanks to all who supplied information. A reminder, to be included in a future article, send your individual or company news via email to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.
Now here’s the latest developments!
A tip of the cap to Mike Thomas. The head of programming for 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston has inked a multi-year contract extension to continue in his multi-platform role as VP of Sports Programming for CBS Radio and VP of Programming for CBS Radio Boston.
Congratulations are in order for Chad Dukes and Grant Paulsen. The two Washington D.C. sports radio personalities have signed new contract extensions to remain with 106.7 The Fan. Dukes hosts the afternoon show, Paulsen teams with Danny Rouhier in middays on the station.
A second news item from 106.7 The Fan. The radio station has named Craig Hoffman as its new Washington Redskins beat reporter. Hoffman originally moved to D.C. to cover the Skins for ESPN 980. He had been working part-time as a host and anchor on The Fan prior to earning the promotion.
Danny Kanell is back on the radio. The former ESPN Radio midday co-host who was surprisingly let go in April amid company budget cuts, has struck a deal to host weekdays from 1p-4p ET with Jason Horowitz on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio. Kanell debuted on the channel last week.
According to the New York Daily News, Mike Francesa is not expected to return to host his Football Sunday program on WFAN this season. The plan apparently is to team Marc Malusis and former New York Giant David Diehl on Sunday mornings. Francesa hosted the popular NFL Sunday show for close to three decades. WFAN has not yet named who will replace Francesa in afternoons when his contract expires in December.
Big career news for Nate Lundy. After tackling roles as a radio host, television commentator and program director, Lundy can now officially add “owner” to his resume. Lundy put together a group of investors to purchase Mile High Sports, a multimedia company in Denver with assets including a local radio station, magazine, website and daily newsletter. All the best to Nate and his team in their attempts to move the brand forward.
WDAE in Tampa has officially returned to local programming in morning drive. The radio station’s popular midday show Ronnie and T-Kras, featuring Tom Krasniqi and Ronnie “Night Train” Lane have shifted to mornings replacing ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike. The radio station adds The Dan Patrick Show to middays to fill Krasniqi and Lane’s old timeslot.
Speaking of WDAE, in June the radio station promoted John Mamola to program director. Last week, the station made its commitment even stronger, locking up Mamola with a new multi-year contract. Congrats to all involved.
1500 ESPN in Minneapolis has announced its “Talkin’ Purple” lineup for the 2017 NFL season. The radio station will feature Star-Tribune Vikings writer Ben Goessling on Monday’s, former NFL QB, Minnesota native and current CBS analyst Rich Gannon each Tuesday, former NFL head coach and player, and current ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards on Wednesday’s, ESPN NFL Nation reporter & former longtime Vikings beat writer Kevin Seifert every Thursday, and the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Friday’s. 1500 ESPN has also re-signed “the superstar” Mike Morris, former Vikings long-snapper turned popular twin cities radio personality. Morris will be part of the station’s“Vikings Ventline postgame show” and contribute a weekly podcast called “The Star Power Podcast.”
The Rams may be gone from St. Louis but that doesn’t mean football programming isn’t important to local listeners. To satisfy the local appetite for the NFL, 101 ESPN has announced the return of Anthony Slater and Brandon Kiley for the radio station’s pregame show, No Huddle. The show will air each Sunday from 10a-11a CT.
Another St. Louis sports station, 590 The Fan KFNS, also plans to deliver Sunday programming for football fans. Howard Balzer and Marc Lillibridge will team up to host the Sunday Football Kickoff from 10a-12p CT.
Sticking with football programming, Zach Gelb is joining 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia to host the radio station’s Sunday postgame shows following Eagles games. He’ll continue hosting his afternoon show in Trenton, NJ for FOX Sports 920 The Jersey.
With Dan D’Uva now in Las Vegas to call Golden Knights hockey, ESPN Syracuse has filled his vacancy in their weekday lineup by adding a new show. Orange Nation now occupies the airwaves weekdays from 12p-2p ET. Seth Goldberg co-hosts the program alongside Steve Infanti. The radio station has also announced, In The Booth, will run weekdays from 2p-3p ET and feature Paulie Scibilia and Matt Park.
We may not see Phil Simms in the TV booth this season on CBS, but that doesn’t mean the Hall of Fame quarterback won’t be busy. In addition to serving as an analyst on CBS’ NFL Today, the former quarterback has added a radio component this NFL season. Simms will join SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio for a special one-hour segment with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, each Friday at 4pm ET. The channel is branding the hour as Simms and The Mad Dog..
After being let go at KNBR, Ray Woodson has resurfaced. The Bay Area radio veteran has been filling in on KNBR’s cross town rival 95.7 The Game during middays.
Meanwhile at KNBR, a former member of 95.7 The Game has been added. Former midday producer Brian Burns has joined the San Francisco sports radio station in an off the air role.
North of the border, congratulations to Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver on their official launch which took place on Labor Day. The new radio home of the Vancover Canucks has also confirmed the addition of Joey Kenward to its Canucks pre and postgame coverage. News 1130’s Ann Smaltz has also joined the radio station as a rinkside reporter. 650 has also added Dan Riccio to its roster. Riccio had been part of Rogers Media’s Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto for the past eight years. The move keeps him in the company, just working on the other end of the country.
Speaking of Sportsnet 590 The Fan, congratulations to all who have been a part of the radio station’s growth throughout the years. The top rated Toronto sports radio brand celebrated its 25th anniversary on Labor Day.
In other anniversary news, congratulations to John Kincade and Buck Belue of 680 The Fan. The Atlanta sports radio duo celebrated 17 years together this past Monday.
SB Nation Radio has launched a new Sunday night NFL show. Patrick Creighton hosts the program from 9p-1a ET on SB Nation Radio and its local affiliate stations.
Congrats to Robert Brender on being summoned by SiriusXM to work Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers games this season. Brender will be heard on SiriusXM NFL Radio, channel 88.
The radio airwaves are becoming a little more interesting in southwest Florida with the return of Mark Miller and David Moulton. The popular local duo are reuniting and will be heard throughout the region on a few different AM and FM signals under the Sun Broadcasting ownership group. Miller and Moulton previously worked for Beasley Broadcasting and aired in afternoons on 99.3 ESPN. Both hosts were let go in separate situations, creating a lot of local noise. This time around the two men will work the morning shift, hosting weekdays from 6a-9a ET. 99.3 ESPN has since moved on from the duo by adding the respected team of Craig Shemon and Pete Sheppard in afternoons.
After being let go by the Indianapolis Colts, Kevin Bowen has landed on his feet. The Indianapolis based reporter has signed on to report, write and produce multi media content for 1070 The Fan. He’ll be assigned to cover the Pacers and Colts on a regular basis for the radio station.
Patrick Meagher of SiriusXM and Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated have launched a new college football podcast, Place At The Table. Meagher hosts The Rap on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. Staples is a Senior writer for Sports Illustrated, and the host of Sunday With Staples on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation. To check out the first episode click here.
Speaking of podcasts, Podcast One is structuring its sports podcasts differently under a new collective banner. Podcast One Sports will feature the launch of a weekly podcast hosted by University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh starting September 5th. The company also plans to release new shows from Dick Enberg, Rich Eisen and his wife Suzy Schuster, the NFL Network’s Dave Dameshek and his former radio boss Adam Carolla, Lilian Garcia, Jay Mohr and the company’s existing programs such as “The Rich Eisen Show”, “The Dan Patrick Show”, “Steve Austin Unleashed”, Ross Tucker’s football podcast, and “The Big Podcast with Shaq”.
It’s great to see Sean O’Connell returning behind the microphone. The UFC fighter and Salt Lake City sports radio host had been off the air after ESPN 700 made the decision to not renew his contract. OC though has reached an agreement to join KSL in Salt Lake delivering a digital audio program. Details he says are forthcoming.
The Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network has improved its behind the scenes operations by adding Dave Tepper as a studio coordinator. The NRG Media Operations Manager for 1620 the Zone, 1180 Zone 2, News Talk 1290 and La Nueva 99.5/1020 will produce the pregame, halftime and postgame shows with longtime host Art Hains, and assist the network studio team on all preseason, regular season and postseason games.
The University of Washington Huskies will have a new radio voice taking over for Bob Rondeau after the 2017 football season. Former Clemson Tigers basketball announcer Tony Castricone has been named Director of Broadcasting by Washington IMG Sports Marketing. Castricone will call Huskies football and men’s basketball starting with the 2017-18 men’s basketball season.
The Auburn Sports Network has expanded its Tigers Tailgate Show from two to three hours this season, and in the process, has added some additional firepower. Former Tigers and NFL QB Jason Campbell returns to his alma matter to contribute as an analyst. Campbell joins a large cast which includes Paul Ellen, Andy Burcham, Rod Bramblett, Stan White, Ronnie Brown and Brad Law.
The Charlotte 49ers have a new play by play voice. Congratulations goes out to Jackson Kaplan who will not only call the team’s games but also tackles the role of Media Relations Assistant.
Congratulations to Trey Ragland on being named the new sideline reporter for University of Alabama at Birmingham Football. The school’s games are produced by IMG.
Believe it or not, last week marked the 10-year anniversary of The Big Ten Network. Congrats to all involved who were part of the network’s launch and who have helped the channel grow during the past decade.
ESPN has confirmed Diana Russini, Wendy Nix and Darren Woodson have signed new contracts to remain involved with the network.
In other contractual news, FOX Sports has signed Grant Wahl to a new deal which keeps him involved with the company for the men’s 2018 World Cup and the women’s 2019 World Cup.
After doing an excellent job as the courtside reporter for NBC Sports Bay Area’s Golden State Warriors games, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude has signed on to work full-time for TNT and NBA TV. She’s expected to work with the Inside The NBA crew on Thursday nights, provide reports courtside for national games, and host on NBA TV. As part of the job change she’ll be relocating from the Bay Area to Atlanta.
In Chicago television circles, CSN Chicago has announced their programming plans surrounding the Chicago Bears, and 670 The Score evening host Laurence Holmes is one of the key additions. Holmes joins the network this season as host of its Bears game day programming, including Bears Pregame Live and Bears Postgame Live. He’ll work with a panel of Bears/NFL experts including former Bears linebacker/seven-time Pro Bowler Lance Briggs, former Bears quarterback Jim Miller, and former Bears defensive end standout Alex Brown.
Former SportsCenter anchor Darren Haynes has landed a new gig. The Connecticut native has joined WUSA-TV in Washington D.C. as a sports anchor. Haynes was part of ESPN’s cuts in April.
It may be a subjective column, but it’s a good feeling nonetheless for anyone recognized in The Big Lead’s 40 Under 40. A special tip of the cap to Scott Shapiro of FOX Sports Radio and Amanda Gifford of ESPN, formerly of ESPN Radio, on being included in the piece.
Pittsburgh and Boston sports radio veteran Tim Benz has joined the Pittsburgh Tribune Review as a sports columnist. Benz had been working for DK Pittsburgh Sports, but is leaving the website to focus on the Tribune, and his additional projects with ESPN 970 Pittsburgh, WDVE, KDKA TV, Steelers Wire, Robert Morris hockey and XFinity PXP.
Benjamin Allbright has confirmed he’s taking over as Chief Operating Officer, Managing Editor & part owner of Cover 32. The NFL themed website was founded by James Merilatt and Miles Dittberner. To view the website click here.
For twenty six years, Jim Thomas did an outstanding job covering the Rams and the NFL in St. Louis. But with the football team now located in Los Angeles, Thomas is shifting his focus to another sport and team. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter has changed beats and will now cover the St. Louis Blues. The real winners are St. Louis hockey fans who now gain the benefit of Thomas’ news breaking and story telling abilities.
And a week can’t go by without The Athletic scooping up another talented writer. After 12+ years with the San Francisco Chornicle, Vic Tafur is leaving the newspaper to join The Athletic’s Bay Area division. Tafur will cover the Oakland Raiders as he’s done throughout his career. He began his new assignment on Monday.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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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