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Under The Radar – October 30, 2017

Jason Barrett

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The news has been trickling in over the past few weeks so we have plenty to catch you up on. A reminder, it helps us, and benefits the remainder of industry folks when they’re kept in the loop about news involving yourself or your brand. To have your information included in a future UTR column please pass along any pertinent details via email to [email protected].

Now on to some of the news you might have missed.

Congratulations to Bob Valvano on signing a new 2-year contract with Union Broadcasting in Louisville and ESPN Radio in Bristol to continue in his current roles as a local and national talk show host and college basketball analyst. Bobby V can be heard on ESPN 680 as well as across the nation on ESPN Radio.

In other positive news related to ESPN Radio, congrats are overdue for Mike Urrunaga and Vince Kates. The two longtime producers have been elevated to supervisor roles. Kates is now overseeing the network’s evening programming and Urrunaga its weekend shows. The moves provide new challenges for both men while also allowing Pete Gianesini and Louise Cornetta to focus more on digital content and podcast development.

Cumulus Media has made an excellent hire to lead its programming efforts at News Radio 106.7 FM in Atlanta. Accomplished sports radio veteran Tom Lee has been brought in to oversee the station’s programming efforts. Lee has worked in Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle and Philadelphia and was last in charge of The Beast 980 before it was sold and flipped to a different format.

Elsewhere in Atlanta, Former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield has hosted his last show on 1230 The Fan 2 in Atlanta. Station owner David Dickey told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Whitfield’s show with Larry Sachs wasn’t what he was looking for. Whitfield joined the show in late-July. Dickey is trying to find a different role for Whitfield on one of his other Atlanta radio stations.

Thrilled to see SiriusXM add pro wrestler Tommy Dreamer to its roster as a talk show host. Dreamer, who has co-hosted a few wrestling shows with Dave LaGreca on Busted Open Radio, and is most familiar for his work in ECW and WWE, has a strong passion for professional sports. The satellite company is giving him an opportunity to scratch that itch by contributing on a part-time basis to a few different sports channels, in addition to adding his insights on the latest activity inside the squared circle.

102.9/750 The Game in Portland has brought thru a few interesting personalities recently. The radio station has utilized Mark Zinno formerly of 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, Zakariah formerly of 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, Brian Noe of FOX Sports Radio, Seth Harp of Sports Radio 930 in Jacksonville, and Erik Gee formerly of 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City. The radio station is working thru a process to identify future talent for its vacant afternoon slot.

Staying in Portland, best wishes go out to Brian Wheeler, the radio voice of the Portland Trail Blazers. Wheeler has been sidelined with health issues, causing him to miss a number of Blazers games to begin the 2017-2018 campaign. Scott Lynn has stepped in on an interim basis to hold down the fort. Wheeler says he’s focused on getting himself better and is appreciative of everyone’s well wishes and hopes to be back behind the microphone real soon.

It’s not every day that you see a headline that reads “San Antonio Sports Talk Show Host in Twitter feud with singer, Richard Marx” but Mike Taylor of The Ticket 760 found himself in that spot a few weeks ago. Taylor and Marx exchanged words over searching for vegan options and Marx’s wife Daisy Fuentes. To read more click here.

Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in. Bob Ramsey is back on the St. Louis radio airwaves on 550 KTRS. Ramsey, who also calls Saint Louis University Billikens Men’s Basketball games, is working a part-time schedule, hosting evening shows with Sports Director Brendan Wiese.

Longtime Missouri basketball radio color commentator Gary Link was relieved of his duties recently by Mizzou Athletics. Link had been a part of the broadcast team since 1996. He also played for the school from 1970-74. The school says it’s working with Mizzou Sports Properties to identify a permanent replacement.

Some contractual news out of Charlotte that you might have missed. Former NFL offensive lineman Frank Garcia has signed a new deal with 102.5/610 The Fan, WFNZ. Garcia has been a mainstay on the radio station since 2007 and presently teams in middays with Kyle Bailey. The deal is said to be a multi-year agreement.

A little further south, 107.5 The Game in Columbia, SC recently promoted Tim Hill to program director. The announcement was made a few weeks ago. In addition to programming the radio station, Hill serves as host of the morning show, The Early Game.

Also on the PD circuit, it’s good to see former FOX Sports 910 program director Neil Larrimore resurface. After being let go by iHeart Phoenix, Larrimore was scooped up by Cumulus Media and named PD of WPRO-AM and WPRV-AM in Providence, RI.

After a stellar run with the San Francisco ChronicleKevin Lynch has decided to make radio his full time focus. The Bay Area veteran has signed on to contribute full time to KNBR.com where he’s primarily covering the San Francisco 49ers, along with Warriors and Raiders stories as needed.

Other news out of the Bay Area, Entercom San Francisco recently changed General Managers. Steve DiNardo has left the company and been replaced by Susan Larkin. Prior to joining Entercom, Larkin oversaw operations for COX Communications’ 14 stations in Orlando and Jacksonville. She’s been in the radio industry for nearly 25 years. Entercom San Francisco presently operates local sports radio station 95.7 The Game.

Dave “Deuce” Mason announced a few weeks back that he’s moved on from Good Day Sacramento to increase his role with the Sacramento Kings. Mason serves as Executive Producer of Kings radio broadcasts and has begun creating digital content for the Kings’ website and social platforms.

After more than a decade with Good Karma Broadcasting, Joe Colella has left his position as the evening host and afternoon sports anchor at ESPN West Palm 106.3 FM. Colella started as an intern at ESPN Radio 760 in 2003, and climbed the ladder to becoming a producer and on-air talent. He is said to be leaving the radio industry for an opportunity in content marketing. To read more click here.

Peter Mundo has been hosting/producing an hour-long weekly radio show in conjunction with his Big 12 website, Heartland Sports, and it’s been added by stations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and West Virginia. The show is split into four-segments, exactly 42 minutes of content, and is entirely focused on Big 12 football. To learn more click here.

Hosting a sports radio show is a dream come true for many, but being able to do that while also owning the radio station is an opportunity that not everyone has the chance to experience. For Nate Brown though that situation has presented itself in Rapid City, SD. Brown is in the process of purchasing KIMM (1150AM/106.7 FM) and as part of the sale will flip the station to all-sports including moving his evening show into PM drive starting November 6th.

Greg Frank confirmed that he’s been named a host and play by play announcer at WILD 102 in Roseau, MN.

Joe Ostrowski of 670 The Score in Chicago has been retained by VSIN to contribute to its new podcast network. Ostrowski is producing a new podcast titled “Early Odds” which drops each Monday morning.

Australian podcaster and keynote speaker Sean Callanan conducted an interesting conversation recently with Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank contributor Mark Cuban. The podcast went in-depth on technology, business, investing, and a number of sports discussions. To hear it click here.

YES Network and ESPN play by play man Ryan Ruocco was profiled recently by Adweek. The article took a look at Ruocco’s rapid rise in the sports media business. To read it, click here.

Previously announced via Twitter, Michelle McMahon has joined NBC Sports Chicago covering the Chicago Blackhawks.

Robbie Hummel has decided to put his basketball career in the rear view mirror and turn his attention to working in sports media. Hummel has signed on with ESPN and the Big Ten Network to serve as a color analyst on college basketball games. He’ll also perform in-studio analyst duties as well.

In case you missed it, after being laid off by ESPN and going silent on social media for a few months, Marc Stein has returned. The longtime NBA insider is now covering the NBA for the New York Times. This season represents the 25th year that Stein has been covering professional basketball.

In the print world, Mike Jones has departed the Washington Post after a seven year stint. Jones has accepted an opportunity covering the NFL for the USA Today.

The Athletic stayed busy adding more help. The latest to join the company is Sarah Goldstein. She’s been added to the site’s NHL platform.

After losing a number of local writers, the Bay Area News Group is working on restocking its roster. The company’s latest addition is Logan Murdock, who has taken over as a multimedia reporter covering the Golden State Warriors.

FanRag Sports recently laid off a number of staffers. Adam Biggers, Bernie Pleskoff, Dave Hogg and John Perroto all confirmed their departures on Twitter. Despite the bad news for those men, FanRag has made a positive addition by striking a deal with Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke to bring his Locked on Podcast Network to their platform.

And Gator Country has added Eric Fawcett this season as a contributor to its coverage of Florida Gators Men’s basketball.

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Kirk Minihane: The Rich Shertenlieb Show on WZLX ‘Is a Disaster’

“It would be like me going somewhere and doing a radio show about foreign languages or about religion. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Screengrabs of Kirk Minihane and Rich Shertenlieb
Screengrabs from Barstool Sports and CBS Boston

As one could most likely guess, former WEEI Boston sports radio talker Kirk Minihane is no fan of former 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb’s new morning show on classic rock station 100.7 WZLX.

Minihane explained the situation to his audience which led to Shertenlieb starting a new show on a music station, thus being the third sports morning show in the market. Minihane had said back in March his sources were telling him Shertenlieb would be doing the afternoon show on WEEI. That, obviously, did not turn out to be the case.

“Rich Shertenlieb is a radio producer, he shouldn’t be on the air, he’s a bits guy,” said Minihane.

The show played audio of the very beginning of Shertenlieb’s debut show which had some technical problems where music was playing over a sports report.

“This sounds like a college radio station,” Minihane said. “What the fu** is this? This is the beginning of Rich Shertenlieb saying ‘Hey, I’m going to war with you Fred Toucher? I’m getting paid to do a morning show in Boston. What is this?”

Minihane was even more harsh on some of the cast members Shertenlieb and the station have assembled, calling one of them “a moron” and saying another is “an awful person, terrible on the air.” “Everybody turned him down,” Minihane said before he declared, “That show is dead. That show has no chance. It is a disaster…It would be like me going somewhere and doing a radio show about foreign languages or about religion. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Minihane would later add, “They’re going to listen to that for a day and say ‘Oh this is like when Fred wasn’t here, and Rich had his own little planet.”

Another audio clip was played of Fred Toucher taking a shot at Shertenlieb on his morning show. To show he is an equal opportunity critic, Minihane offered about the clip from 98.5 The Sports Hub, “Hardy doesn’t work on that show. He feels uncomfortable. You can tell he doesn’t feel comfortable. What a feeling it’s gotta be if you’re Fred and you know that’s the show [you’re going up against].”

After discussing what he would do if he were to be hosting the third sports morning show in the market and how he would win the timeslot, Minihane said, “I would honestly rather blow my fu**ing brains out than sit with Ted Johnson and Charlotte Wilder and pretend to care about playing the Timberwolves or the Mavericks.”

Minihane later added his prediction for the show. “A year from now, the Rich Shertenlieb morning show will be 6th or 7th or 8th in the ratings. That’s a disaster.”

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Anthony Lima: Stephen A. Smith’s ‘Clown Show’ Brought More Interest to Watching Knicks-Pacers

“Do you think that’s maybe how ESPN could sleep at night, knowing that they might be building up interest in the game?”

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Photos of Anthony Lima and Stephen A. Smith

Social media was running wild over this past weekend about the way ESPN provided lopsided coverage of the Knicks-Pacers Game 7 in their second round. Earlier this week, Dan Patrick addressed the subject on The Dan Patrick Show, clips of which were played by Ken Carman and Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Patrick said he was “embarrassed for ESPN” about the slanted coverage. He added, “I don’t need a Stephen A. Smith arrival video, I don’t need a pep talk with him and Spike Lee. He doesn’t work for the Knicks; he works for ESPN. I was really surprised, and I didn’t care who won but after that I was rooting for the Pacers.”

Adding to what Patrick said Lima commented, “I saw Stephen A. Smith arriving like he was a wing for the New York Knicks. I mean that’s the only way I can say it. To me it was typical Stephen A. Smith stuff. I’m entertained by Stephen A. Smith”

As it related to the unbalanced coverage between the larger market Knicks and the smaller market Pacers, Lima said, “I think they’ve gone too far with the Knicks thing.”

He then wondered if the coverage was actually something ESPN might have wanted, trying to generate more interest in keeping people around to watch the game. “I do wonder though…Dan Patrick said, ‘I didn’t have any rooting interest until I saw that and then I was rooting for the Pacers,’ Lima said. “…Do you think that’s maybe how ESPN could sleep at night, knowing that they might be building up interest in the game? … Now, after seeing Stephen A. and that song and dance and him do the clown show and him play this character, that it made people more interested in watching the game and having that kind of buy in? … Now all of a sudden you have Pacers fans that weren’t Pacers fans before the broadcast. That is what the networks want to do, they do want to generate some emotional tie in.”

Lima continued, “Showing Stephen A. before the game, I thought was hilarious. But then, on the set, it was halftime, the Knicks were getting steamrolled…they go to the halftime show and Stephen A. is apoplectic, and then Michael Wilbon…it almost sounded like he was rooting for the Knicks. You just can’t have everybody rooting for the Knicks on your show.”

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SiriusXM Announces Broadcast Plans for 108th Indy 500

SiriusXM will co-sponsor three cars from the Meyer Shank Racing Team.

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SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation
(Illustration) | SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation Logo – Courtesy: SiriusXM | Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Courtesy: VisitIndy

SiriusXM has announced programming for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, which will take place on Sunday, May 26 with a scheduled green flag drop at 12:45 p.m. EST. As the field of 33 cars gets set to compete for the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy, SiriusXM will bring consumers wall-to-wall coverage from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pre-race coverage will commence at 11 a.m. EST on SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation, channel No. 218, along with NBC Sports Audio on SiriusXM channel No. 85. Both platforms are available to subscribers nationwide both in their motor vehicles and on the SiriusXM App.

The broadcast outlet will air the live call of the race on Sunday, along with live coverage of the Indianapolis 500 Miller Lite Carb Day Practice session on Friday at 11 a.m. EST. After the practice session concludes, six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winner and 11-time Indianapolis 500 race participant James Hinchcliffe will host his podcast, Off Track with Hinch and Rossi, live outside the Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hinchcliffe’s co-host, Alexander Rossi, is part of the field within Sunday’s race. Leading up to the race, SiriusXM will also have a “Greatest Day in Motorsports” page on its app to access coverage for the Indianapolis 500 race and practices, along with driver interviews from media day and additional content.

SiriusXM will co-sponsor three cars from the Meyer Shank Racing Team in the Indy 500 field. The company colors will be present on car No. 60 (Felix Rosenqvist), No. 66 (Tom Blomqvist) and No. 06 (Helio Castroneves). Castroneves is racing to become the first driver to win five Indianapolis 500 races. On the day after the race, Diplo’s Revolution on SiriusXM channel No. 53 will broadcast live from the Indy 500 Coors Light Snake Pit. The station will have live performances from Gryffin, Sullivan King and Timmy Trumpet.

SiriusXM is running a Listen Free event from May 23 to June 4, which allows everyone to hear the SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation channel and SiriusXM’s Indianapolis 500 coverage without a subscription.

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