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Under The Radar – January 17, 2018



They may not steal the headlines in the sports media world but news is news. Here are a couple of smaller items you might have missed. A reminder, if you have news to share and would like to have it included in a future column please pass it along via email to Now here’s the latest.

Michelle Smallmon has announced her exit from ESPN Radio. Her final day at the network was Friday where she helped produce Will Cain‘s afternoon show. During her past few years in Bristol, Smallmon produced Ryen Russillo, Danny Kanell, Jorge Sedano, Cain, and a slew of others. All the best to her as she prepares to write the next chapter of her career.

Speaking of ESPN, former producer Jason Romano has added the title “author” to his resume. Romano’s brand new book Live To Forgive went on sale this week. To pick up your copy and support a member of the sports media fraternity click here.

All the best to 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s Marc Bertrand. The midday host was involved in an accident on Saturday which resulted in his vehicle being totaled and a trip to the hospital. Bertrand says he sustained injuries but has been sent home from the hospital. The police and fire departments in Norwood, MA arrived on the scene of the accident quickly and used the jaws of life to free him from his vehicle.

Barstool Sports‘ kicked off the launch of their 24-hour channel on SiriusXM by welcoming an industry icon to the airwaves. Former WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa appeared on Barstool Breakfast with Julie Stewart-Binks, Willie Colon and Francis. Francesa acknowledged during the interview that not being behind the microphone in January when the NFL Playoffs take center stage has felt strange. To hear some of the interview click here.

After parting ways with Eric Davis, ESPN LA 710 has confirmed they’re returning their afternoon show to a two-man program. Marcellus Wiley and Sean Farnham will work together in afternoon drive going forward.

Congratulations to Adam Gold of 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh. The Triangle Sports Talk Host is celebrating a milestone of 20 years in sports radio this month. Gold was initially hired by 850 The Buzz, and has been installed in afternoons on The Fan with co-host Joe Ovies since 2010.

Ric Bucher has teamed up with Atlanta producer Shaine Freeman to launch the United We Cast Network. The new platform will include a collection of shows from established names in various parts of the sports and entertainment industry. Among them are comedian/movie actor Gary Owen (GetSome Podcast), actor Isaiah Washington (Isaiah Washington Speaks…Again) and former NBA center Ryan Hollins who will co-host a program (The SwRL) with Bucher. All three podcasts will delve into issues of race and race relations in different areas of the entertainment industry. The network’s goal is to create discussion and share personal experiences on issues and topics which may be considered too risky for other mediums. To learn more click here.

In other podcasting news, San Diego afternoon host Scott Kaplan has launched a solo podcast. The Mighty 1090 personality’s latest episode includes a no holds barred conversation with Kaplan’s former radio partner Sid Rosenberg who now hosts middays on WABC in New York City. One particularly interesting part of the episode includes a detailed discussion between the two men over the way their former show in the big apple was set up for failure. To take a listen click here.

FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM in Indianapolis has canceled its local morning show which was added to the weekday schedule one year ago. The radio station has dropped “The Flagrant Foul” featuring Don Stuck and Dave “Gunner” Gunn. Taking over the morning time slot is FOX Sports Radio‘s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis“.

If you missed it, Dino Costa has resurfaced. The controversial talk show host who was dropped by 750/102.9 The Game in Portland in August has joined AM 970 The Answer in New York City. Costa now hosts the overnight shift from Midnight to 3am ET.

And in play by play news, Elijah Gonzalez has been hired by the Fort Myers Miracle as the team’s #2 broadcaster.

Sports Radio News

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”



Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”



When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”



Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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