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Under The Radar – June 14, 2018

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We’re back with another installment of UTR, the things that have occurred in sports media that you may not have been aware of. To have your information included in this column in the future, send any information about yourself or your brand to JBarrett@hvy.tcp.mybluehost.me.

Now, on to the latest news!

Back to Numbah One! Mike Francesa‘s first full month on WFAN helped the New York sports radio station rebound in the ratings in afternoon drive. As reported by Newsday, Francesa finished 1st with a 6.8. The Michael Kay Show remained strong as well, placing 4th with a 5.5. FAN’s afternoon increase also benefited the morning show with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti who were tied for 3rd with a 5.6.

A pretty huge feat was accomplished in the May ratings book in the Bay Area. With the Golden State Warriors continuing to be a godsend to local sports radio, 95.7 The Game took advantage of their increased listening opportunities. For the first time in station history, The Game beat KNBR head to head in mornings. Joe, Lo and Dibs, which features Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley won the month against Murph and Mac with a 5.5 to 5.2. The same feat took place in middays where Daryl “The Guru” Johnson and Matt Steinmetz knocked off KNBR’s Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger 5.6 to 4.9. KNBR’s Fitz and Brooks and Tolbert and Lund won their head to head battles against Greg Papa and Damon Bruce, and the M-F 6a-7p matchup (5.8 to 5.6) but the race has certainly intensified between the Bay Area’s top two sports radio brands.

101 ESPN in St. Louis became the second local sports station to form a partnership with VSiN. 670 The Score in Chicago were the first to take the plunge in April. St. Louis’ top ranked sports station has added action updates from the Vegas based sports betting content company, and a weekly appearance by a member of the VSiN on-air staff.

In Dallas, Chris Arnold is no longer contributing daily to G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan. The Dallas radio personality remains involved with the station, making appearances on the show and contributing to other station programs. The Fan’s popular midday show now features Gavin Dawson, Jeff Cavanaugh, Mike Bacsik and Luscious Harris.

Announced recently in the big apple, Shaun Morash, who works with Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio, has taken the reigns as producer of CMB on WFAN. The weekday program hosted by Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott airs in New York weekdays from 1pm-3pm ET. Morash’s role with Amendolara’s program will not be affected.

Changes have taken place in Oklahoma. The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa is now airing simulcasted local programming in both markets. The recent changes include adding John Hoover and Colby Powell in evenings from 6pm-8pm, and former NFL players Kelly Gregg and Gabe Ikard and co-host Jerry Ramsey taking over the noon to 3pm slot in both markets.

Well wishes go out to Tony Bruno and Gerry Vaillancourt. The two veteran sports radio hosts recently underwent surgeries but are said to be in good spirits and on the trail to recovery.

After spending time working for 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Allen Yates has confirmed he’s leaving the station to join ESPN.

Across town from The Fanatic, Sports Radio 94 WIP has made a behind the scenes move. Tim Kelly has revealed that he’s landed a position with the Philadelphia sports talker.

Arizona Sports 98.7 FM has hired a new producer for Doug and Wolf‘s morning show. Erin Maloney, who had been working with Burns and Gambo in afternoons as their Assistant Producer earns the internal promotion.

60 years in any business is a long time, but in sports broadcasting its practically unheard of. Yet that’s what Jim Leahy accomplished in Honolulu. The longtime sportscaster has announced his retirement. During his career, Leahy worked for a few local radio stations and served as the voice of the University of Hawaii’s baseball team, among other jobs during his lengthy career.

Congratulations is in order for Brian “The Beast” London and Alex Donno. The South Florida sports radio personalities earned some ink from the Miami New Times. London was recognized as the market’s best sports radio personality. The New Times selected Donno’s show as the best sports radio program on the AM dial.

Ryan Phillips, Jordan Carruth and Alex Padilla have been given a show on the Mighty 1090. The San Diego sports station has added the three men to their Saturday schedule. You can hear the program from 9a-11a PT.

Rudy Reyes has accepted a behind the scenes opportunity with Team 1010 KXPS in Palm Springs, California. Reyes has previously contributed for SB Nation Radio.

From the print world, Jerry Sullivan departed the Buffalo News after 29 years. The former columnist said on Twitter that his employer felt his voice was becoming bad for business, but he wrote for the readers who deserved a fair, objective and passionate perspective.

The Athletic have made a few additions to their college football coverage. Cody Stavenhagen has signed on to cover Michigan Football. Scott Dochterman is joining to focus on Iowa football. And Jesse Temple comes aboard to cover the Wisconsin Badgers football program.

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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