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deCastro Answers Criticisms About Score Changes

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Less than two weeks after BSM writer Matt Fishman tried to make sense of recent lineup changes at 670 The Score, the person in charge of the station, Jimmy deCastro commented on the moves and Fishman’s opinion.

Fishman’s article pieced The Score’s changes together, connecting them to deCastro’s short-lived 2014 attempt at launching an FM Sports station in Chicago, 87.7 The Game.  Fishman points toward 670’s decisions to bring in two former hosts from The Game, David Haugh and Connor McKnight, as well as Dan McNeil who deCastro coveted at 87.7FM.  The long-time hosts being replaced were Jason Goff, Matt Spiegel and most recently Brian Hanley from The Score’s highly successful morning show which dominated ESPN 1000 in the spring book 6.9 to 2.7.  Still, deCastro strongly disagreed with the sentiment.

“It’s ridiculous,” deCastro told Jeff Agrest of the Chicago Sun Times. “The Game was a pure experiment of a television format to try and drive some imaging on FM. It was a horrible signal. All we were trying to do was be younger and different. Kap and Haugh together on TV and radio was really great. I want to replace that model. I intend to do that with The Score.”

The one similarity with The Game that deCastro admitted to since taking over The Score is the attempt to get younger and different.  “Why did I make the changes? We needed to be young, we needed to have more fun. Our cross talks explode now. We needed more content to be able to drive. I’m deeply down in trying to continue to make this hipper and younger and better and engage people in more and different ways.”

While former host at The Game and Tribune columnist David Haugh is considered the favorite to replace Hanley full-time on the morning show, deCastro said the hire hasn’t been made yet and the station continues talking to other candidates.

According to deCastro, the moves at 670 are strictly about making the station better, there is no personal vendetta.  “This isn’t deCastro riding in on a horse with a black hat on and an eye patch on going, ‘I’m going to shoot it up with AM-1000.’ That’s not the way we do things. We analyze it, we research it. We think it through. Will we take risks? Yes. That’s why we’re successful,” said the longtime Chicago radio veteran.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Pat McAfee: Sean McVay Isn’t Ready For A Broadcasting Career

“I think the reason why the narrative was able to build so much was because we saw Tony Romo make $17 million. We saw Troy Aikman make $17.5 million.”

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Sean McVay was among those rumored to be potentially on the move to the broadcast booth this offseason, but ultimately the head coach of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams decided to stay put. He was reportedly offered a mega-contract from Amazon to join the Thursday Night Football crew.

It appears McVay has a future in TV, but he’s made it clear he wants to remain a coach for the time being.

Pat McAfee on Monday told co-host A.J. Hawk that thinking about a future that doesn’t involve coaching in the NFL isn’t how McVay is wired.

“That’s how football people are. That’s literally how coaches are,” McAfee said. “It is just, we are either preparing for football season or we’re in football season. And when we’re not in football season, they’re wishing they were in football season so they’re acting like they’re in football season by watching more film, being more dialed in.”

McAfee also said the recent shuffling of broadcast crews, and the paydays associated with those moves, is what really turned up the heat on McVay speculation.

“I think the reason why the narrative was able to build so much was because we saw Tony Romo make $17 million. We saw Troy Aikman make $17.5 million.”

Pat also made it very clear that whenever McVay decides to make it to the booth, he’s likely going to be a star.

“I do believe a lot of us think to ourselves, I can’t wait for that guy to get in f–king TV though,” he said. “He’s going to be amazing on the microphone I think, A.J.”

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T-Bob Hebert and Jacob Hester: Drew Brees Chatter Began With His Tweet About Saints

“They’ve had to know a life without Drew as the quarterback. They’ve had to have leaders step up that weren’t Drew Brees certainly on the offensive side of the football.”

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There have been rumors about what’s next for former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, but nothing has been set in stone. He took to Twitter over the weekend to dispute a report that he is out at NBC and make it clear he’s still weighing his options.

Brees feeling like he still has a fire to play in the NFL got the attention of T-Bob Hebert and Jacob Hester on 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge. Hebert on Monday said Brees expressing interest in coming back throws a wrench in all the planning the Saints have done to hand over the reins to Jameis Winston.

“It almost feels unreal where it’s this deal where it’s like, OK you had finally moved on, you made peace with it, it was all good, it is what it is, you’re ready to roll with your new guy,” he said. “And right when you think you’ve finally moved on, that text comes in and cracks open that door. But you’re happy, right? But can you say no to him?”

Hester noted that it was a Tweet from Brees expressing the desire to return to New Orleans that began the conversations and speculation about his future in broadcasting. However, he thinks it may be too late for Drew Brees to walk back into the Superdome and be greeted with open arms.

“If this was last year, and he had just retired and maybe had the itch to come back, maybe he could have that feeling. But he also has to understand that the team has had to move on,” he said. “They’ve had to know a life without Drew as the quarterback. They’ve had to have leaders step up that weren’t Drew Brees certainly on the offensive side of the football.”

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Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”

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Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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