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Report: Benigno Could Return to WFAN Next Week

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According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, Joe Benigno could return to WFAN by next week, although nothing is definite.

WFAN’s longtime midday show, co-hosted by Benigno and Evan Roberts, remained a staple for the station as the rest of their weekday lineup underwent major changes in the last 12 months, but that changed when Benigno fell victim to controversy on July 19.

After being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit by a former FAN employee, Benigno has been on a leave of absence since late July while the station’s owner, Entercom Communications, works to resolve the case.  Entercom did not own WFAN while the alleged sexual harassment took place.

If Benigno was going to be permanently removed from the program, a clean break right after Labor Day would have made the most sense.  While the Tuesday after Labor Day is generally when shows reset and hosts stop taking their summer vacations, Marchand notes the more important date is next Thursday when the fall ratings book begins.  However, if Benigno does return next week, it does not mean the pending legal matter will be completed.

According to Marchand, some within Entercom believe keeping Benigno off the air would appear as if the company is admitting guilt, although they continue to deny allegations and avoid a settlement.  If Joe does return to the show while Entercom still works to handle the lawsuit, a valiant call-screening effort would be needed to keep the program from turning into Benigno repeatedly saying he “can’t talk about legal matters.”

Since Benigno’s absence, Roberts has continued as solo host of the midday show and has had a number of guests sit-in for a full hour, including Barstool’s KFC (Kevin Clancy) on Thursday.  Even during his absence, Benigno’s presence remains in the midday as his name was never removed from the show, the Joe and Evan jingle is played daily and Joe’s voice is still heard on Smithtown Nissan commercials.  Evan continues to reference Joe on the show to callers and guests, also telling listeners he will offer an update as soon as he receives one.

Last year Benigno signed a three-year contract to remain in WFAN’s midday timeslot, but he made it clear he was retiring and headed to Florida as soon as his current deal is up.  Until he returns, an early retirement for the 65 year old Benigno will remain a possibility.

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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Doug Gottlieb On Praise For Pat Beverly: ‘What a Joke!’

“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport.”

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Pat Beverley of the Minnesota Timberwolves may have used his appearances this week on ESPN to set up a potential career in media, but some just simply weren’t impressed.

You can count Doug Gottlieb among them. Gottlieb said Wednesday that Beverley’s takes on Suns guard Chris Paul and words for Matt Barnes regarding James Harden’s contract didn’t do him any favors for the future.

“Pat Beverley, if you’re going to die on a hill, James Harden’s hill is not the one to die on,” Gottlieb said. “In a week in which you have a chance to carve out a potential career for yourself which is as good, or greater than your NBA career. What a joke!”

Gottlieb added that Beverley also lost people completely “acting like the arrogant NBA athlete that so many assume that NBA athletes are.”

“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport,” he said. “Congratulations, hell of a week and you’re only in day two.”

While Beverley may not have Gottlieb singing his praises as an analyst, the T-Wolves journeyman did get the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said if Beverley wanted to do a podcast for the company, he would give him a blank check and hire him no questions asked.

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Mick Hubert to Retire After 33 Years As Voice Of Florida Gators

“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew.”

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After more than three decades and more than 2,500 games called in Gainesville, Mick Hubert is retiring as the voice of the Florida Gators.

Hubert, 68, will call it a career after the Florida baseball team concludes its regular season this weekend.

Hubert, who’s called numerous Gators national championships across multiple sports in his tenure, said he had been thinking about retiring but finally had peace about it to make the decision.

“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew,” he said. “I had been considering this for a little while. I just had to do some praying about it and enjoy every game.”

The longtime broadcaster is a 2019 inductee into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.

Hubert said he poured his heart and soul into broadcasts and that hopefully fans recognized that.

“I hope they heard the enthusiasm, and the credibility is important to me,” he said. “You need to be factual and credible, but you need to be enthusiastic. That’s what I always felt. I always wanted to take my audience on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I also wanted to give them enough information so they could paint that picture in their mind.”

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Reporter Tells Kevin & Query About NBA Draft Lottery Security Measures

“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know.”

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The NBA Draft is coming up towards the end of June, and the top half of the draft order was set this week in the NBA Draft Lottery.

The lottery adds a level of excitement to the mix because you never know if the team with the best odds for the number one pick will actually get it.

But it’s a whole process that actually unfolds well before it airs on ESPN. Pacers reporter Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files told Kevin Bowen and Jake Query on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis what it was like to have access to the lottery.

“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know,” he said. “It’s already happened. But we’re locked down, sequestered in a room, a ballroom, can’t leave.”

What was even more interesting to Agness was the fact that even people representing lottery teams were under an embargo until the results aired on TV.

“We had all that good info, but the person that won the lottery for instance couldn’t call and celebrate with their people,” Agness said. “None of us in the room could tweet it out because none of us had our devices.”

Agness added that the league had contingency plans in case the lottery drum failed, if the same team had its ping pong ball drawn, and just about every other scenario you could think of. He said he was very impressed with how the NBA did things.

“It was kind of cool to see how well-run everything was in the end,” he said.

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