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WOR to Cut Sports Programming

Brandon Contes

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When iHeartMedia’s WOR 710 became the flagship radio station of the New York Mets in 2014, they made a commitment to sports programming beyond just the Mets broadcast.  The residual effect of losing the Mets will cause WOR to cut its other sports programming.

In 2014, WOR launched The Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy airing weeknights at 6pm.  Although it’s not a sports-centric show, the station also built their morning program around veteran sportscaster Len Berman in 2015.  While Berman will most likely continue co-hosting the morning show on WOR with Michael Riedel, McCarthy announced The Sports Zone will soon be cancelled.

“With the Mets changing stations, WOR is discontinuing the Sports Zone at some point this fall. It’s been a dream come true talking about the team I grew up rooting for these last five seasons. Many thanks to all those who listened or contributed.” McCarthy tweeted.

Fill-in sports radio host on WOR and former producer of Mike Francesa’s WFAN show, Sal Licata also announced he would no longer appear on WOR.

“It was a fun 5 years at WOR, doing things on my radio shows that I couldn’t have done anywhere else. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and really enjoyed my time there working with good people. It was an awkward fit but I feel I made the most of my opportunities. I’ll miss it.” Licata posted on Twitter

It remains to be seen how the Mets new home in 2019, WCBS 880 will cover the team, but it’s hard to imagine the station adding a daily program similar to The Sports Zone.

Howie Rose is a near lock to continue as the team’s radio voice on WCBS, but Howie’s partner and the Mets pre/postgame host could potentially change.  Josh Lewin has joined Rose in the booth since the 2012 season and will be a favorite to remain the second play-by-play voice for the club.  Fill-in announcer and pre/postgame host Wayne Randazzo is also a candidate to partner with Howie on a permanent basis.

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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Matt Chazanow Named Radio Play-by-Play Voice of NC State Wolfpack

“The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling.

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Graphic announcing Matt Chazanow as the new voice of the NC State Wolfpack
Graphic Courtesy: NC State Athletics

NC State and Learfield’s Wolfpack Sports Properties have announced Matt Chazanow as the new Director of Broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball. According to a release from the school, Chazanow was one of more than 150 applicants for the position.

Chazanow, who had been in a similar role at Washington State since 2015, will take over for Gary Hahn who called Wolfpack games for 34 years. Chazanow is from New Jersey but worked in Winston-Salem, NC and his wife is a North Carolina native.

“I’m so excited to welcome Matt Chazanow as our new ‘Voice of the Wolfpack,'” said NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan in a release. “Chaz understands that this role isn’t only about calling games, but about bringing special moments and memories to Wolfpack fans of all ages. While he is a very talented radio announcer, he will also be a great representative of our university, our brand, and our culture.

“I also want to thank Gary Hahn for his period of service to NC State. There are generations of NC State fans that have memories of Gary calling their favorite Wolfpack plays, and he will always be a part of Wolfpack Nation.”

“I am so thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” said Chazanow.  “The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get started.”

“An established voice in the broadcasting world, Chaz will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wolfpack Sports Network,” said Kyle Winchester, General Manager of Wolfpack Sports Properties. “We’re delighted for him to join our world-class team and lead our coverage of the Wolfpack starting this season.”

A graduate of Syracuse, Chazanow has been with Learfield since 2008 and has also done national play-by-play for Westwood One.

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WFAN to Broadcast ‘Evan & Tiki’ Live from Citi Field for Subway Series, Full Show Simulcast on SNY

“That’s right – we will be broadcasting live at Citi Field at the magnificent Cadillac Club.”

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Evan & Tiki
Courtesy: Audacy

The first half of the 2024 edition of the Subway Series is forthcoming with a matchup between the New York Mets and New York Yankees from Citi Field in Queens, N.Y. Baseball fans can look forward to stars including Francisco Lindor, Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso and Juan Soto facing off on the field as the teams try to claim bragging rights within the Big Apple. Preceding the two-game series, consumers will be able to listen to Evan & Tiki on WFAN and watch the program on SportsNet New York (SNY).

The afternoon drive show, however, will not be in the studio, but rather on location from the ballpark in the Cadillac Club at Payson’s, a premium membership space in right field. Co-host Evan Roberts made the show announcement on Wednesday evening where he provided details about the two-day broadcasting setup from the ballpark.

“It’s the Subway Series, and for the first time in a very long time – I honestly can’t tell you the last time this happened – but for the first time in many years, we are bringing the show to Citi Field,” Roberts said. “That’s right – we will be broadcasting live at Citi Field at the magnificent Cadillac Club.”

Roberts recalled that a listener generously gave him tickets to a Mets game in the Cadillac Club and described the space as a “badass speakeasy that’s inside right field.” The WFAN show will broadcast live from the space while also being simulcast on SNY. The regional sports network does not generally simulcast the full four hours of the program, but it will be doing so as part of the two days of broadcasts taking place from Citi Field.

“Thank you very much to Cadillac, thank you very much to Citi Field, thank you very much to SNY,” Roberts said. “It’ll be very cool to be on for a full four hours on both days – June 25 and June 26 – so it’s a big Subway Series show live from Citi Field for the first time in, like, forever. I don’t remember the last time we’ve broadcasted as a station inside of Citi Field, so that’s very, very cool.”

WFAN recently presented a Kickoff to Summer event from D’Jais in Belmar, N.J. featuring programming across its weekday lineup. The Boomer & Gio morning show was live in Las Vegas, Nev. for Super Bowl LVIII and has had additional special live shows from various venues in the New York metropolitan area, frequently selling out the crowd and including special guests. Brandon Tierney and Sal Licata also broadcast their midday show live from MLB Network’s Studio 42 in late-March concurrent with Opening Week of the Major League Baseball season.

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Eric Hasseltine and Chris Vernon Remember Jerry West’s Days as General Manager of the Memphis Grizzlies

“The first time you meet him, you’re in awe.”

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Graphic with a picture of Jerry West and the dates of his birth and death
Graphic Courtesy: Los Angeles Lakers

Jerry West, aka “Mr. Clutch,” aka “The Logo,” passed away this morning at the age of 86. West is a 3-time Hall of Fame selection, inducted as a player in 1980, as a member of the 1960 US Olympic Team in 2010 and he will be enshrined again later this year as a contributor. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said West was “one of the greatest executives in sports history.”

West played for, coached, scouted for and was the General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, however in 2002, the first team he worked for other than the Lakers became the Memphis Grizzlies.

At the time West arrived, both Chris Vernon and Eric Hasseltine were a part of Sports 56 WHBQ in Memphis. Hasseltine was the pre-game, halftime and post-game host for the Grizzlies Radio Network and did a daily show. Vernon hosted middays and was also around the team quite a bit, covering games, practices and any other media availability with the team.

These days, Vernon hosts the Chris Vernon Show on Grizzlies-owned Grind City Media and also works as an analyst on the Memphis Grizzlies television pre- and post-game shows. Hasseltine has been the radio play-by-play voice of the team since 2005 and also serves as the team’s Radio Operations Manager.

BSM asked Hasseltine about his first impressions of West when he joined the organization. “The first time you meet him, you’re in awe. He was such a fiery competitor. He was everything you heard about him, he hated to lose.”

Hasseltine said West was very good to him as a member of the radio team and also said, “He was as excited as anybody when the team won, and as angry as anybody when they lost.”

Hasseltine said he remembers vividly when the team started to turn the corner after West had arrived. He said ‘The Logo’ would often ask he and his broadcasting partner at the time, Sean Tuohy, “How much fun are you guys having?”

“Jerry West always wanted to be competing,” Hasseltine added. “He loved basketball, and he loved putting together teams and seeing things in players others didn’t see.” Hasseltine said just his presence made a difference and that if West walked into a practice, “The players played harder, they wanted to prove to him they deserved to be there.”

On the Chris Vernon Show today, Vernon said, “[Jerry West] gave us instant credibility and he ran the show.” He talked about West going out on a limb hiring Hubie Brown and how he was the one ultimately responsible for getting people interested in the team and attendance rising.

Vernon, who actually does his show today from what used to be West’s office, added, “He was always cool to me.”

Vernon shared stories about people seeing West around town, often finding him at a bar with a glass of wine after a Grizzlies game. He said, if the outcome wasn’t good, people would hear West “bitching about the Grizzlies.”

West retired in 2007, although he would later also work for the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers.

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