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Chris Fisher Leaves USC Radio For OKC Thunder TV Gig

Brandon Contes

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The Oklahoma City Thunder and Fox Sports announced Chris Fisher as their new television play-by-play voice.  Fisher will broadcast 70 games for the Thunder during the 2018-19 season.

“The incredible relationship between the Thunder and its fans is well recognized in professional sports,” Fisher said in a statement. “I am thankful the organization has put its faith in me and I look forward to continuing to promote this amazing partnership.”

Analysts Michael Cage, Lesley McCaslin, Nick Gallo, Antonio Daniels and John Rhadigan will each partner with Fisher on Fox Sports throughout the OKC Thunder season.

“Chris is an exciting addition to the Thunder family and our broadcast team,” said Thunder vice president of broadcasting Dan Mahoney in a statement. “He is considered a rising star in sports broadcasting and we are thrilled to welcome him.

“Besides being an experienced, talented broadcaster with a passion for basketball, Chris is a first-rate person. We believe that on and off the air he will be an excellent representative of our team, our community and our partners at Fox Sports Oklahoma.”

The addition of Fisher comes after 10-year TV voice of the Thunder, Brian Davis did not have his contract renewed by the franchise for the upcoming season.  Although it was not announced as the reason for his dismissal, Davis was suspended the first game of the playoffs for saying Russell Westbrook was “out of his cotton-picking mind” during a broadcast late last season.

Fisher joins the Thunder from Los Angeles, where he spent the past eight seasons as the play-by-play announcer for USC men’s basketball, as well as the studio host for USC football’s halftime and postgame show.  The new TV voice of the Thunder will broadcast his first game for the team on October 7th as OKC begins preseason play against the Atlanta Hawks.

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

Sports Radio News

Jim Rome: ‘Al Michaels Was Only Talk2 Guest That Didn’t Cancel After Jim Everett Fight’

“People don’t want to associate or be attached to you if they think you’re toxic like that, and he didn’t cancel.”

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Jim Rome has different, deeper conversations on The Jim Rome Podcast than he does on his CBS Sports Radio show. The latest episode features former Notre Dame and NFL star Manti Te’o.

The interview is a promotion for Netflix’s latest Untold documentary, The Girlfriend That Didn’t Exist. In the episode, Te’o talked about the friends that stood by him while so many were laughing at him being the victim of a catfishing scheme.

Rome related. He took Te’o back to 1994.

Right after his infamous interview with Saints quarterback Jim Everett aired on his ESPN2 show Talk2, Jim Rome says he was labeled as toxic and he and his producers felt the consequences.

“All the sudden, no athletes wanted to talk to me initially and people were cancelling their appearances on the show,” he said.

One person that didn’t cancel was Al Michaels, who was working for ABC at the time.

Not only did Michaels not cancel, but he was on Talk2 the night after the infamous interview, which turned into a physical altercation aired.

“I said ‘Al, I cannot tell you how much this means to me,. Why did you not cancel?’. He said ‘Because you’re a friend and I knew you needed it and I knew it would make a difference.’ You never forget stuff like that, do you?”

Rome told Te’o that he understands that Michaels, whether he knew it or not, was taking a risk. The broadcast legend showing up was proof that he was in Rome’s corner and helped Rome regain some credibility that he was worried could have been lost forever.

“People don’t want to associate or be attached to you if they think you’re toxic like that, and he didn’t cancel.”

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Sports Radio News

Joe Starkey, Voice of the Cal Golden Bears and of “The Play,” To Retire After 2022

“It has been an incredible privilege to have the best seat in the house to watch Cal football since 1975,” Starkey said.

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Joe Starkey

Joe Starkey will call it a career after the 2022 season, his 48th as voice of the California Golden Bears.

Starkey, best known for his call of “The Play” during the 1982 Cal/Stanford game, will turn 81 in October.

California will have a memorable season for Starkey’s final one with the team. Cal plays Notre Dame for the first time in 55 years. They will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of “The Play” when the two teams square up in the 125th edition of the Big Game.

“It has been an incredible privilege to have the best seat in the house to watch Cal football since 1975,” Starkey said. “My first position in sportscasting was in 1972, and I have had some truly special assignments. But of all the places I have worked, the one constant has been Cal football.

Cal will celebrate “Joe Starkey Day” for the team’s regular-season finale against UCLA. Starkey began his career at Cal in 1975 and has been on the call for 538 of the 545 Cal football contests since. He celebrated his 500th Cal game against Oregon on Sept. 29, 2018.

“Joe Starkey’s commitment and service to Cal football have been unwavering for nearly a half-century,” Cal’s Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “I’m excited to celebrate and honor all of Joe’s great work over the years and make 2022 his best season yet with the Bears. He will always have a home in Berkeley and with Cal football.”  

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Williams Named Brand Manager of BetQL Network

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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Audacy has announced Andrew Williams as the Brand Manager of the BetQL Network, the company’s sports betting platform.

Williams comes to BetQL after working as the Senior Producer for SiriusXM FC. He has also spent the past year as the Executive Podcast Producer for Chicago Fire FC.

“I am delighted and honored to join the BetQL Network and the Audacy family,” Williams said. “The opportunity to join the leaders in Wagertainment is something that I could not pass up. My family and I are extremely excited about this next chapter.”

“Andrew possesses a proven track record of creatively reaching audiences through the creation and development of rich multimedia content, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to BetQL Network as that is one of the core principles of the network,” said Matthew Volk, Audacy Senior Vice President of Sports. “We look forward to welcoming him and his leadership to our brand, which has seen rapid growth across all platforms over the last year, and watching his experience and expertise help continue to grow the network.”

BetQL Network distributes roughly 100 hours of original content per week on the Audacy and BetQL digital platforms, and features shows like BetQL Daily, You Better You Bet, The Daily Tip, and BetMGM Tonight.

Williams will be based in Washington DC and will oversee all producers, talent, and audio content for the network.

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