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ESPN 1000 Celebrating 20th Anniversary Today

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Chicago’s ESPN 1000 kicked off it’s 20th Fanniversary celebration early this morning at Austin’s in Libertyville. Midday host Carmen DeFalco told Barrett Sports Media that the station is planning to bring back former hosts and iconic Chicago voices for the celebration. “It has been business as usual on air this week. All the best surprises are coming Friday.”

Mike Golic and Trey Wingo kicked off the festivities at 5am in Chicago. The duo was in town to host their nationally syndicated morning show from Austin’s. The rest of the ESPN 1000 lineup will broadcast live as well. DeFalco’s on air partner John “Jurko” Jurkovich will have a reunion, via telephone, with his former Mac, Jurko, and Harry co-hosts Dan McNeil and Harry Teinowitz.

DeFalco was one of the earliest hires at ESPN 1000. “My first shift was just a weekend update shift,” he told BSM via telephone earlier this week. “But I have been on the air here in one form or another for 20 years at this station.”

He gave the answer you would expect most Chicago hosts to give when you ask about the most memorable moment of their broadcasting career. DeFalco says the morning after the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series he didn’t want to walk in with the attitude of “we’ll just turn the mics on and the show will do itself.”

DeFalco “spent most of the night of Game 7 thinking about what the night meant to Cub fans, what the night meant to generations of Cub fans that came and went and missed it.” It was a personal mission for him, as he said he thought about his grandfather in the moments after the final out was recorded. “He lived to 92. A long, wonderful life, and he survived a World War, and getting wounded twice, and he STILL never saw the Cubs win it all.”

Earlier this week, the station’s vice president and general manager Jim Pastor told Robert Feder of the Daily Herald that today’s celebration isn’t about ratings or sales success. It is about what ESPN 1000 has meant to Chicago sports fans for the last two decades.

Most importantly, we know where we stand with Chicago sports fans and our partners.  The relationship we have with them can be heard and felt on our air every day.

The station is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company. It first became a sports station in 1993 known simply by its call letters, WMVP, under the control of Evergreen Broadcasting. The station was sold to Bonneville International in 1997 and briefly flipped to a news/sports hybrid. Disney took over the station and rebranded it as ESPN 1000 with an all sports format on October 12, 2008.

Some of the original hires are still at the station. Those include program director Adam Delevit, who was originally hired as a producer at the station, and afternoon host Marc “Silvy” Silverman.

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Bernstein And Rahimi Mock Danny Parkins For Louie Anderson Gaffe

“You could tell something was wrong as soon as he said it.”

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Chicago Tribune

Mistakes happen in radio. There’s no such thing as perfection in the business. A sound byte might not play or play correctly, something might happen with a guest, you might flub a word or two. It happens.

On 670 The Score in Chicago, afternoon show host Danny Parkins made a blunder last week that had fellow hosts Dan Bernstein and Leila Rahimi having some fun at his expense on Monday.

Parkins was reporting on the deaths of singer Meat Loaf and actor Louie Anderson. A clip from the movie Fight Club, which Meat Loaf was a part of, played. But Parkins didn’t say Meat Loaf.

Fight Club… RIP Louie Anderson… Wait,” he said after a pause.

“You could tell something was wrong as soon as he said it,” Bernstein said.

“The end of it is pricelessly good,” Rahimi added. “The ‘wait’ is my favorite part.”

Bernstein and Rahimi joked about how the mistake came right at the end of the show. There were literally minutes left before it was over.

“He’s sitting here, he looked through the glass, and he saw (Executive Producer Shane Riordan) absolutely explode,” Bernstein said. “He knew something went wrong.”

They did relate to Parkins’ mistake because, as mentioned above, mistakes happen. But they couldn’t help but have a little fun at their cohort’s expense.

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Sports Radio News

ESPN Madison Adding Olympic Curler Matt Hamilton For ‘Rutledge & Hamilton’ Show

“Matt is a hometown personality with a passion for Wisconsin sports. He brings a unique perspective to our team through his Olympic experience.”

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ESPN Madison

ESPN Madison (100.5 WTLX-FM) is getting a new afternoon show. The station announced on Monday that current afternoon host Jim Rutledge will get a new partner in March.

Olympic curling gold medalist Matt Hamilton is joining the show as Rutledge’s on-air partner after returning from the Beijing Winter Olympics. Rutledge & Hamilton will air from 2 to 4 p.m. CT. Alex Strouf will be the show’s producer.

Rutledge currently hosts The Jump Around from 3 to 4 p.m. and Hamilton has been a regular part of the show, so the rebrand is pairing the two together officially.

Hamilton, a Madison native won a gold medal in men’s curling at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“We are looking forward to having Matt join our expanded of local programming,” said ESPN Madison market manager Tom Olson in the station’s official announcement. (The station currently airs ESPN Radio’s Bart & Hahn from 2 to 3 p.m.)

“Matt is a hometown personality with a passion for Wisconsin sports. He brings a unique perspective to our team through his Olympic experience, and I can’t wait for our fans and partners to get to know him as the newest member of the ESPN Madison team.”

ESPN Madison programming can be heard on 100.5 FM locally, Wisconsin On Demand, ESPNMadison.com, and the ESPN app.

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Sports Radio News

UConn Basketball’s Mike Crispino Less Critical of Referees As Official Himself

“I’ve changed completely since I started doing this. Because I realize how hard it is.”

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@mikecrispinonyk on Twitter

While basketball broadcasters may not have as contentious a relationship with referees as coaches, players, and fans, part of calling the action can involve criticizing a call. And with broadcasters typically positioned at courtside, there is certainly more opportunity for exchanges with officials than in football or hockey, for example.

But as David Borges writes in a feature for CT Insider, UConn men’s basketball play-by-play announcer Mike Crispino might go a bit easier on referees than his colleagues. And that’s because Crispino works as a referee himself when he’s not at the mic, officiating high school basketball and baseball games in Connecticut

Crispino has been a referee for 12 years and says it completely changed how he viewed officiating while calling play-by-play for the New York Knicks and UConn Huskies. Prior to donning the stripes, he would often question calls during a broadcast.

“I’ve changed completely since I started doing this,” Crispino told Borges. “Because I realize how hard it is. It’s not easy. You’re on-call all the time. You’ve got to have two hours of being sharp. You can’t get lazy, you can’t get distracted, you can’t listen to too many people barking about stuff. You have to be on it. Otherwise, you’re not doing the service that you’re getting paid to do.”

Despite having the perspective of a working referee, Crispino — who’s been broadcasting UConn men’s basketball for the past four years — still gets caught up in the moment and questions certain calls, sometimes with the officials standing right in front of him.

Unlike broadcasting, where young announcers are always trying to break into the industry, Crispino is concerned about the future of officiating. He says fewer people work as referees because of stories about angry parents and coaches.

Of course, Crispino has also experienced such exchanges from the other side with high school coaches disputing his calls as a referee. But he’s only issued one ejection during his officiating career, along with just a few technical fouls. Seeing referees work at the college and NBA levels as a broadcaster has helped him understand how to deal with such situations. That perspective has clearly been beneficial in both jobs.

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