Gow Media is promoting one of its own to lead ESPN 97.5. Afternoon co-host AJ Hoffman has been named the station’s program director. He will continue to co-host The Blitz alongside Fred Faour.
Hoffman called the promotion “an exciting opportunity” in a press release before turning the attention to his team. “We have a really strong lineup – the best in the city – so we are poised for a great run.”
Todd Farquharson, the general manager of ESPN 97.5 said choosing Hoffman was a no-brainer. “He has demonstrated excellent programming instincts, and we think his experiences and leadership abilities make him a natural fit for this opportunity.”
Gregg Giannotti: ‘No Way in Hell’ New York Jets Do Not Get Flexed Out of Prime Time
“If they don’t start flexing out all of these Jets games, I would be shocked.”
Prior to the start of the NFL season, the New York Jets were placed in the maximum six prime-time game slots and featured on the NFL Films and HBO Sports original series, Hard Knocks, largely due to the acquisition of star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Now that Rodgers is likely out for the season recovering from a torn left Achilles, major television networks could be looking to move the Jets out of prime time positioning to a regular Sunday game slot on CBS or FOX. The Jets will be featured on Sunday Night Football on NBC this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs, and will then have four more appearances across ESPN, NBC and Amazon Prime Video.
Flex scheduling can be used twice between Week 5 and 10, and at the discretion of the league during Week 11 until Week 17, as per previously agreed upon rules for Sunday Night Football. The Walt Disney Company’s Monday Night Football property can be used twice by the NFL from Week 12 to Week 17, marking the first time the property has had such an ability. Additionally, Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video can be used up to two times between Weeks 13 and 17. Out of the Jets four remaining games in prime time, flex scheduling can be used three times. One of those occurrences would be for the league’s first Black Friday game on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023 when they face the Miami Dolphins.
“This prime time situation – if they don’t start flexing out all of these Jets games, I would be shocked,” Gregg Giannotti said Wednesday morning on WFAN. “There is no way in hell that some of these prime-time games that the Jets have coming up later in the season are actually going to stay there.”
Giannotti’s co-host, Boomer Esiason, implored him to wait and see what happens with the season rather than jumping to conclusions. “Gang Green” currently sits at 1-2 and are considered underdogs against Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I know what you’re doing – you don’t believe in Zach [Wilson]; I know that,” Esiason explained, “and you don’t believe their defense is good enough to win some games for them, which it obviously is. Depending on what week you’re looking at will determine whether or not they’re flexed.”
The show then proceeded to take a call as they searched the rules for flex scheduling, honing in on the Jets’ matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 12 as a possibility. Since that game is in Week 9 and on Sunday Night Football, there is a possibility that NBC Sports may opt to change that game out for a more favorable matchup. The league will make the announcement no later than 12 days before kickoff pertaining to if the game has been moved or not.
Toucher & Rich Rip Tiki Barber Over Fight With Joe Benigno
“Oh no. I just made Barrett Sports Media!”
Drama at other stations in other markets always get hosts in our business talking. For Toucher & Rich, it is content.
On 98.5 The Sports Hub Tuesday morning, the duo dissected the on air argument between WFAN’s Tiki Barber and Joe Benigno that ended with Barber turning off his mic and yelling “that’s bullshit!” before walking out of the studio.
Toucher used multiple TV references to help the audience understand who Benigno is, comparing him first to Carl Brutananadilewski from the cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force and then to a 2020 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where a friend of Larry David’s kills himself because he cannot take the Jets losing anymore.
Both Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb came to the same conclusion about the argument. Tiki Barber looks worse between the two. In fact, Shertenlieb said that it did not make sense for Barber to get defensive when Benigno accused the former Giants running back of rooting for the Jets to lose every game.
“Why can’t Tiki Barber just go ‘yeah, I root for them to lose. I was a Giant. What, are you crazy?’” he asked.
Toucher joked that you cannot tell the listeners that you root against their team. Toucher has had nothing but success in Boston, despite letting it be known regularly that he roots for the Jets.
Shertenlieb asked if it was possible that Barber was attempting to be funny. Perhaps storming out of the studio was meant to be a bit and the joke just fell flat.
“No, he’s a p***y,” Toucher said. “He was pissed, he got up and he left. Oh no. I just made Barrett Sports Media! ‘Fred says Tiki’s a p***y’.”
Fred Toucher knows this site well.
Shertenlieb added that the smart thing to do to make for better radio would have been to egg Benigno on.
“He looks feral,” he said describing Benigno in the video.
Toucher agreed, noting that the Toucher & Rich crew often take advantage of him when he I angry about something because it is funny to them.
Maggie Gray, Andrew Perloff Moving to Morning Drive on CBS Sports Radio
“We’re really looking forward to bringing their special mix of opinions, interviews and fun to the morning.”
Audacy is making a lineup change to CBS Sports Radio, moving hosts Maggie Gray and Andrew Perloff to morning drive starting on Monday, Oct. 2. The Maggie and Perloff show will be on the air from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. EST and bring listeners the latest news and opinion interspersed with several entertaining elements. The program will lead in to Reiter Than You with Bill Reiter, which is followed by Jim Rome at noon EST. An announcement has yet to be made regarding who will take over Gray and Perloff’s existing afternoon drive slot from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
“Maggie and Perloff are going to be awesome in the morning,” Spike Eskin, sports format vice president for Audacy and brand manager for CBS Sports Radio and WFAN, said in a statement. “The way the show has grown and evolved over the last couple of years is so exciting, and we’re really looking forward to bringing their special mix of opinions, interviews and fun to the morning.”
Gray has been with Audacy for nearly a decade, working in various capacities both at the local level on WFAN and nationally with CBS Sports Radio. She officially made her return to the national outlet in 2021 after three years on WFAN. Prior to her time with Audacy, Gray worked with Sports Illustrated as the host of the daily digital talk show SI NOW, and also served in a variety of roles for NBA TV, MSG Networks and MLB.com.
“We are so honored to be taking over this prestigious time slot,” Gray said. “I truly believe the connection with listeners in the morning is the deepest. We’re excited to be part of their morning routine, and getting the day off to a great start!”
Perloff came to Audacy last year after working with The Dan Patrick Show as one of the “Danettes” since 2009, where he was known by the nickname “McLovin.” Before he was on Patrick’s program, Perloff also worked for Sports Illustrated as a contributing writer and editor and was the outlet where he met Gray for the first time.
“One of the keys to our show is that we fundamentally disagree on major sports topics and still have fun,” Perloff said. “Maggie and I have been friends since we were colleagues at Sports Illustrated and nothing is going to change that – unless her Buffalo Bills beat my Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. Then she’s dead to me.”
Gray and Perloff will be broadcasting on over 100 stations across the United States in the mornings beginning on Oct. 2, commencing a new era in the mornings. The show replaces Damon Amendolara’s slot in the mornings, who announced Wednesday morning that he is headed to SiriusXM to host a new morning program with Mike Babchik starting on the same day.