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WFAN, Simms Had Sights Set On Kellerman in 2017

“The ESPN personality reportedly has language in his contract that allows him to host a drive time radio show in New York while continuing to his role on First Take, even if that show is on their rival WFAN.”

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ESPN’s Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith were close to being TV partners in the morning and radio rivals in the afternoon, which would have made a very interesting daily dynamic.

WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM in New York and ESPN have long been sports media rivals with The Worldwide Leader refusing to let any of their talent appear on WFAN.  It’s hard to imagine a world where one of ESPN’s most recognizable personalities would host afternoon drive on the opposing WFAN, but it was a possibility.  During WFAN’s 2017 search to replace Mike Francesa when he “retired,” the station was interested in hiring First Take host Max Kellerman with an agreement that could have allowed him to continue his ESPN gig.

In a story about Chris Simms departing Bleacher Report for NBC, the former NFL quarterback told The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand he was offered the opportunity to replace Mike Francesa.  Simms’ decision to decline the offer was in part because he didn’t want to be on a three-person show and instead had his sights on a different radio partner.

According to Marchand, the preferred co-host for Simms was ESPN’s Max Kellerman.  The ESPN personality reportedly has language in his contract that allows him to host a drive time radio show in New York while continuing to his role on First Take, even if that show is on their rival WFAN.

The available 2 – 6 timeslot on WFAN would have put Kellerman and his TV co-host Stephen A. Smith head to head for an hour in New York, with Smith’s syndicated radio show broadcasting on 98.7 ESPN from 1 – 3pm.  Kellerman and Stephen A. would be spending their mornings working together to build an audience and their afternoons competing with each other for an audience. 

It also would have been interesting to see if ESPN continued to refuse their talent the opportunity to appear on WFAN.  After decades at the network, Kellerman has built strong relationships at ESPN and it’s difficult to imagine his close friends not joining him for segments on WFAN.

In the end a Kellerman and Simms pairing never came to fruition.  WFAN chose Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott and Francesa’s retirement was short lived, but an afternoon drive intersection for ESPN and WFAN would have been fun to watch.

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

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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