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Westwood One Inks Deneroff to Contract Extension

“As he celebrates his 30th year with Westwood One, Howard Deneroff has agreed to extend his time with the network by agreeing to a new deal.”

Jason Barrett

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Westwood One has announced a multi-year contract extension for Howard Deneroff, EVP/Executive Producer of Westwood One Sports. Deneroff is celebrating his 30th year with the company, having been the division’s executive producer since 2008. As part of the extension, Deneroff will continue directing, coordinating, and executing all of the on-air coverage and production elements for Westwood One’s live national radio play-by-play broadcasts and continue his role in talent and rights negotiations between Westwood One and its many prominent broadcast partners. 

Deneroff’s storied career at Westwood includes contributing to 29 Super Bowl broadcasts, 17 Final Four broadcasts, 12 Stanley Cup Finals, 8 World Series, and 8 Olympic Games. Earlier in his career, he served as CBS Radio Sports’ Coordinating Producer for Spanish-language coverage of the NFL and Major League Baseball. He’s been a featured speaker at a number of universities, and for the past 13 years has also been a faculty member for the radio portion of “NFL Broadcast Boot Camp” and “NFL Journalism Boot Camp” week-long seminars, hosted by the NFL, to teach broadcasting skills to current and former players.

Suzanne Grimes, EVP Marketing, Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One, said, “Howie Deneroff’s encyclopedic knowledge and uncompromising commitment to creating the highest quality sports programming is recognized universally by coaches, athletes, our affiliates, our audience, and advertisers. We are privileged and proud that Howie will remain at the helm of our exceptional sports broadcast coverage and league partnerships.”

Bruce Gilbert, SVP, Sports, Cumulus Media and Westwood One, added “There are a million reasons why so many in the industry refer to Howie as ‘the best in the business,’ because it’s true. Howie’s professionalism, work ethic, and passion for the audio presentation of the world’s biggest sporting events are second to none.”​

Said Deneroff, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working at a job I love and have loved since day one. There is nothing that replicates the excitement and drama of live sporting events, and to be able to produce broadcasts for so many great games and historical events for Westwood One over the years has been a pleasure and an absolute honor.”

Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

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Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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Sports Radio News

DiPietro & Rothenberg: NFL TV Partners Should Schedule Jets and Giants at Opposite Times

Jordan Bondurant

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For the first time in a long time, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are factors in the NFL playoff picture. After years of both franchises occupying the bottom portions of the league standings, fans in New York and the surrounding area have a reason to believe. On DiPietro & Rothenberg on ESPN New York, Dave Rothenberg said he thinks the league should put both teams in more marquee windows.

“When you start to think about flexing games, you start to think about you know what, the Giants and Jets should be flexed into better time slots,” he said.

Co-host Rick DiPietro said it sucks now that both teams are playing well, fans are essentially forced to flip back and forth between games.

“It’s awful. It really is,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it ruins the Sunday because that would be hard. But it’s not my favorite.”

Still, it’s not lost on Rothenberg that football fans in the city now have something to cheer for NFL wise as the last chunk of the regular season approaches.

“When was the last time the Jets and Giants in December had meaningful football games?” Rothenberg asked. “Years and years and years.”

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