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ESPN Milwaukee Announces New Weekday Lineup

Brandon Contes

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Good Karma Brands announced a lineup overhaul for ESPN Milwaukee set to debut on June 4th.  The new schedule will feature local programming every weekday from 7am – 8pm on WKTI, which flipped to an all-sports format last fall.

ESPN 94.5 will increase its local content beginning with Gabe & Chewy, where Gabe Neitzel and Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Chmura will co-host from 7 – 9am.  Neitzel already hosts afternoons on the station with Steve “The Homer” True from 3 – 6pm, a show that will continue to be featured in the same time slot for WKTI’s new lineup.

“This investment in local programming gives fans more ways to engage in sports and provides our advertising partners additional opportunities to connect with their customers and build their brands,” VP and market manager for Good Karma Brands, Steve Wexler said in a press release.

Following Gabe & Chewy in the morning, ESPN 94.5’s lineup will continue to carry Wilde and Tausch, adding an hour to their show, now broadcasting from 9am – noon.  The noon hour will be hosted by Greg Matzek, who for eight years served as host of Sports Central on Good Karma’s news/talk station WTMJ, also anchoring their afternoon sports updates.  Moving over to WKTI, Matzek will no longer host Sports Central, but will continue to work as a sports anchor on WTMJ’s afternoon show. 

Former Marquette basketball player and current radio analyst, Tony Smith will join Bryan Dee from 1 – 3pm.  Dee previously hosted the 11am hour on ESPN 94.5.

“I’m particularly excited to bring Chewy and Tony onto our weekly lineup. Their unique perspectives and stories from their playing days, combined with knowledge of and love for Milwaukee, make them such great additions to this already compelling lineup in the Brew City,” said Brad Lane who joined ESPN Milwaukee and WTMJ as their program director in January.

Following Homer & Gabe in the afternoon will be Doug Russell from 6 – 8pm.  In addition to his show on 94.5, Russell will also host ESPN Milwaukee Podcenter on Good Karma’s 540 ESPN.  National programming will fill the rest of 540’s lineup which will feature less commercials, offering more local and sponsored content. 

The lineup on 94.5 ESPN, effective June 4:
5 – 7am Golic and Wingo 
7 – 9am Gabe & Chewy (Gabe Neitzel and Mark Chmura)
9 – Noon Wilde and Tausch (Jason Wilde and Mark Tauscher)
Noon – 1pm Power Lunch with Greg Matzek
1 – 3pm Tony Smith & Bryan Dee
3 – 6pm Homer & Gabe (Steve “The Homer” True and Gabe Neitzel)
6 – 8pm Doug Russell

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

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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