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The Fanatic Launches Phillies Show

“Airing from 6 – 7pm, The Fanatic Baseball Show will broadcast on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with Gargano continuing to host his gambling show Thursday evenings.”

Brandon Contes

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This week 97.5 The Fanatic launched a Phillies pregame show to go up against Sports Radio WIP’s Phillies coverage.  

As the Phillies rightsholder, WIP has a leg up, but with a first place record and the arrival of superstar Bryce Harper, the Philadelphia baseball team is a hot commodity and The Fanatic wants to capitalize.  Having a pregame show without broadcast rights to the team isn’t unprecedented, two years ago WIP launched The Process to air before every 76ers game even though The Fanatic serves as their flagship affiliate. 

“We want to be talking about what the fans are talking about,” The Fanatic Program Director, Eric Johnson told Jeff Blumenthal of the Philadelphia Business Journal. “And right now through the summer, that’s the Phillies. It doesn’t matter that we don’t carry their games.”  

Titled The Fanatic Baseball Show, The Fanatic’s new Phillies program is hosted by Andrew Salciunas, who Eric Johnson categorized as a “star on the rise” according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.  Salciunas is best known for being the producer and update anchor on The Fanatic’s midday show hosted by Anthony Gargano and Jason Myrtetus.  Airing from 6 – 7pm, The Fanatic Baseball Show will broadcast on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with Gargano continuing to host his gambling show Thursday evenings.

“Thank you for all of the kind words and thank you for joining me tonight during the first episode of The Fanatic Baseball Show. It’s going to be a fun summer and hopefully a late Fall!” Salciunas wrote on Twitter following the program’s launch.

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

Sarah Spain Leaving ESPN Radio

Spain had been with ESPN Radio for 12 years, hosting shows nationally over the course of the last eight. She began her radio career in 2010 at ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN Radio host Sarah Spain will be hanging up the headphones for the worldwide leader, the host announced Monday.

Spain revealed on Twitter that her last show with Spain and Fitz co-host Jason Fitz will be on December 1.

Spain had been with ESPN Radio for 12 years, hosting shows nationally over the course of the last eight. She began her radio career in 2010 at ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

Spain added that she’ll remain at ESPN, so she’s not leaving completely, but more details of what’s next for her at the company will be coming soon.

She reminisced about her time on the network with photos of several iterations of her evening shows.

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Sports Radio News

Laurence Holmes: Ben Watson Let Peter Burns Know He Was Out of Line

“You just let him understand that he went too far, and you had to yoke him up a little bit and grab him in his collar.”

Jordan Bondurant

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SEC Network analyst Ben Watson didn’t take kindly to a joke made by Peter Burns on the air over the weekend, and it was evident. Watson and Burns have appeared to put the exchange behind them, with Watson saying Burns owes his wife an apology.

On Chicago’s 670 The Score, host Laurence Holmes said while it’s unclear whether Watson laid hands on Burns during the commercial break, Burns needed to learn that his joke was too much.

“I feel like this is what we like to call a correction,” Holmes said. “You just let him understand that he went too far, and you had to yoke him up a little bit and grab him in his collar.”

“Had he been punched or slapped by Benjamin Watson, they couldn’t have taken that picture together without us actually seeing the remnants,” he added.

While the hatchet appears to be buried, Holmes thinks Burns will give it a second thought before taking things to a more personal level.

“I hope that it was just one of those moments that now Peter knows that he was out of line,” he said. “He stepped over a line and maybe he got told to not do that anymore.”

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Sports Radio News

Matt Volk to Exit BetQL, Mitch Rosen and Danny Freisinger Earn Internal Promotions

“SVP of Sports Matthew Volk will be leaving the company.”

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Behind the scenes changes are coming to the BetQL network. The Audacy owned sports betting operation will have different leadership in place to guide day to day strategy and execution entering 2023.

In an internal note sent out earlier by Audacy EVP of Programming Jeff Sottolano, it was revealed that SVP of Sports Matthew Volk will be leaving the company. Volk has been offered a C-level position back home in Boston which allows him to return to his first love, sports television.  

Sottolano said of Volk’s exit, “It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that Matt Volk will be leaving Audacy at the end of this year. I hired Matt less than two years ago primarily to oversee the build out of our BetQL Network. He has done exactly that, helped cement a long term investment from BetMGM in the network and led the successful launch – surrounded by a talented team – of our 2400Sports podcast network this year.”

To help fill the void, Sottolano shared that Danny Freisinger will be elevated to VP of Sports and have operational oversight of the 2400Sports podcast network. The former 95.7 The Game Assistant Program Director and ESPN 1320 PD will also lead the company’s sports editorial and video content teams and team with Sports Format VP Spike Eskin on new multi-platform content development for internal and external distribution platforms. Sottolano added that 2400Sports VP/Executive Producer Lena Glaser will remain in charge of prestige/national podcast shows, talent and content development.

Additionally, 670 The Score PD Mitch Rosen will be elevated from Director of Operations to VP of the BetQL Network. Part of his responsibility will include overseeing BetQL Brand Manager Andrew Williams and leading the network’s team of talent, producers and writers. Sottolano also said shared that Rosen will work closely with Mike Dee to grow the network’s sports book relationships and increase external distribution of the network. His involvement with BetQL will not affect his status as The Score’s brand manager.

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