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Ben & Woods Heading To 97.3 The Fan

“The station announced its new morning show in a message on the video board at Petco Park on Wednesday night during the Padres’ 5-2 win over Arizona.”

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Just over a month since The Mighty 1090 went dark, one of their weekday shows found a new radio home.  Entercom announced Ben and Woods will be the new morning show on San Diego’s 97.3 The Fan beginning Monday, June 10th.

Ben Higgins and Steve Woods’ tenure on The Mighty 1090 was short-lived, lasting only a year before the station closed its doors in April. The two well-known San Diego sports media personalities though enjoyed ratings success during their inaugural year together on the radio. 

The duo and their entire show from 1090, including producer Paul Reindl will once again get to entertain San Diegans, this time on 97.3 The Fan from 5 – 9am each weekday morning. The team made the announcement in a Tweet from their new studio on Wednesday night.

The Fan took advantage of its relationship with the San Diego Padres to make an even bigger splash. The station announced its new morning show in a message on the video board at Petco Park on Wednesday night during the Padres’ 5-2 win over Arizona.

Ben and Woods

“We are excited to welcome Ben and Steve to 97.3 The Fan,” said Bob Bolinger, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom San Diego.  “In a short time “Ben & Woods” has emerged as a highly rated show in San Diego and will be a great addition to our popular local line-up that includes Padres Baseball, Gwynn & Chris, and Coach John Kentera.”

97.3 The Fan launched in early 2018, featuring Dan Sileo in morning drive, but Entercom chose to pull the controversial radio host from their San Diego airwaves last month. Ironically, Ben and Woods replaced Sileo when he departed 1090 for the new 97.3 last year. In the interim, The Fan’s morning show has been hosted by longtime San Diego radio personality, John Kentera.  

Prior to shutting down, The Mighty 1090 had regularly beaten 97.3 The Fan according to the local Nielsen radio ratings, leading many to wonder if Entercom would add talent from their now deceased radio rival.  Ben and Woods are the first to make the jump to Entercom.  Other former 1090 hosts, Darren Smith and Scott Kaplan remain free agents, although Kaplan’s Scott and BR hasn’t missed a day since 1090 went dark, continuing to offer a live show on YouTube and TuneIn.  

Ben and Woods will be the second local show on The Fan’s weekday lineup.  Tony Gwynn Jr. and Chris Ello host afternoon drive on 97.3, with the rest of the schedule filled out by national shows, featuring Jim Rome from 9am – noon and Doug Gottlieb from noon – 3pm.

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

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”

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Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Sports Radio News

Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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