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Impemba Returns To Detroit With Red Sox Radio Crew

“It’s been really positive and that’s a cool thing,” he told Tony Paul of The Detroit News.

Brandon Contes

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Ten months ago, Mario Impemba’s 17-year run as the Detroit Tigers television play-by-play voice came to an abrupt ending when both he and his broadcast partner, Rod Allen were let go following an off-air physical altercation.  Impemba, who since joined the Red Sox radio broadcast as part of a rotation of play-by-play announcers, returned to Comerica Park over the weekend with Boston in Detroit for a series against the Tigers.

Impemba knew arriving at Comerica as part of the visiting team would be strange, especially the way his relationship with the Tigers ended last summer, but the veteran broadcaster was welcomed back.  “It’s been really positive and that’s a cool thing,” he told Tony Paul of The Detroit News.  “I’ve tried to flush the negativity out of my life the last nine months.  It’s been a good return here.  I’ll do two more games after tonight, and then go on with my life.”

Those two games have since been played, completing Impemba’s return to Detroit, but the way it ended last year still doesn’t sit well with the current Red Sox radio voice.  “There’s still a lot of negativity surrounding what happened,” Impemba told Paul.  “A lot of people ask me, ‘Why aren’t you telling your story?’

“I know what happened that night, he (Allen) knows what happened that night. I just want to move on.  Nothing comes from rehashing a bad event in your life.”

After 17-years with the Tigers, his hometown team, Impemba envisioned choosing when he would leave his dream job after a celebrated career.

“I wanted to leave on my terms when I felt I couldn’t do the job anymore and say, ‘It’s been a great ride, thanks, I appreciate the opportunity.’

“And I was robbed of that,” Impemba said in his conversation with The Detroit News.  “There’s some bitterness and anger there that you’ve gotta flush out. I think I’m getting there.

“I’m more angry at the situation, and it’s just going to take some time.”

Still, for Impemba, it could be worse than quickly rebounding with a franchise like the Boston Red Sox.  Working at Fenway Park, for a team with World Series aspirations every year while the Tigers continue a long rebuild presents a silver-lining for Impemba, who’s enjoying working on radio.

“There’s more freedom, there’s less cooks in the kitchen, you just do what you do,” he said. “And there’s less egos in radio, too. It’s been a lot of fun.”

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

Dave Tepper Leaves Altitude Sports Radio To Become PD of News Radio KOA

“ The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. She was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018.”

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There’s a big change taking place in Denver radio. Dave Tepper has left Altitude Sports Radio to become the new program director for Newsradio KOA. The position became available after iHeart Denver recently parted ways with programmers Greg Foster and Tim Spence.

The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. Egger was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018. She left to take the reigns at iHeart in December 2020. Tepper will be responsible for all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence, as well as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Rockies Region.

“We are very excited Dave will be leading our incredible team at KOA,” said Turnbeaugh. “Dave’s track record, vision and leadership is exactly what we need as KOA continues to evolve as Colorado’s, News, Talk and Sports leader.”

Altitude Sports Radio went through a lineup revamp early on under Tepper before settling in the past few years. The station built its morning show around Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, afternoons around Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl, and middays around Ryan Harris, Scott Hastings, and Josh Dover. The station also moved from 950 AM to 92.5 FM, and added an affiliation with VSiN.

At KOA, Tepper will work with both sports and news talk programming. He’s familiar with both formats having previously managed 1620 The Zone and News Talk 1290 KOIL in Omaha. Tepper also previously programmed ESPN 97.5 in Houston, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network Studio Coordinator and National Network Producer for Westwood One’s broadcasts of the College World Series. He has also worked on-air as a sports talk host in Houston and Austin, TX after starting behind the scenes at KLSX and KABC in Los Angeles.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks,” said Tepper. “My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once in a lifetime step.”

Altitude Sports Radio hasn’t announced a timeframe for when it expects to hire a new leader.

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Sports Radio News

Travis Demers Steps Away From Rip City Radio 620

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Jordan Bondurant

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Travis Demers

Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Travis Demers is going to be taking some time to enjoy being around his family.

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Demers clarified that he will still be calling Blazers games and be involved with the team’s radio production, but he’s going to take this opportunity to be more involved in the lives of his kids.

For now, Doing will fly solo hosting Rip City Drive. iHeartRadio Portland has not announced whether a replacement will be hired.

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Sports Radio News

Dan Le Batard: Hank Goldberg Was a Legend But Terrible To Many People

“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’…I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive.”

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Many mourned the passing of Hank Goldberg on Monday. He was a longtime, loud voice in Miami radio on WIOD and even longer with WQAM. He was also a familiar face to ESPN viewers.

Dan Le Batard, beginning in 1990, was also a loud voice in Miami as a columnist with the Miami Herald. He and Goldberg had a strong, often bitter, rivalry that played out in the eyes of the public.

On The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Le Batard commented on the passing of Hank Goldberg and his comments were an “honest” discussion of the two’s history.

“More than merely a legend, I can say this honestly, if not for Hank Goldberg, this would not exist (referencing the now podcast). All of it. The Hank Goldberg coaching tree, the best thing it birthed, sits right next to me. It has belched out little other radio talent but Stugotz is the lasting legacy of what Hank Goldberg did.”

The podcast goes on to tell the story of Stugotz, once the executive producer for Hank Goldberg, needing looking talent when he was part of a group that launched WAXY-AM also known as 790 The Ticket. Stugotz never forgot how much Goldberg did not like Le Batard. Goldberg would read Le Batard’s columns on air and react to them weekly with vitriol. Stugotz got an idea to counter-program Goldberg’s and WQAM’s ratings dominance.

“Because he would talk about Dan so much when I was the executive producer of his show,” Stugotz said, “I figured ‘hey I got to hire this guy to go against Hank Goldberg… if I can get Hank to go against Dan or Dan go against Hank then Dan would have a daily platform to snap back if he wanted to.”

Le Batard would join WAXY and the back-and-forth that came mostly from Goldberg’s frequent bashing of the columnist, now had two sides. Le Batard, who well aware of how his comments may seem, tried to tame the waters some.

“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’ or buries Hank Goldberg. I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive,” Le Batard opined. “He was truly terrible to so many people…you want to talk about this honestly? He was a legend, yeah. And he was an asshole to a whole lot of people”.

Stugotz added more context. “Hank didn’t like you (Le Batard) because Hank had an ego and you were a perceived threat”.

Le Batard referenced stories he didn’t want tell about Goldberg “playing defense” on his career but did say that Goldberg’s impact on the city was undeniable.

“Hank Goldberg in this town, did create a sports voice that helped make us more national. And made gambling a little more normal. And Hank Goldberg in this town, before anyone else, was a big shot in this town…”

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