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John Michael Moves To TV For Cleveland Cavaliers

“With John Michael moving to the television broadcast table, the Cavaliers have hired Tim Alcorn as their new radio play-by-play voice.”

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced changes to their television and radio broadcasts after longtime play-by-play announcer, Fred McLeod passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago.

Taking over for McLeod as the Cavs TV announcer, will be their radio voice of the past eight seasons, John Michael.  Michael leaves the radio booth to join Cavs telecasts on FOX Sports Ohio, where he previously worked as the Columbus Blue Jackets pre and postgame host, having also served as their rink-side reporter.  Michael will partner with TV analyst and former on-court fan favorite, “Mr. Cavalier,” Austin Carr on the call.

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I begin this season of Cavaliers basketball,” said John Michael. “I am honored and humbled that the Cavs organization and FOX Sports Ohio have looked to me to carry on for a special part of our family who left us way too soon. Every ounce of preparation, hard work and creativity that is poured into each television broadcast this season will be dedicated to the very high standard that Fred McLeod set. I am looking forward to joining my friend Austin Carr and helping deliver a great and entertaining season of Cavs basketball broadcasts.”

The late Fred McLeod joined the Cavaliers telecasts as their play-by-play voice in 2006, following a 22-year tenure as an announcer for the Detroit Pistons.  The sportscaster died suddenly on September 9th at the age of 67.

“The loss of Fred McLeod is something that has hurt all of us greatly. Certainly, we will always carry great thoughts and memories of Fred with us forever,” said Tad Carper, Cavaliers Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. “We are fortunate, though, to have John Michael as part of our broadcast family. John is a very talented, dedicated, hard-working and insightful broadcaster who has a great spectrum of experience and perspective to now bring to our TV broadcasts. We’re pleased to have him join Austin Carr at the table and Angel Gray on sideline as we head into our 50th season and the many special elements and history that will be a part of our season-long presentation of Cavs basketball.”

With John Michael moving to the television broadcast table, the Cavaliers have hired Tim Alcorn as their new radio play-by-play voice.  

“I am incredibly honored to have been selected by the Cavaliers as the next radio play-by-play announcer for the organization,” said Alcorn. “The position is truly a ‘dream job.’ It’s both exciting and humbling to be chosen. I’m also aware the opportunity would not have occurred if not for the untimely passing of Fred McLeod and I will strive to uphold the high standards that Fred, John Michael, Joe Tait and others established as Cavs announcers. I’m eager to get started as the Cavs embark on their 50th season.”

Alcorn is a longtime Northeast Ohio media personality, beginning his radio career in 1985 at WOBL.  For the past 27 years, the new Cavs radio voice worked at news/talk AM 930 WEOL in Elyria, Ohio as their sports director and station manager.

Returning to the Cavs radio booth will be analyst Jim Chones who begins his 10th season on the broadcast.  All games are carried by the Cavaliers Radio Network which originates from their flagship stations WTAM 1100 and FM 100.7 WMMS.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

LIV Golf Nearing TV Deal With The CW Network

“LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.”

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LIV Golf

According to a report from Front Office Sports, LIV Golf has laid out a deal with The CW Network for television carriage in the United States.

The deal is a multi-year agreement that will see the tour own real estate in lesser-viewed time slots on the network. A revenue-sharing relationship between the tour and the television network is expected to be struck.

LIV Golf television analyst David Feherty had hinted that the upstart league could potentially have a deal in place with The CW Network for American television rights.

After a standup comedy show in West Palm Beach last week, Feherty reportedly told the crowd “Have you heard of CW? I might get fired for this, but…,” according to report from Tom D’Angelo of The Palm Beach Post.

Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand had previously reported a deal between the Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour and the network was likely.

Nexstar Media Group — the nation’s largest television owner — is the majority owner of The CW Network. There are around 220 affiliates of the network on over-the-air television stations. Rumors of an acquisition of LIV Golf’s rights come on the heels of The CW Network being linked to the potential launch of a college football bowl game that would air exclusively on the network.

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Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Don’t Feel Obligated To Agree With Black Community’

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Stephen A. Smith is out promoting his new memoir Straight Shooter. He recently sat down for a conversation with Men’s Health magazine.

Interviewer Rachel Epstein covers a wide variety of topics with Smith. Some are about what can be found in the book. Some are about the First Take star’s public perception.

She asked how Smith balances the responsibility of representing the Black community with his brand. On ESPN, Smith is known for being unique and unapologetic for his sometimes over-the-top persona.

“Number one by being fair,” he said. “By trying to gather as much information and educate myself on issues as much as I possibly can.”

He added that he has never felt pressure to think a certain way or say a certain thing. Even if pressure existed, he prides himself on not giving in to it.

“I never feel an obligation to agree with my community. I believe we all have a right to think the way we want to think. But I do feel a responsibility to make sure that the perspective emanating from my community is heard, even if I disagree.”

Stephen A. Smith is one of the highest-paid and most visible employees at ESPN. He said that a certain responsibility comes along with that status. He wants the Black community to know that even if he doesn’t agree, he will make sure people know what he is hearing when he is on TV talking about an important subject.

“I want the Black community to always know that they have somebody in me that’s going to at least tell the world what we’re feeling and why, whether I agree with it or not.”

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Sports TV News

Kathryn Tappen Joining NBC’s Big Ten Coverage

“Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.”

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NBC has tabbed Kathryn Tappen as its sideline reporter for the network’s upcoming coverage of Big Ten football, according to a report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.

According to Marchand, Tappen was in line to replace Michele Tafoya as the sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football but was passed over by the network in favor of Melissa Stark.

Tappen has hosted Notre Dame football’s studio coverage and Peacock Sunday Night Football Final. She also worked as NBC’s lead interviewer for its coverage of the PGA Tour, but left that broadcast team at the end of 2022 as part of the network’s larger shakeup of its golf coverage.

The appointment of Kathryn Tappen conceivably concludes the Big Ten on NBC broadcast crew. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge are expected to pair as the network’s play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively. NBC has yet to officially unveil its coverage plans for the 2023 college football season.

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