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Jim Barnett Signs Off Warriors TV Broadcast

“While Barnett moves on from his 34 years as a contributor to Warriors telecasts, he’ll still regularly cover the team as part of their radio booth.”

Brandon Contes

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The 2019-20 basketball season marks the end of an era for the Golden State Warriors, not only because they no longer play home games at Oracle Arena, but because for the first time in more than three decades, they’ll feature a new TV analyst.  

For 34 years Jim Barnett worked as an analyst on Warriors telecasts and Wednesday night, the longtime broadcaster passed the baton to Kelenna Azubuike. 

“As I’m ready to step away, Dub Nation, the fans, I appreciate you allowing me come into your homes and bring passion, enthusiasm for Warriors basketball,” Barnett told the TV audience after Golden State lost to the Phoenix Suns. “It’s the fabric within me, and I know it is for so many of you out there. I just am grateful for that opportunity. I thank everyone so very, very much.

“And with that, I say thank you again, and goodnight.”

Former Warriors player Kelenna Azubuike steps in as the team’s new TV analyst, joining longtime play-by-play voice Bob Fitzgerald. Azubuike has been with NBC Sports Bay Area since 2015, when he joined the network as their pre, halftime and postgame analyst for Warriors games.

“Just be yourself, because you are good enough as you are,” Barnett said when asked for advice by Azubukie.

While Barnett moves on from his 34 years as a contributor to Warriors telecasts, he’ll still regularly cover the team as part of their radio booth. The former Warrior and longtime sportscaster partners with play-by-play voice Tim Roye on their flagship radio station 95.7 The Game. Barnett will work road games, while Tom Tolbert serves as their radio analyst when the Warriors are home.

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

Rob Dibble, 97.9 ESPN Help Collect Nearly 5,000 Turkeys

“This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

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97.9 ESPN Hartford host Rob Dibble helped collect more than 5,000 frozen turkeys and over 8m000 pounds of non-perishable foood items last week.

The station, along with other iHeart Connecticut stations, also raised more than $189,000 during the 23rd annual Turkey Tuesday at Connecticut Foodshare’s headquarters.

“We are continually grateful of the outpouring of donations from our listeners and Connecticut community on our annual events to ensure a Thanksgiving for all,” said iHeartMedia Hartford and New Haven Vice President of Marketing Vanessa Wojtusiak. “This year, the support from listeners, sponsors, partners and volunteers helped make a remarkable state-wide impact.”

Dibble has been a longtime support of Connecticut Foodshare, hosting its director Al Marino on his show several times throughout the year to ensure families in Connecticut have access to the food bank.

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Sports Radio News

Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement

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Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.

“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”

Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.

After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.

Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.

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Sports Radio News

Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week

“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

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Tom Rinaldi

It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.

“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.

“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”

Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.

They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.

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