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Matt Jones Off KSR During Senate Race

“KSR will continue as a syndicated radio show with their regular co-hosts and contributors, less Matt Jones. Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin and Shannon The Dude are expected to continue KSR for the interim.”

Brandon Contes

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Matt Jones is off Kentucky Sports Radio for the foreseeable future. The decision comes after a complaint from the Republican Party of Kentucky, accusing Jones of violating regulations by accepting campaign contributions from corporations. The owner, founder and host of Kentucky Sports Radio has been considering a run for senate as a Democratic candidate against Republican Mitch McConnell in 2020.

“Matt Jones must be held accountable immediately for misusing multiple platforms paid for by his corporate sponsors to unlawfully promote his US Senate candidacy,” said RPK Chairman J. McCauley Brown. “RPK’s complaint is an important first step in stopping Jones’ flagrant failure to comply with federal regulations, and we urge the FEC to deliver a swift and strong penalty.”

“The complaint is absolute nonsense and very disappointing from someone as powerful as McConnell,” Jones responded via his KSR blog. “I have said repeatedly in public and in filings with the FEC that I am not yet a candidate and I haven’t used the show to raise money or talk about my Exploratory Committee in any way. Nevertheless Senator McConnell has complained that having me on air is unfair and the man who speaks often about the importance of free speech and the exchange of public ideas has decided to cut off mine.”

In response to the Republican Party complaint, iHeartMedia, which owns KSR’s more than 35 affiliates, asked Jones to take a radio sabbatical. 

Jones planned on stepping away from KSR within the next few weeks to make a decision on whether or not he should run against McConnell, but the Republican Party complaint sends the radio host off-air sooner than expected. If Jones chooses not to run, he plans on returning to KSR and extending his partnership with iHeart.

This isn’t the first time politics got in the way of a media gig for Jones. During the summer, Jones was removed from his evening TV show on WLEX, Hey Kentucky! Part of the reason for Jones’ TV dismissal was a book he’s currently writing, Mitch, Please! How Mitch McConnell Sold Out Kentucky (and America too), taking aim at Kentucky’s Senior United States Senator as he bids for his seventh term. 

Last week, while the demise of Deadspin was in full force, many KSR listeners reached out to Jones, questioning if he could continue to intersect sports and politics.

“The difference is I still own KSR,” Jones responded while talking about Deadspin “Part of the reason 15 years later we haven’t sold [KSR] is because I don’t want, on that, to have a boss. I want to be able to do what we want to do. It’s the one thing we have where we can do whatever [we want].”

“As soon as you go to your corporate overlords, all of a sudden the entire thing that made that website what it was, they might take it away,” Jones added. One week later, Jones’ radio show was taken away from him. 

The situations are different, but Jones being forced to go radio silent one week after he expressed the importance of keeping the brand’s editorial control is interesting timing.

KSR will continue as a syndicated radio show with their regular co-hosts and contributors, less Matt Jones. Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin and Shannon The Dude are expected to continue KSR for the interim. 

As Jones continues to ponder a run for Senate, another media member, former college football coach and ESPN analyst Tommy Tuberville is in the midst of a campaign. Tuberville entered the 2020 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama earlier this year.

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

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Anthony Lima: Stephen A. Smith’s ‘Clown Show’ Brought More Interest to Watching Knicks-Pacers

“Do you think that’s maybe how ESPN could sleep at night, knowing that they might be building up interest in the game?”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photos of Anthony Lima and Stephen A. Smith

Social media was running wild over this past weekend about the way ESPN provided lopsided coverage of the Knicks-Pacers Game 7 in their second round. Earlier this week, Dan Patrick addressed the subject on The Dan Patrick Show, clips of which were played by Ken Carman and Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.

Patrick said he was “embarrassed for ESPN” about the slanted coverage. He added, “I don’t need a Stephen A. Smith arrival video, I don’t need a pep talk with him and Spike Lee. He doesn’t work for the Knicks; he works for ESPN. I was really surprised, and I didn’t care who won but after that I was rooting for the Pacers.”

Adding to what Patrick said Lima commented, “I saw Stephen A. Smith arriving like he was a wing for the New York Knicks. I mean that’s the only way I can say it. To me it was typical Stephen A. Smith stuff. I’m entertained by Stephen A. Smith”

As it related to the unbalanced coverage between the larger market Knicks and the smaller market Pacers, Lima said, “I think they’ve gone too far with the Knicks thing.”

He then wondered if the coverage was actually something ESPN might have wanted, trying to generate more interest in keeping people around to watch the game. “I do wonder though…Dan Patrick said, ‘I didn’t have any rooting interest until I saw that and then I was rooting for the Pacers,’ Lima said. “…Do you think that’s maybe how ESPN could sleep at night, knowing that they might be building up interest in the game? … Now, after seeing Stephen A. and that song and dance and him do the clown show and him play this character, that it made people more interested in watching the game and having that kind of buy in? … Now all of a sudden you have Pacers fans that weren’t Pacers fans before the broadcast. That is what the networks want to do, they do want to generate some emotional tie in.”

Lima continued, “Showing Stephen A. before the game, I thought was hilarious. But then, on the set, it was halftime, the Knicks were getting steamrolled…they go to the halftime show and Stephen A. is apoplectic, and then Michael Wilbon…it almost sounded like he was rooting for the Knicks. You just can’t have everybody rooting for the Knicks on your show.”

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SiriusXM Announces Broadcast Plans for 108th Indy 500

SiriusXM will co-sponsor three cars from the Meyer Shank Racing Team.

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SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation
(Illustration) | SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation Logo – Courtesy: SiriusXM | Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Courtesy: VisitIndy

SiriusXM has announced programming for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500, which will take place on Sunday, May 26 with a scheduled green flag drop at 12:45 p.m. EST. As the field of 33 cars gets set to compete for the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy, SiriusXM will bring consumers wall-to-wall coverage from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pre-race coverage will commence at 11 a.m. EST on SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation, channel No. 218, along with NBC Sports Audio on SiriusXM channel No. 85. Both platforms are available to subscribers nationwide both in their motor vehicles and on the SiriusXM App.

The broadcast outlet will air the live call of the race on Sunday, along with live coverage of the Indianapolis 500 Miller Lite Carb Day Practice session on Friday at 11 a.m. EST. After the practice session concludes, six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winner and 11-time Indianapolis 500 race participant James Hinchcliffe will host his podcast, Off Track with Hinch and Rossi, live outside the Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hinchcliffe’s co-host, Alexander Rossi, is part of the field within Sunday’s race. Leading up to the race, SiriusXM will also have a “Greatest Day in Motorsports” page on its app to access coverage for the Indianapolis 500 race and practices, along with driver interviews from media day and additional content.

SiriusXM will co-sponsor three cars from the Meyer Shank Racing Team in the Indy 500 field. The company colors will be present on car No. 60 (Felix Rosenqvist), No. 66 (Tom Blomqvist) and No. 06 (Helio Castroneves). Castroneves is racing to become the first driver to win five Indianapolis 500 races. On the day after the race, Diplo’s Revolution on SiriusXM channel No. 53 will broadcast live from the Indy 500 Coors Light Snake Pit. The station will have live performances from Gryffin, Sullivan King and Timmy Trumpet.

SiriusXM is running a Listen Free event from May 23 to June 4, which allows everyone to hear the SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation channel and SiriusXM’s Indianapolis 500 coverage without a subscription.

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Jonathan Hood: ‘I Don’t Understand the Chip on the Shoulder from John Schriffen’

“If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

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Photos of Jonathan Hood and John Schriffen

The Chicago White Sox have not been much to talk about this season; however, their new television play-by-play voice has been talked about a lot in the first quarter of the baseball season. John Schriffen had big shoes to fill when he took over for fan-favorite Jason Benetti and some have been critical of his upbeat style while others have taken him to task for particular things he has said. This was a topic on the Kap & J. Hood morning show ESPN Chicago with Daniel Kaplan and Jonathan Hood.

Kaplan and Hood played a recent clip of Schriffen where fill-in analyst Gordon Beckham had made a mistake during an ad read. After the read Schriffen remarked, “If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

“That is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard…that’s just a dumb comment, dumb,” said Kaplan.

Hood added, “He has, what I consider to be a dream job. To be the voice of a team is just amazing. People turn to you, especially during these dark times for the White Sox, for some optimism, some entertainment, some hope. And you decide that you want to be able to take time out of the broadcast to address criticism that you’ve received as the voice of the White Sox?

“…You always have big shoes to fill when you are the new guy. And so, for you to step on the rest of the Chicago media, saying people that clip things you say are ‘radio losers’ and ‘they don’t matter’ you’re not currying favor with your listeners or the people that are supposed to be here to support you.”

Kaplan added, “All you did was set yourself up for that to be another drop that continues to get played on multiple stations.”

Hood talked about the difficulty of being in a new market and mentioned Benetti had not had the smoothest of transitions taking over for Hawk Harrelson. Still, Hood said he is just not understanding why Schriffen would go after the media. Hood said, “I don’t understand the chip on the shoulder from John Schriffen…I don’t get that, I don’t understand that…No one is out to get John Schriffen…he is new to this city, he is new as a White Sox broadcaster. What I would say to him is “what is the point of all of it if you’re arguing with The Score or you’re arguing with us about clips?’ How about just focus on being the best broadcaster you can be.”

Kaplan later said he would probably react similarly to how Schiffren has to some of the criticism saying, “I actually sort of respect Schriffen doing it, I just think he did it in the wrong place. You shouldn’t do it on the broadcast.”

Hood added, “It’s just not been a good start for him.”

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