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Gerry Vaillancourt Announces ESPN 730 Exit

“Vaillancourt shared on social media that his contract expires Friday, Jan. 17, when he’ll depart ESPN 730 after more than two years, and the radio airwaves after more than three decades.”

Brandon Contes

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Charlotte sports radio icon Gerry Vaillancourt announced this week will be his last on ESPN 730. 

Vaillancourt shared on social media that his contract expires Friday, Jan. 17, when he’ll depart ESPN 730 after more than two years, and the radio airwaves after more than three decades. 

Gerry V joined ESPN 730 in July 2017, taking over afternoon drive weekdays from 3 – 7pm. The move brought the legendary radio host back to Charlotte for the first time since 2002, when he departed with the Hornets to New Orleans. 

From 1988-2002, Vaillancourt was a sportscasting staple in Charlotte. In 1990 his coaching background led to an analyst opportunity with the Charlotte Hornets broadcast team. Gerry V’s profile and schedule continued to expand in Charlotte, hosting his daily radio show while simultaneously being featured as a Hornets broadcaster. 

“I did my show in the afternoon, then I did a Hornet game at night. Then I was doing Panthers pre- and post-game radio for the station and they would fly me back in a day to do the Panther thing, and then I’d go back and meet the Hornets,” Vaillancourt told Rod Boone of The Athletic last month. “And I did that for several years. So that was a reason why when opportunities came up to move and go to big markets to do talk radio, I didn’t want to move because I always had the perfect lifestyle. Lifestyle has always been important to me instead of chasing bullshit.”

When the Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002, the under-contract Gerry V went with them, leaving Charlotte without one of their most beloved sports personalities.  

While in New Orleans, Vaillancourt hosted radio shows on several stations, even spending time as a news anchor. But in 2017, Gerry V was coaxed back to Charlotte by ESPN 730 general manager Mario Washington, who was looking to make a splash. It helped that returning to Charlotte meant Vaillancourt would be closer to his daughters and grandchildren.

“Need a lil rest for just a bit..A toast to you and another,” the “sixty-something” year old Gerry V wrote on Facebook.

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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Arizona Sports, KMVP, Wins an NAB Crystal Award

Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their exceptional year-round commitment to community service.

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Graphic of the NAB Crystal Awards and a logo for Arizona Sports

Congratulations go out to Arizona Sports, KMVP in Phoenix, named one of 10 Crystal Award Winners from the National Association of Broadcasters. Winners were announced at the We Are Broadcasters celebration earlier today at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The 10 winners were chosen from a list of 50 finalists. Arizona Sports had been a finalist in 2023.

Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their exceptional year-round commitment to community service. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms.

“It’s a major part of the fabric of what we do and to have it be recognized sort of brings it all into perspective why we do what we do,” said Bonneville Arizona Director of Programming Operations Brian Long about the commitment the station and cluster make to working within the community.

One example of this saw Arizona Sports and sister station KTAR News 92.3 team up with Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a Give-a-Thon week in 2023 which helped raise $2.15 million for kids and families in need.

Arizona Sports is owned by Bonneville and is overseen by SVP/Market Manager Ryan Hatch.

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Dan Patrick: I Don’t Want to Win Sports Emmy Award Posthumously

“It’s just us – we’re just a couple of guys here in a converted tool rental place.”

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Dan Patrick

Last week, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the Sports Emmy Awards, which take place on Tuesday, May 21 from New York City. Much to the chagrin of those on the Dan Patrick Show, the program was not among the list of nominees within the category of “Outstanding Studio Show – Daily.” Dan Patrick broke the news to the Danettes and members of the audience during Tuesday’s edition of the program, which now only has three more attempts to be nominated before its planned conclusion at the end of 2027.

Patrick acknowledged that he should have mentioned the news on Monday’s program, but added that he needed another 24 hours to process the news because it was painful. He did not mention the topic to ask for sympathy or beg for a nomination; rather, he felt bad about coming up short for the Danettes and audience. Patrick himself has won an award at the ceremony before, but he wants the program to win one before it concludes.

“We’ve got three more tries and then that’s it because I don’t want to get one posthumously,” Patrick said. “When I’m dead, and all of a sudden they say, ‘You know what? On second thought, we should have honored that show because that show did spawn a lot of other shows.’ You don’t have Pat McAfee without this show; you don’t have [Dan] Le Batard without this show. We’ve left a legacy, but it’d be nice with a Sports Emmy for that legacy.”

Patrick “Seton” O’Connor contributed to the discussion by explaining that he believes the Danettes would be neglected if the show was to be honored in this manner. Dan Patrick replied by stating that someone would have to be there to pick it up, and he yielded permission for the Danettes to attend the ceremony to do so. Additionally, he has a plan to bypass the rule that only one person is allowed to speak on behalf of the show while accepting the honor.

“I would like for everybody to speak at the same time, so when they say, ‘Here on behalf of the Dan Patrick Show, it’s Todd Fritz, Seton O’Connor, Marvin Prince and Pauly Pabst,’ and then you guys go up there collectively and then you start the acceptance speech,” Patrick said.

After everyone in the studio simulated what such a speech would sound like, Pabst divulged the nominees within the category, which includes MLB Tonight, NBA Countdown, NFL Live, Pardon The Interruption and SportsCenter. Fritz, however, believes that the show is not classified correctly within the categories because of the topics being covered.

“They need to kind of look into some other categories because so many times we’re put against shows and it doesn’t match up with the traditional sports talk show and other programs,” Fritz explained. “They’re highlight shows – they’re very different than what we do.”

As the discussion continued, Patrick opined that if the nominating committee saw what it took to put everything together for the Dan Patrick Show, the program would win a Sports Emmy Award every year. O’Connor countered with another possibility that it would devalue the nominating process and does not want to win an award in a category for “Best radio show on TV.” Instead, he wants to beat the other people in this category, mentioning how he wants to win the award over the people who work on SportsCenter.

“We’re going up against behemoths,” Patrick said. “It’s just us – we’re just a couple of guys here in a converted tool rental place. I’ve got guys doing jobs they never did before, but you know what, that’s the beauty of it.”

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Steak Shapiro: Stuart Scott Was the Definition of a Talent

“He had the it factor.”

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Photo of Stuart Scott

As news broke this weekend of an upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on former SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott, many have been reminded about just how talented and revolutionary Scott was. Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden hit on that topic today during The Steakhouse on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.

When Stuart Scott arrived on set, I’m telling you it was a gamechanger of all gamechangers,” said Golden. The show then played audio clips from a tribute SportsCenter ran on Scott the night of his passing featuring his unmatched delivery and his signature catch phrases such as “cool as the other side of the pillow.”

As the clips ended, Shapiro said, “That little montage, that is the definition of smooth. That is the definition of a broadcaster, a talent. Not just his writing, but his cadence…just listen to how smooth he is.”

Golden noted that much of what Scott did was unscripted and how she noticed the anchors who were paired with Scott looking at him with anticipation as they wondered what he would come up with next.

“He had the it factor,” Shapiro said. “…I’d put Patrick’s cadence up there with anybody, Olbermann’s flamboyance and Stuart Scott’s smoothness, if I’m thinking about sports anchors.”

Scott passed away at the age of 49 in January 2015 following a battle with cancer.

The 30 for 30 film will explore his rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, the pain of a divorce and his fight with cancer that ultimately took his life. Scott’s daughters Taelor and Syndi will also lend their voices to the tribute to their father.

A release date has not yet been announced.

“I’m really looking forward to this because I think we’re going to learn so much…and he was the most beloved at [ESPN] and treated everyone with respect and dignity.”

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