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Michele Tafoya Leaves Minneapolis Radio

“The Star Tribune also reported Tafoya’s exit from KQRS could coincide with new responsibilities at NBC Sports, where she’s been since 2011.”

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Longtime sportscaster Michele Tafoya has left her role as a morning radio co-host on 92 KQRS in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region. The well-known sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football spent the last four years alongside Tom Barnard on the market’s top-rated morning radio show. 

According to the Star Tribune, Tafoya’s role on the Cumulus-owned classic rock station was likely to change. Tafoya told the Minnesota newspaper the show was set to undergo changes that would require lesser contributions from her, but she seems at peace with the decision to part with the station.

“I’d love to get my mornings back with my kids,” Tafoya told the Star Tribune. “I do the show from my house and I can hear them in the kitchen laughing with their dad. It’s a reminder that I’m missing so much.”

Brian Zepp replaced Tafoya to go alongside her former co-host, 68-year old Tom Barnard who last month signed an eight-year extension with Cumulus.

The Star Tribune also reported Tafoya’s exit from KQRS could coincide with new responsibilities at NBC Sports, where she’s been since 2011. Prior to joining NBC, Tafoya spent more than a decade with ESPN and ABC in a variety of roles, including sideline reporting for Monday Night Football. Radio has played a large role in Tafoya’s impressive career, having co-hosted The Mike Tirico Show on ESPN Radio, also contributing to Minnesota stations WCCO and KFAN.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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Stephen A. Smith To Charles Barkley: ‘I Worry Because You’re Big’

“You’ve always been big. But now you’re bigger.”

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ESPN host Stephen A. Smith is concerned about his friend Charles Barkley.

Barkley, while in Dallas with TNT for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Mavericks and Golden State Warriors, Barkley hopped on a horse. The clip Stephen A. used in his ESPN+ show Stephen A’s World showed Barkley needing assistance by handlers to get off the horse.

Stephen A. was astounded.

“Ain’t no way Charles Barkley needs that much help getting off the horse,” Smith said. “But he did – he did!”

Smith then used the closing seconds to express his concern about Barkley’s size.

“I worry about you cause you’re a big boy,” he said. “You’ve always been big. But now you’re bigger.”

Barkley hasn’t had any publicized major health incidents stemming from his weight, but still Stephen A. was hopeful his friend might take some time and initiative to work on cutting a few pounds.

“Let’s address that, because I need you around,” Smith said. “I love you bro.”

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NFL Considers Ending Pro Bowl Amidst Low Ratings

“Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.”

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The NFL is obsessed with TV ratings. It isn’t a surprise that the league may not be willing to tolerate the Pro Bowl underperforming for much longer. 

In 2022, the NFL’s all-star game produced it’s lowest ratings in 16 years. Fewer that 7 million people tuned in to watch the game across ABC, ESPN and DisneyXD. 

“The (Pro Bowl) game doesn’t work,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday after the owners’ meeting in Atlanta. “We need to find another way to celebrate the players.”

There are two proposed alternatives that have been reported. The Washington Post says the league is considering launching a seven-on-seven competition. It would not include tackling or full clocks. The other report comes from Ian Rapport of the NFL Network. He says the league is considering hosting a series of skills competitions over the course of what would be branded an all-star week. The NFL has partnered with DirecTV in the past to present similar events during Super Bowl Week. 

No details have emerged or final decisions made. Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.

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