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Jeff Riger Joins Wojo In Evenings At 97.1 The Ticket

“The 44-year old Riger has been with The Ticket since 2002, beginning as a board-op and working his way up to being a host.”

Brandon Contes

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Bob Wojnowski has a new co-host of his evening show on Detroit’s 97.1 The Ticket. Longtime station contributor Jeff Riger is officially part of the 6 – 8pm timeslot as a full-time co-host, according to Tony Paul of The Detroit News

The 44-year old Riger has been with The Ticket since 2002, beginning as a board-op and working his way up to being a host. In 2016, Riger spent a few months in afternoon drive when he filled in for Mike Valenti’s former co-host Terry Foster, who was recovering from a stroke. 

“I’ve done pretty much everything at the station, from running a board to getting kicked out of Jim Leyland’s office several times, so it’s exciting to take on this new role at the station,” Riger told The Detroit News. “Wojo’s the best, he’s a staple in Detroit sports radio and it’s awesome getting a chance to work with him every day.”

According to Tony Paul, one reason Riger was “kicked out of Jim Leyland’s office” came in 2013 when he asked the then Tigers manager about Jhonny Peralta’s PED suspension even though reporters were told the topic was off limits. 

Riger takes over the position of being Wojo’s co-host after Entercom did not renew Kyle Bogenschutz’s contract last month. Bogenschutz was Wojnowski’s partner on The Ticket’s evening show for nearly three years and wished his successor well. 

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Sports Radio News

Chris ‘Mac’ McClain Celebrates 20 Years at WFNZ

“It is something to behold that in this day and age, someone can, in a market that’s growing, and a lot of changes happen all the time, that you have [stood] the test of time.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Graphic for the Mac & Bone Show and a photo of Chris 'Mac' McClain
Photo Courtesy: WFNZ X Account

Congratulations go out to WFNZ host Chris ‘Mac’ McClain who is celebrating his 20th anniversary with the radio station. McClain and co-host Travis “T-Bone” Hancock handle the morning shift for the sports station in Charlotte and have done so for 15 of those 20 years.

“I would’ve forgotten,” McClain said at the start of their show as Hancock started to get into what would happen on the show in his honor which included special call-ins, stop-ins and even a song that was made.

“It is something to behold that in this day and age, someone can, in a market that’s growing, and a lot of changes happen all the time, that you have [stood] the test of time. Your career is longer than 20 [years], I want to let people know you are at what 26 or 27 overall?

“There was another early career that we don’t even know exactly what was going on with ‘Jacksonville Mac’ and ‘Sirius Mac,’ but 20 years here and I think the building and the listeners are excited. In this building the last seven years, we have not celebrated a whole lot. We have lost two bosses unexpectedly…there hasn’t been a whole lot of ‘hey, let’s have a day and honor someone doing something that needs to be honored.’ It’s all about you. I think it’s also about the fact that we as an audience, we as your co-workers we just kind of want to celebrate something awesome.”

McClain then shared, “I started on this day, July 12th in 2004 and I never would’ve thought, Bone, that I would be here in 20 years. That wasn’t the way radio worked. I worked at a Baltimore station when I was in college…then I went to CBS Sportsline…then Jacksonville…SiriusXM…my first 8 years, I worked at three different places.”

He then added, “And there couldn’t be a better place to live for 20 years. I love this freakin’ city.”

Hancock, who joined the station about a year later than McClain as an intern, then wondered, “Where would I be if our partnership didn’t hit?”

When BSM profiled the show in 2022, McClain said about working with Hancock, “Somehow Bone’s still dealing with me. We went through so many interns. He’s one of my best friends, to think we spend all this time together, to think that he ends up elevating to being the co-host of the show. He’s improved so much, grown up so much since we started.”

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Gregg Giannotti: Either Brendan Burke or Rickie Ricardo Have to Call Yankees Playoff Games

“I know Ricki and Brendan Burke in those situations would deliver, I don’t know if the other guys would.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Graphic for Boomer & Gio on WFAN

The New York Yankees and WFAN have a big decision to make before the start of the next baseball season. The question, of course, is who they will choose to be the full-time replacement for John Sterling as the Yankees radio play-by-play announcer. That topic came up today for a bit of a different reason during Boomer & Gio on WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti.

“I was thinking,” Giannotti started out. “Let’s just assume for a second that the Yankees do end up in the postseason and they don’t completely fall off the face of the earth. Next time I see Ryan Hurley and ‘The Architect’ (Chris Oliviero) I am going to ask them, ‘How are you going to determine who is calling these playoff games? Who is the person that gets the playoff games?’ I don’t think you can alternate during the playoffs.”

“Probably the cheapest guy,” said Esiason, which was followed by discussion about which one that might be and if Ricardo might be getting additional pay when he fills in on the English broadcasts.

“This is the playoffs and yes, we know that frugality rules in media these days,” said Giannotti. “I still think that if they’re in the playoffs, they gotta go with the guy that they think is best, regardless of the money situation. Especially because it could be just a handful of games. Now it could be a run to the World Series, or it could be a handful of games.”

“There also could be memorable calls and you’re going to want the guy on there that you feel is going to give you the best call possible,” said Esiason.

All of the conversation led to Giannotti to give his full opinion on the matter.

“Alright, so this is my take,” he said. “You got two young guys [Justin Shackil and Emmanuel Berbari] who are working their asses off and there’s no two ways about it and they’re doing a nice job, and I am rooting for them…However, when you get into the playoffs, you could have potentially one of the moments that will be in the memories of Yankees fans forever. Could happen in the playoffs…You have to have either Brendan Burke or Rickie Ricardo making that call, that’s what I think. Because I think those guys, they are just more seasoned at this point, and I believe in a playoff scenario you gotta count on them.”

He would later add, “If I had to choose between one or the other, I would have, this postseason, it would be Ricki Ricardo. Now, going forward and full-time, I would look into Brendan Burke and his availability.”

Esiason said, “I do know how important the Spanish broadcast is for the Yankees, and [Ricardo] is the lead guy and all year long, with the exception of a handful of games, he has been the lead voice on that part of the broadcast. I think you’re doing a disservice to your Spanish listening audience by removing the voice of Spanish Yankees radio.

“If you start off next year and you decide Ricki is your guy, then Ricki is your guy. But this year, I feel like he is so important to that audience. You’re asking me my opinion, so I would not consider him for the English broadcast because of how important that broadcast is and how good he is on that broadcast.

“I will say that if they do decide to go with either Emmanuel or Justin, it’s a big moment for them and it may solidify their future if you think about it that way.”

“I know Ricki and Brendan Burke in those situations would deliver, I don’t know if the other guys would,” replied Giannotti.

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Paul Skenes Learns He Will Start the All-Star Game Live on The Dan Patrick Show

“We will always have this, Paul. We did it. We got you on the All-Star team as the starting pitcher.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Screengrab from The Dan Patrick Show with Paul Skenes
Screengrab: The Dan Patrick Show

The Dan Patrick Show had a big-name guest on today in Pittsburgh Pirates rookie phenom Paul Skenes. The show not only had him, but they had him the day after he threw seven no-hit innings with 11 strikeouts before being pulled from the game. The interview was made even bigger when Diamondbacks manager Torey Luvollo called in to announce live on the show that Skenes would be the National League starter for the All-Star game next week.

Patrick’s producer Todd Fritz notified him in the middle of the interview that Luvollo was on the line and Patrick said, “Torey is the National League All-Star manager. Hey, what’s up?…I’m conducting an interview here, what’s going on?”

With that, Luvollo made the announcement live on the show saying, “Paul… I just wanted to congratulate you; I’ve chosen you to be the starter for the National League in the 2024 All-Star Game. I’m really, really excited for you. It’s an unbelievable honor and one that is so well deserved.”

After a round of applause, Skenes said, “Thank you, sir that’s unbelievable, that’s awesome,” although he said so without much emotion and barely smiled as he said it.

“So well deserved and we are super excited to make this announcement,” Luvollo continued. “You represent so many great things that this game craves. It is such a great story the way you have come on the scene and done it with such humbleness, it’s noticeable.”

After a few minutes, Patrick said, “It’s awesome you called in, thank you Torey.” He then said to Skenes, “Well, how about that?”

“That’s cool, that’s really cool,” Skenes said, again without much emotion. He would later add, “That was pretty dang cool…That was a surprise, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Skenes thanked Patrick for having him on and for sharing the moment with him, to which Patrick said, “We will always have this, Paul. We did it. We got you on the All-Star team as the starting pitcher.”

After the interview, Patrick congratulated Fritz for pulling this off and explained that he was not certain if this was actually going to happen until Lovullo called in. “And thank you to MLB,” Patrick said. “I just said, ‘Todd, ask them if they are going to announce it, do they have a press conference and if they don’t, can they join us?’ …And Torey, thank you, great sport to be able to take time. I wasn’t sure and then Todd goes, ‘Torey Lovullo is on the phone’…And then I put it together, it was like oh, he is the National League All-Star manager, alright.”

Hilariously, as Patrick and company talked about Skenes’ lack of emotion for a few minutes, he noticed Skenes was still sitting on the Zoom and had not clicked off the interview. Patrick ended up bringing him back on and officially letting him know the interview had ended.

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