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Grant Napear Put On Administrative Leave By KHTK

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TV voice of the Sacramento Kings and local afternoon radio host on 1140 KHTK, Grant Napear has been placed on administrative leave by the station after responding on Twitter to the Black Lives Matter movement with “All Lives Matter.”

First reported by Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee, Napear was off-air Monday afternoon as program director Jason Ross read a statement on behalf of 1140 KHTK and parent company Bonneville Corporation.

“Grant Napear has been placed on administrative leave while we are investigating the statement that was made on Twitter,” Ross said.

The statement came during an exchange with former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who reached out to Napear, looking for a response from the sportscaster regarding the BLM movement. 

The “all lives matter” reaction to BLM generally represents a misunderstanding of and contempt for the movement. Napear admitted as much during an interview with the Sacramento Bee Monday morning. 

“I’m not as educated on BLM as I thought I was,” Napear said. “I had no idea that when I said ‘All Lives Matter’ that it was counter to what BLM was trying to get across.” Beyond the interview with the Sacramento Bee, Napear continued to address the “all lives matter” statement on Twitter.

In response, Cousins tweeted that he wasn’t surprised by Napear’s take, while Chris Webber and Matt Barnes also reacted to the Twitter exchange. “Would expect nothing less from a closet racist,” Barnes wrote. 

Napear co-hosts weekdays from 3 – 7pm alongside his TV analyst and former Kings player Doug Christie. The Sacramento Kings also responded to Napear’s “all lives matter” tweet. 

“Grant’s recent Twitter comments do not reflect our organization’s views and values,” the team said of their play-by-play voice. “We are reviewing the matter further with our broadcast partners NBC Sports California and Sports 1140 KHTK.”

This was not the first time Napear had a Twitter exchange with Cousins. After Cousins criticized Toronto Raptors fans for cheering as Kevin Durant needed to be helped off the court in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year, Napear followed with a harsh response.

“If there is any player in the NBA that should not be talking about fan behavior, and about how they treat athletes as opposed to people, it’s DeMarcus Cousins,” Napear said last year. “This guy is the rudest, crudest, most vile player that I have ever been around in my 31 years of covering the NBA.  He should not be speaking on this in any way shape or form.”

Napear also defended former Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014, claiming the disgraced businessman was not racist because he employed black people. 

Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”

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Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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Sports Radio News

Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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