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98.7 ESPN New York Makes Room For National Shows

“From 6am – 6pm WFAN currently airs three shows, while ESPN New York will now have six shows all chopped up.”

Brandon Contes

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ESPN New York spent nearly two decades in WFAN’s rearview mirror, and after finally finding a recipe to beat their sports radio rival in afternoon drive, the station decided it’s time to shuffle their lineup. 

After Stephen A. Smith departed the 1 – 3pm window in January, 98.7 ESPN New York’s local offering was growing, as was the station’s continuity. According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, 98.7’s latest move will see the addition of star power with Mike Greenberg and Max Kellerman, but it creates a schedule far from the traditional three-show weekday lineup. From 6am – 6pm WFAN currently airs three shows, while ESPN New York will now have six shows all chopped up. 

From 6 – 9am, 98.7 will pick up ESPN Radio’s new national morning show featuring Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti, and bypass their final hour. Following the national morning show, ESPN New York will shorten Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty and Dave Rothenberg’s program and shift the trio into the 9 – 11am hours. Humpty, Canty and Rothenberg will be followed by Bart Scott and Alan Hahn from 11am – 1pm. 

Hahn previously hosted from 10am – 1pm on ESPN New York, but left the show because of his commitments to MSG as a studio analyst. He moved to evenings and returned to 98.7’s weekday lineup earlier this year, co-hosting with Scott from 1 – 3pm where they served as a local lead-in for The Michael Kay Show

TMKS will once again return to having national programming as its lead-in, with ESPN New York picking up the final hour of Mike Greenberg’s new show from 1 – 2pm, and the first hour of Max Kellerman from 2 – 3pm, creating a pieced together early afternoon. 

In terms of ratings, 98.7’s recent locally focused lineup has enjoyed success, with gains being made in the 10am – 3pm hours, and The Michael Kay Show dominating WFAN in afternoon drive. Traditionally, national programming hasn’t worked as well in competing against WFAN. Recently, there was even thought of 98.7 looking to go local in morning drive as ESPN Radio gets set to replace Golic and Wingo. Instead, ESPN New York will challenge WFAN with an arsenal of national shows. 

WFAN has shown vulnerability in recent ratings books, trailing ESPN New York in afternoon drive as they attempt to move on from the Mike Francesa era. But ESPN’s disinclination for continuity and fresh focus on national programming could buy FAN time in their transition.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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