ESPN’s Senior Vice President of Production, Dave Roberts, has finally given his first interview since ESPN Radio revealed its new lineup, which is set to start August 17. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports had the honor of chatting with Roberts, who is quick to point out that the network thinks of itself as “audio” and not just terrestrial radio.
“If you look at what’s going on in the audio space, the way audio is consumed today, in no way reflects how it was consumed, say, even five years ago,” Roberts said. “It’s a whole new day in radio and audio consumption. The approach we took is to put ourselves in the best position so that we can be accessible on all audio platforms – no matter where people choose to listen.”
Roberts was complimentary of Mike Golic Sr. He said the decision to move on from the man that has been part of morning drive on ESPN Radio for the last 22-years was a tough decision, but says “tough decisions are always part of leadership.”
McCarthy asked Roberts about a Tweet from Golic’s wife Christine last month, which said that Golic offered to reunite with former Mike & Mike partner Mike Greenberg in mid days.
“I’m not going to respond to comments made on Twitter. Nor am I going to go into the background of internal discussions,” Roberts answered. “I’ll just say Mike Greenberg has his plate full with doing Get Up and also with his [new] two-hour radio show.”
Greenberg is just one of many talents that will be pulling double duty on both ESPN and ESPN Radio. Roberts says that is no accident. It wasn’t a decision driven by saving money either.
“One of our strategies is to have that synergy between TV and radio. One of the keys to our success is how well we merge the two and cross-promote from one platform to the other.”
There are three key elements of the new lineup that Roberts cites as important for ESPN Radio to remain relevant as listener habits change. The first is the addition of new and interesting voices. Along with that comes the second key – diversity. Finally, he cites the way this new staff will work as the most important factor for determining its success.
“At the end of the day, that’s all we can guarantee. And we’re going to guarantee that. We’re going to work hard, we’re going to work smart and hope that the results follow.”
Keyshawn Johnson Learns About Max Kellerman’s Rap Career On Air
“The topic came up now and then when Kellerman hosted his old radio show in Los Angeles.”
Plenty of athletes want to be rappers, and plenty of rappers want to be athletes, but it’s not often you hear about a rapper wanting to be a sportscaster.
That’s the case for ESPN’s Max Kellerman, who had to relive the 90s on ESPN Radio Thursday morning. His co-host Keyshawn Johnson hadn’t heard about Kellerman’s rap career. It came up when Jay Williams asked Kellerman what his rap name was.
“What was his what?” Johnson said with a perplexed look.
“You never knew this?!” Williams answered back. Johnson was surprised to find out that one of his co-hosts laid down enough bars in the mid-90s to ink a record deal.
Kellerman and his late brother Sam rapped together and even appeared in a music video as they took their shot at breaking into the rap game. Sam passed away in 2004 amidst a burgeoning career in NYC public-access TV. The rap duo sang songs like “Rumble Young Man Rumble” and kept their name simple, performing as Max & Sam.
“You didn’t know I had a record deal in ’94? Every couple months it comes up, people play the video and are like, ‘I didn’t know this!’ I’ve been dealing with this for 15 years,” Max Kellerman said on Thursday.
The topic came up now and then when Max Kellerman hosted his old radio show in Los Angeles. The former HBO Boxing analyst even had “The Game” on as a guest, and the rap star critiqued his interviewer.
“In 1994, I sounded ten times better than you,” The Game said. “Don’t quit your day job.”
Johnson got a big kick out of the revelation; maybe the Keyshawn, JWill, and Max crew will rekindle the glory days and spit some tracks with Kellerman. “We’re gonna have to pull that up and put that on the national TV screen for me,” Johnson said about the music video.
Citi Field Names Spanish Radio Booth After Juan Alicea
”The Mets have been my family for over 50 years. It’s very special to be remembered by them.”
Juan Alicea will forever be remembered at Citi Field. The New York Mets announced that they are naming the Spanish-language radio booth after the team’s longtime Spanish play-by-play voice.
Alicea has a tenure with the Mets dating all the way back to 1969, working as a team scout and helping in community relations before moving to the booth in 1982. He has been there ever since, working with a number of different radio networks for their broadcasts, which can currently be heard on Que Buena 92.7.
”I’m incredibly humbled and honored” said Juan Alicea. ”The Mets have been my family for over 50 years. It’s very special to be remembered by them.”
Mets President Sandy Alderson had nothing but praise for Alicea as he called him ”an innovator and pioneer in the Spanish broadcasting field.”
”He was instrumental in the creation of Hispanic marketing, promotions and community events. Juan has been a tremendously valued member of the Mets family” added Alderson.
“Juan has been a legendary figure on the Spanish Mets broadcasts,” Tim Scheld, the Program Director at the Mets’ English language flagship station, WCBS-AM, added. “We’ve been proud and honored to work alongside someone of such character and kindness and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”
Colin Dunlap Wants Predictions For Colleague’s First Pitch
“The Pirates invited Richert to throw out the first pitch in celebration of his 20th anniversary with KDKA.”
KDKA morning man Larry Richert is throwing out the first pitch at PNC Park on Thursday. The struggling Pirates will host the Cincinnati Reds for a matinee at 12:35 pm Eastern.
No matter how bad the home team is, it is an honor when representatives ask you to throw out the first pitch. Colin Dunlap recognizes that. The morning show host at 93.7 The Fan celebrated his Audacy co-worker’s honor on Twitter.
Dunlap’s request for predictions on how the pitch would go was met with plenty of jokes. Many were at the Pirates’ expense. Some were based on Pittsburgh sports clichés. There were plenty of well wishes and congratulations fort Richert too.
Larry Richert has been in morning drive on KDKA since 2001 and has been on the air in Pittsburgh, either in TV or on radio, since the 1980s. Despite the news background, his voice is well-known to sports fans. He is the public address announcer at Heinz Field. He also hosts the pregame show for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and began narrating NFL Films in 1985.
The Pirates invited Richert to throw out the first pitch in celebration of his 20th anniversary with KDKA. The station posted a video last week of Richert getting loose and tossing a practice pitch.
If the pitch on Thursday is anything like the one in the video, Colin Dunlap has nothing to worry about. It doesn’t look like Richert is destined for the same low light reel that includes Baba Booey, 50 Cent, and Carly Rae Jepson.
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