The Washington Football Team’s new radio broadcast booth is set for the upcoming season. After naming Julie Donaldson their Senior VP of Media last month, she announced Bram Weinstein and DeAngelo Hall as the voices to join her on the revamped radio team.
Donaldson will be the broadcast’s host and anchor, with Weinstein joining the booth as The Washington Football Team’s play-by-play voice alongside Hall as their lead analyst. Weinstein is a former SportsCenter anchor and weekday radio host for DC’s The Team 980, and currently fills the afternoon drive spot on ESPN 630. The Team 980 serves as the flagship radio station for the local NFL franchise, with games also being simulcast by ESPN 630.
Weinstein’s new gameday broadcast partner, DeAngelo Hall spent ten years as a defensive back for The Washington Football Team during his NFL career which spanned from 2004 – 2017. After retiring, Hall became a guest analyst for NBC Sports Washington and FS1, before joining NFL Network last year. The trio of Weinstein, Hall and Donaldson replaces last year’s booth which featured play-by-play voice Larry Michael, along with analysts Chris Cooley and Rick “Doc” Walker.
Last month, Michael abruptly resigned from his longtime role as the radio play-by-play voice of the temporarily named Washington Football Team. Michael spent 16 years in the radio booth for the franchise, but retired a day before he was among seven former team employees named for allegations of sexual harassment. Michael’s departure paved the way for Donaldson to step in as the team’s Senior VP of Media, making her the first woman to run an NFL radio broadcast.
Gregg Giannotti on Taylor Swift NFL Coverage: ‘I Can’t Take It Anymore’
“Deep breaths in, deep breaths out.”
Ahead of Sunday night’s prime-time matchup between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs, the dialogue is centered on Grammy Award-winning superstar Taylor Swift likely being in attendance at MetLife Stadium. Swift made headlines last week when she attended the Chiefs game against the Chicago Bears from GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., presumably to support tight end Travis Kelce.
Rumors have percolated over the last several weeks and suggested that the duo has entered a relationship. Moreover, documented photographs and videos are being interpreted by many fans as supporting such a conclusion. With Swift expected to be in the building on Sunday night, NBC Sports will likely have a camera on the suite she is in throughout the game to capture her reactions and appeal to the audience.
For the Jets, however, this game is of pivotal importance considering the lackluster 1-2 start and injury to new quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Third-year quarterback Zach Wilson has been thrust into a difficult situation and seems to be struggling under the circumstances presented before him, along with subpar performances by the offensive line. In facing the defending Super Bowl champions with momentum behind the team both on and off the field, Giannotti delivered a soliloquy trying to encourage the group to block out the outside noise.
“I can’t imagine going into this season with all the hype and how exciting as it was, and now the questions that they have to answer are Aaron Rodgers and what he says in Malibu on The Pat McAfee Show and, ‘What do you think about Taylor Swift coming to the game because she’s dating Travis Kelce?,’” Giannotti said Thursday morning on WFAN. “If this doesn’t pull out a demon inside of you on Sunday night and play possessed, nothing will, really. This is either going to make you or break you.”
Giannotti understands the mounting pressure facing “Gang Green” as the team looks to avoid a complete collapse of the season just several weeks in. The Jets are trying to snap a 12-year playoff drought, the longest such stretch in the NFL, and have had a challenging schedule to open the season.
“If you get steamrolled on national TV in your building, then forget it,” Giannotti articulated. “No one’s going to take you seriously anymore, especially under these circumstances.”
The crowd at MetLife Stadium is expected to be at or near capacity, with recent data demonstrating rising ticket prices – including for seats in close proximity of the suite level – because of Swift’s presence. StubHub reported that the Jets sold more than double the amount of tickets sold in a single day than any other day during the season, while Vivid Seats shared that traffic for the game increased by 173%. With Boomer & Gio discussing networks trying to flex the Jets out of scheduled prime-time games in an effort to televise more compelling matchups, they affirmed that it is up to the team to prevent that from happening.
“I think if you’re Zach Wilson, you’ve just got to shake it off,” co-host Boomer Esiason said, referring to the quarterback’s struggles in Week 3 against the New England Patriots. “You’ve got to become the anti-hero.”
Esiason was interpolating titles of Swift’s songs into everyday discourse, leading Giannotti to take a moment of pause on the show. Even though he is a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, the inordinate amount of coverage centered on the alleged relationship between the award-winning musician and two-time Super Bowl champion tight end is leading him to become perturbed and exasperated by the league.
“Deep breaths in, deep breaths out,” Giannotti uttered. “I can’t take it anymore. I’m not even a Jets fan – I can’t even imagine what [Brandon] Tierney’s feeling; what Joe [Benigno] is feeling.”
Damon Amendolara: ‘It’s Hard to Leave What We’ve Built’ at CBS Sports Radio
“The coolest thing about this place for the last 11 years is they gave me total freedom to do what I wanted to do. My mind was the only limit in what we could do creatively.”
Damon Amendolara opened his CBS Sports Radio show on Thursday morning by acknowledging that his days at the network are numbered. SiriusXM announced yesterday that he will be taking over the morning show on Mad Dog Sports Radio beginning October 2.
“Instead of a cold open here, I just thought I would talk and reflect and use today and tomorrow to do the same thing,” he said to start the 6 o’clock hour.
He thanked by CBS Sports Radio and the audience for being integral to the show’s success. He noted that finding a dedicated audience is what helped the show grow in overnights and move to more prominent day parts of the course of the last eleven years.
“These eleven years have been a pure joy to work here at CBS Sports Radio,” Amendolara said. “I’ve said this often. The coolest thing about this place for the last 11 years is they gave me total freedom to do what I wanted to do. My mind was the only limit in what we could do creatively. Man, and for those that are creative, maybe you’re a painter, you’re a musician, maybe you’re an artist, a sculptor, maybe you just look at landscaping and see a bunch of weeds and go, ‘I can create something out of that,’ or maybe you see a car that needs to be renovated and go, ‘I can create something out of that.’ Those things, to me, are my oxygen. I love that part of this job. And they let me do it. I mean, look at how weird this show is sometimes! They let me do it, and for that I am forever grateful.”
He said that the show felt complete once it made the move from nights to middays. That is when Andrew Bogusch and Pete “The Body” Bellotti joined the show.
“I have worked with some amazing, amazing people. Bellotti and Bogusch and me and Mraz (former producer Shawn Morash). I just couldn’t have asked for anything more. These guys are next-level talented, next-level committed, and it was just such a synergy immediately. It was like, ‘Wow, this is special. And that started in 2017. So I can say without a shadow of a doubt, the last six plus years of working with these guys, these shows mid-morning, then we were promoted to mornings going into 2020. These six years with Bogusch and Bellotti have just been the greatest radio I’ve ever done.”
He concluded by saying that in the end, the offer that SiriusXM made him checked all the boxes of what he would need in order to feel good about leaving CBS Sports Radio.
Amendolara admitted that he wanted to take the entire crew with him. It just was not going to work out.
“It’s hard to leave these guys and it’s hard to leave what we’ve built here. But it wasn’t an option. Because of the inner workings of radio, that wasn’t an option. They are too valuable here, and they’re going to be wonderful and supportive and talented for Maggie & Perloff, who are taking over the morning show starting on Monday.”
Phillies Star Trea Turner Thanks 94WIP’s Marks & Reese For Inspiring Turnaround
“Obviously, the whole thing happened and the rest is kind of history. Started playing a lot better and it was thanks to you guys and the crowd.”
WIP is the radio home of the Philadelphia Phillies. This season, it is like the station has been an integral part of the team. That was clear again on Wednesday when Trea Turner called in to thank afternoon hosts Jon Marks & Ike Reese.
Turner, who signed with the team this offseason, opened the year in a real slump. He was pressing as fans began to make it clear that he was not living up to his 11-year/$300 million contract.
Last month, Marks & Reese producer Jack Fritz posted a video on social media encouraging fans to give the shortstop a standing ovation in his next plate appearance. It worked. Fans responded and so did Turner.
“First off, I owe you guys a thank you,” Turner said Wednesday afternoon on 94WIP. “I’ve heard that you guys were responsible so I want to say thank you to you guys. But yeah, I think my wife saw a video on social media about it and she showed me before I went to the stadium that day. So she was kind of where I heard it first. Obviously, the whole thing happened and the rest is kind of history. Started playing a lot better and it was thanks to you guys and the crowd.”
Since the stunt, Turner has raised his batting average from .236 to .263. He has also hit 16 home runs in that span.
“Those first 100 games or so, I wasn’t kind of living up to the standard that I played at for a while and just wanted to get back to that,” he said. “And then the next 35, 40 games have been pretty special. I think it’s probably the best I’ve hit in my life, just from a power standpoint really.”
Last month, another Phillies star drew inspiration from Marks & Reese. Bryce Harper acknowledged that it was a caller named Chuck who inspired a home run against the Angels.