Chris Oliviero is finishing up his third full month as market manager of Entercom New York, which sees him contribute as the general manager of WFAN, the most prime real estate in sports radio. And as Oliviero said during the latest BSM podcast, he considers it the “best job in broadcasting.”
Since being hired by Entercom earlier this year, Oliviero has often been asked about the possibility of WFAN reuniting with their former morning star Craig Carton, who was recently released from prison. Oliviero has been consistent in his interest in working with Carton, his friend and former colleague, a sentiment he maintained during his conversation with Jason Barrett.
“I have spoken to him, we do have a relationship.” Oliviero said while noting those conversations have so far been about life and family and not yet about business. Oliviero added that the business conversations will come when Carton is ready, but he also knows Entercom is not the only company that will approach the radio host.
“There has been no job offer made to Craig, we will talk at the appropriate time,” Oliviero added. “When that is? I don’t know. There are things in Craig’s life right now that are more important than radio, I think people will understand that. His resume, his success, his history with the station and the company warrants that conversation.”
Despite remaining strong in morning drive without Carton, ESPN New York has narrowed the ratings gap among the overall lineup, but Oliviero still touts the power of WFAN’s brand.
“It’s a sign of how strong the brand is that FAN was able to withstand that amount of change,” Oliviero said of Francesa’s first retirement and losing Carton within a few months of each other. “I think a brand of lesser stature would have been taken out at the knees if they had to take on that magnitude of change within months of each other.”
One interesting dynamic of potentially bringing Carton back to WFAN, is his now public battle with gambling addiction. As the sports wagering industry continues to become a more accepted practice, the audience will seek related content. During the BSM podcast, Oliviero discussed the importance of gambling content in sports radio, the need to cover betting, and the fact that it offers a new way for hosts to examine games.
While WFAN’s weekday lineup may have lost household names such as Craig Carton and Mike Francesa in recent years, the attention the brand receives hasn’t wavered. Speculation on changes that could take place within WFAN’s lineup are analyzed and discussed just as much as pro teams in the area are. Oliviero told Barrett he likes the attention WFAN receives from newspapers and media because it “shows we’re relevant in the year 2020, it shows people care and that’s a reflection of the brand.”
For almost 30 years, the person in charge of WFAN’s lineup changes has been Mark Chernoff. When Chernoff spoke with BSM for an interview earlier this year, the program director expressed a profound desire to keep working. But a change in leadership will inevitably happen, and when it does, Oliviero said Chernoff’s goal will be to do whatever is in the best interest of FAN. He acknowledged already having those conversations with Chernoff to make sure that when the moment comes, WFAN will have ample time to address finding his replacement.
Owning premier sports radio stations across the country, Entercom has phenomenal in-house talent with a bench of sports radio and audio programming experts. But Oliviero noted the next programmer of FAN could come from outside radio because the world and industry is ever changing.
Doug Gottlieb On Praise For Pat Beverly: ‘What a Joke!’
“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport.”
Pat Beverley of the Minnesota Timberwolves may have used his appearances this week on ESPN to set up a potential career in media, but some just simply weren’t impressed.
You can count Doug Gottlieb among them. Gottlieb said Wednesday that Beverley’s takes on Suns guard Chris Paul and words for Matt Barnes regarding James Harden’s contract didn’t do him any favors for the future.
“Pat Beverley, if you’re going to die on a hill, James Harden’s hill is not the one to die on,” Gottlieb said. “In a week in which you have a chance to carve out a potential career for yourself which is as good, or greater than your NBA career. What a joke!”
Gottlieb added that Beverley also lost people completely “acting like the arrogant NBA athlete that so many assume that NBA athletes are.”
“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport,” he said. “Congratulations, hell of a week and you’re only in day two.”
While Beverley may not have Gottlieb singing his praises as an analyst, the T-Wolves journeyman did get the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said if Beverley wanted to do a podcast for the company, he would give him a blank check and hire him no questions asked.
Mick Hubert to Retire After 33 Years As Voice Of Florida Gators
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew.”
After more than three decades and more than 2,500 games called in Gainesville, Mick Hubert is retiring as the voice of the Florida Gators.
Hubert, 68, will call it a career after the Florida baseball team concludes its regular season this weekend.
Hubert, who’s called numerous Gators national championships across multiple sports in his tenure, said he had been thinking about retiring but finally had peace about it to make the decision.
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew,” he said. “I had been considering this for a little while. I just had to do some praying about it and enjoy every game.”
The longtime broadcaster is a 2019 inductee into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
Hubert said he poured his heart and soul into broadcasts and that hopefully fans recognized that.
“I hope they heard the enthusiasm, and the credibility is important to me,” he said. “You need to be factual and credible, but you need to be enthusiastic. That’s what I always felt. I always wanted to take my audience on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I also wanted to give them enough information so they could paint that picture in their mind.”
Reporter Tells Kevin & Query About NBA Draft Lottery Security Measures
“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know.”
The NBA Draft is coming up towards the end of June, and the top half of the draft order was set this week in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The lottery adds a level of excitement to the mix because you never know if the team with the best odds for the number one pick will actually get it.
But it’s a whole process that actually unfolds well before it airs on ESPN. Pacers reporter Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files told Kevin Bowen and Jake Query on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis what it was like to have access to the lottery.
“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know,” he said. “It’s already happened. But we’re locked down, sequestered in a room, a ballroom, can’t leave.”
What was even more interesting to Agness was the fact that even people representing lottery teams were under an embargo until the results aired on TV.
“We had all that good info, but the person that won the lottery for instance couldn’t call and celebrate with their people,” Agness said. “None of us in the room could tweet it out because none of us had our devices.”
Agness added that the league had contingency plans in case the lottery drum failed, if the same team had its ping pong ball drawn, and just about every other scenario you could think of. He said he was very impressed with how the NBA did things.
“It was kind of cool to see how well-run everything was in the end,” he said.