Dickey Broadcasting is coping with budget shortfalls like so many other media companies during the Covid-19 pandemic. For Dickey, it means layoffs for a number of major personalities at its Atlanta sports stations.
Barrett Sports Media has learned that two big names in the world of Atlanta sports radio are out.
John Kincade, the longtime host of ‘Buck & Kincade’ which included Buck Belue, had been a staple in The Fan’s lineup since 2000. The show in fact held the distinction of being the longest running sports talk radio show in The South with more than 5,000 broadcasts produced by the two partners. Kincade started his career in Philadelphia with Sports Radio WIP and has since gone on to host national shows for ESPN Radio, and CBS Sports Radio. He also hosts “The BIG Podcast with SHAQ” with Shaquille O’Neal for Podcast One.
The second big name to exit the station is Steak Shapiro, one of the lead voices of The Front Row with Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran in morning drive on 680 the Fan. Shapiro joined the station in January 2014 following a long stint at the now defunct 790 The Zone which he previously served as host and co-owner of. Fortunately for Shapiro, his food company and television show ‘Atlanta Eats‘ has been doing well. The program just celebrated a Southeast Emmy Award as the Best Lifestyle Program Feature/Segment & Program.
Kincade and Shapiro are not the only hosts to be let go as part of the station’s cuts. Mark Zinno, who had hosted A to Z Sports on Xtra 106.3 also had his position eliminated. After our report came out, Zinno took to social media to confirm the news.
According to sources, Zinno’s exit is part of eliminating local programming entirely from Xtra 106.3. Joe Hamilton, Brandon ‘Home Team’ Leak, Hutson Mason, and Tug Cowart are all expected to move over to 680 The Fan soon.
One additional name which will be part of the station’s lineup plans moving forward is Atlanta sports radio veteran John Michaels. Michaels previously worked for 92.9 The Game and 790 The Zone and will replace Shapiro alongside Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran on the morning show. Though he writes a weekly column for BSM, Michaels didn’t respond to texts or calls seeking comment.
The latest lineup changes follow another big change at the station which recently flew under the radar. Veteran Operations Manager Jim Mahanay was let go as part of company cuts. Mahanay’s duties are expected to be assumed by Matt Edgar. Edgar has worked as a producer at the station but has a history in programming, previously occupying that role at 790 the Zone, a station he spent 14 years at.
What comes next for Kincade and Shapiro remains to be seen, but given their credentials, relationships, and talent, local and out of market options should be available. Zinno is also a talented host who should have appeal to other stations.
NHL All-Star Game Airing Exclusively on SiriusXM After Contract Extension
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter.
SiriusXM and the NHL have reached an extension that will see the satellite service continue to carry every league contest. The new multi-year deal will run through the 2028-2029 season.
Part of the deal includes the NHL All-Star Game airing exclusively on SiriusXM. The game had previously been distributed by Westwood One before Sports USA Media took over the rights in 2021.
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter. All three are regulars on NHL Network Radio. Stellick and Laughlin serve as hosts of NHL Morning Skate, while Kouleas hosts the station’s afternoon show, The Power Play.
NHL Network Radio will also provide live coverage of the league’s All-Star Media Day on Thursday, February 2nd and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday, February 3rd.
The deal includes SiriusXM continuing to produce and distribute SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on the platform for the duration of the contract.
“Hockey fans are among the most passionate sports fans, and our long-term relationship with the NHL enables us to deliver those fans across North America comprehensive access to the league, offering them live broadcasts of every game and the only 24/7 NHL channel in audio,” said SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Live sports, coupled with great, in-depth sports talk, is one of the key elements of our programming and we are very pleased to be extending our content agreement with the NHL for many more years.”
Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.
The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.
Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.
Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.
The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.
The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.
While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.
“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”
Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”
Jim Rome: Sad Paul Allen Is The Saddest Thing Ever
“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down.”
One of Super Wild Card Weekend’s biggest upsets came in the Giants/Vikings game on Sunday afternoon, and Vikings radio voice Paul Allen obviously wasn’t thrilled about the final offensive play.
Jim Rome picked up on that listening to Allen’s call of Kirk Cousins finding T.J. Hockenson short of the line to gain, ending Minnesota’s season.
Rome said he hurt for Allen, who like many followers of the Vikings were shocked to see the second seed in the NFC playoffs bounced the first weekend.
“On the one hand sad P.A. is the saddest thing ever. I hate that so much,” Rome said Monday. “But he turns into pissed P.A. too. I mean that is a brutal way to lose. And what’s sadder than sad P.A.?”
Allen went viral halfway through the 2022-23 season, with his calls of a wild game against the Buffalo Bills on November 13. Allen went through a complete roller coaster of emotions as Buffalo fought to win 33-30 in overtime.
Rome added that he thought disappointing Allen was the worst of all for the NFC North champs.
“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down,” he said.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.