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Craig Carton Admits To Suicidal Thoughts In HBO Doc

“Riding a ski lift by himself during a vacation with his wife in Whistler, British Columbia just one month before his Sept. 2017 arrest, Carton described the desire to jump.”

Brandon Contes

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Set to premiere in less than a month, Newsday and The New York Post revealed details of what will be depicted in HBO’s Craig Carton upcoming documentary, Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth.

In the doc, Carton discusses his personal demons, which included having suicidal thoughts. Riding a ski lift by himself during a vacation with his wife in Whistler, British Columbia just one month before his Sept. 2017 arrest, Carton described the desire to jump. 

“I now have a desire to jump off the lift chair and down to the mountain,” Carton said according to The New York Post. “I lifted the bar up and I’m now inching closer to the edge of the seat. I got very upset and started crying.

“I had this out-loud conversation with myself, ‘Don’t do it! Don’t do it! You are better than this. You are not jumping.’

“As I’m telling myself not to do it, I’m inching closer and closer to the edge of the seat because I’m going, there is no doubt in my mind that I’m jumping off this chair lift, it is just a matter of when.”

Desperate, Carton called his former producer from NJ 101.5 Charod Williams who helped calm his friend down. 

Weeks later, Carton was arrested and charged with four counts of fraud by the FBI. But even at the time of the described suicidal thoughts, Carton hadn’t yet realized his gambling addiction or that he did anything illegal by taking $950,000 from an investment into his ticket business and using it for gambling debts. 

In fact, just four months before Carton was sitting on that ski lift in British Columbia, he expressed his lack of understanding for addiction while interviewing former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf. Leaf had a drug addiction which led to his own incarceration after stealing prescription pills.

“Boomer and I don’t have a lot of connection to the world of addiction so we’re kind of talking out of our ass a little bit about it,” Carton told Leaf during an interview with WFAN in April 2017. “Although I worked on the radio with someone who had a number of addictions, so I’ve seen it firsthand,” he added, seemingly referring to Sid Rosenberg. 

The HBO documentary, set to debut Oct. 7, features journal entries from Carton during his time in prison which ended this past June, as well as interviews with the former WFAN radio host since his release. HBO began working on the documentary months before Carton was released from jail, with Boomer Esiason and WFAN producer Al Dukes acknowledging in January they were already interviewed by the network. 

According to Newsday and The Post, the HBO documentary closes with “Craig has negotiated a radio comeback. He vows to be as outrageous as ever on air.” 

Although no return to the airwaves has been announced, that could change by the time the documentary airs. Joining Jason Barrett’s BSM podcast last month, Entercom New York market manager Chris Oliviero who oversees WFAN, acknowledged he’s spoken with Carton and is interested in a potential reunion, but no job offer was made yet.  

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, according to sources.

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

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

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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