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Mike Greenberg Says Chris Berman Helped Keep Him At ESPN

Greeny called Berman “one of the most important sports announcers in the industry’s history because of what ESPN was when he started and what ESPN became and the enormous role he played in that.”

Ricky Keeler

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On the latest episode of his I’m Interested podcast, Mike Greenberg was joined by one of the legends in the sports broadcasting industry, Chris Berman. For Greeny, this was a special interview for him to do considering how important Berman was to him in his career. 

Greeny called Berman “one of the most important sports announcers in the industry’s history because of what ESPN was when he started and what ESPN became and the enormous role he played in that.” He would go on to tell a personal story about how Berman helped him when he started at ESPN.

“When I first came to ESPN (end of August 1996). When I moved to Bristol from Chicago where I had been working, I left behind my girlfriend then, Stacey, and it was difficult to do. As a consequence of that, I worked weekends at ESPN for about the first year. I wanted to fly to Chicago as often as I could to see my girlfriend.

“For a period of time, I questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing. One day that I will never forget, I had just landed in Providence and raced towards the studios at ESPN. I’m in the men’s room and I am shaving in the sink in the bathroom with no shirt. The door opens and here comes Chris Berman.” 

Later on in the bathroom, Berman goes to him and says “how are you doing, Greeny.” After Greenberg explains his situation to him, Berman said “Well, welcome home.” It was at that moment, Greenberg mentioned, that ESPN felt like his home and where he should be.

Berman gave some great stories during this podcast, including the one on the first time that he gave his signature play-on-words after players’ names during a broadcast, which he has become famous for until this day: 

“In those early days, there might be 5 games that were on TV. Here was the rest of the games and here was the score panel. You are not as much entertaining people, but you are trying to give a little flair or color and describe the game. One night, working at 2:30 in the morning, I had done these nicknames in college out of the box score and 1 or 2 of them came out. This was not a plan…People seem to really respond.”

One interesting question Greeny asked Berman during this fun podcast of looking back at old memories of when ESPN first started and famous moments in his career was Berman’s thought on the role ESPN has had on sports in America.

“In some ways, we were a microcosm of the growth of cable in the 1980s. Therefore, we helped connect sports to fans by showing as much as was out there or if someone was traveling, we were like your home radio station. I think we, in a very good and positive way, kind of brought some folks together, including those in the games, not even necessarily the players. We helped people see what was going on. In our own way, we have our own sense of community. What I never knew when I signed up for the job was that sports would be such a melting pot. I believe certainly in this day and age, we can use a little something that is common ground.” 

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John Jastremski Fires Back After Craig Carton Criticism

“I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

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Earlier this week, WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton said John Jastremski — a former WFAN host now hosting a podcast for The Ringer — “shunned” his radio career advice.

During his New York New York podcast Thursday, Jastremski strongly condemned Carton’s remarks.

“I don’t like going here with this stuff, ’cause I know this plays right into what this guy likes to do,” Jastremski said. “This is his M.O. This is what he’s done his entire career. It’s what he’s done for his entire career and he’s had success doing it. He lives for this stuff. But it really set me off. It set me off because I gotta see it on Barrett Sports Media while I’m on vacation. Like I wanna be bothered with this shit, number one. Number two, it’s just tone-deaf, insulting, and flat-out rude every which way.

“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s? Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.

“As for career advice? Guess what? I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

Calling Carton a crook harkens back to the WFAN afternoon host’s stint in federal prison for participating in a ponzi scheme that scammed investors out of $5.6 million that he in turn used to pay off gambling debts. Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison before serving just over a year in prison before being released in 2020.

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The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.

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Dan Le Batard Show

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is leaving its home at the Clevelander hotel on South Beach in Miami and moving into a new studio next year, according to a report from The Big Lead.

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.

After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.

No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.

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NSMA Announces Finalists for Awards, Hall of Fame

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Jordan Bondurant

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The National Sports Media Association revealed its finalists for its national sportscaster of the year and national sportswriter of the year, and there are plenty of heavy hitters in the industry up for consideration for the NSMA awards.

Among the nominees for National Sportscaster of the Year include Al Michaels, Ian Eagle, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Kevin Harlan, and Mike Tirico. The full list includes Adam Amin, Jason Benetti, Joe Davis, and Mina Kimes.

For National Sportswriter of the Year, Adrian Wojnarowski, Ken Rosenthal, Nicole Auerbach, Pete Thamel, Pat Forde and Tom Verducci are among the biggest names. Candace Buckner, Katie Strang, Marc Spears and Wright Thomson round out the list of nominees.

The NMSA also revealed its finalists for the sportscaster and sportswriter Hall of Fame. James Brown, Joe Buck, Lee Corso and Tim McCarver are part of the sportscaster list, while Bill Plaschke and Ray Didinger appear among the names for the sportswriter hall of fame.

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Winners and Hall of Famers will be honored at the NSMA Awards Weekend & National Convention held in Winston-Salem, N.C. June 24-26.

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