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Bell Media Eliminates Multiple Canadian Sports Talk Properties

“Steve Faguy of the Montreal Gazette reports that stations in Hamilton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg have dropped sports talk entirely, including their TSN branding.”

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Multiple radio stations across Canada dropped the sports format today. The moves are related to cost-cutting at Bell Media, which owns TSN.

Steve Faguy of the Montreal Gazette reports that stations in Hamilton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg have dropped sports talk entirely, including their TSN branding. TSN sports talk stations in Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto remain in tact.

None of the eliminated sports talk stations had local NHL play-by-play rights. Edmonton’s CFRN-AM is the only sports talk station without NHL play-by-play that Bell Media has left untouched for now.

The station in Hamilton will now carry a business news format, anchored by Bloomberg. The stations in Vancouver and Winnipeg are set to announce new formats on Friday.

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Seth Payne: ‘I Want Kevin Harlan to do Every Game That I Care About’

“I just don’t want Tony Romo anywhere near that game, that’s all.”

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Seth Payne
Courtesy: PaperCity Magazine

Sean Pendergast and Seth Payne spent time during Payne and Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 in Houston talking about Netflix broadcasting the two Christmas Day games the NFL carved out for them. The Houston Texans will be one of the teams playing as they host the Baltimore Ravens. The first game of the day will feature the Chiefs at the Steelers.

“I’m very anxious to see how Netflix executes on this Christmas Day game with the Texans,” Pendergast said. “Netflix has never done a live football game before. They’ve started to get into more live events…they’re doing the Tyson-Jake Paul fight in July, that’ll be interesting.”

Pendergast referenced an article written by The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch which discussed not only who might announce the game but also who will produce it as Netflix is not set up for a live NFL broadcast from a production standpoint. Deitsch quotes NFL vice president of broadcast planning Mike North, who was a guest of Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina on his podcast.

“…They’re probably going to end up working with existing NFL crews, existing NFL talent, similar to the way Amazon (did) when they picked up the NFL rights a few years ago. They didn’t have a remote production house. They didn’t have people on staff. So, they went and hired NBC.

North said he would guess CBS and Fox production folks would be who they would go with. As far as talent, North said, “I’m sure you’re going to have some regular names that, you know, we’re used to seeing, whether it’s NFL Network talent or former players. Maybe there’s some guys coming out of retirement, coming out of other network broadcast booths. Maybe it’s guys we haven’t heard of. I’m sure there’s time to figure that out, but I would feel pretty confident as we sit here today that it’s going to look and sound like an NFL game by the time we get there.”

Pendergast asked Payne, “Do you have a preference, like if you could pick any announce team to do this Ravens-Texans game?”

“I like Kevin Harlan for everything,” Payne replied. “I want my all-time play-by-play to be Kevin Harlan. I want him to do every game that I care about.”

Pendergast didn’t pick a broadcast team, he just opined on who he does not want. “I just don’t want Tony Romo anywhere near that game, that’s all,” he said. “Just keep Tony Romo away. I don’t want Tony Romo on Christmas. Keep him away from my Ravens and Texans.”

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Dan Bernstein Begins 30th Year at 670 The Score; Terry Boers: ‘He Really is Brilliant’

“Once you get used to the rest of him, you start going, ‘Oh my God, he knows exactly what he’s talking about.'”

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Dan Bernstein
Courtesy: Robert Feder

Midday show host Dan Bernstein is beginning his 30th consecutive year on the air at 670 The Score, a venerated streak in the Chicago marketplace that will be recognized by the Audacy-owned station. Bernstein became a full-time on-air host four years after officially joining the station in 1995 and was paired with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Terry Boers. The Boers and Bernstein show quickly gained notoriety in the locale and was centered around recurring segments, caller interactions and on-air debates. The show lasted for 17 years before Boers left the station, but the sound was renewed on Monday afternoon.

Laurence Holmes represented Bernstein’s fourth partner in seven years upon the departure of Boers, but their program has been embraced by listeners and attained widespread success. Bernstein has been hosting alongside Holmes since 2022 as part of an updated weekday programming lineup for the station, and the midday show has included Leila Rahimi on Wednesday editions as well. On Monday’s edition of the Bernstein and Holmes show, the duo was joined by Boers in honor of Bernstein beginning his third decade with 670 The Score. Holmes asked Boers how he resisted the urge to want to punch Bernstein in the face working with him.

“He really is brilliant,” Boers said. “Once you get used to the rest of him, you start going, ‘Oh my God, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. He’s sharp, he’s concise, he’s not too windy like I am and he can talk about anything he wanted to whenever he wants to talk about it.’ After a while, you sort of learn what’s not to like.”

Before he started working at 670 The Score, Bernstein worked in a variety of media roles in both sports and news media, including as a broadcaster with the South Bend White Sox, Raleigh Bullfrogs and Rockford Lightning. Additionally, he has made appearances on networks including CNN and MSNBC to offer his opinions on news topics and current events. When he first joined 670 The Score, he covered the Chicago Bulls dynasty that won three consecutive NBA championships from 1996 to 1998 and continues to write about sports as the station’s senior columnist.

When Boers was paired with Bernstein, he received condolence messages from others who were not sure how he would make it through a month. The partnership ended up lasting for a significantly longer time with a distinctive chemistry, something that Boers attributes to his former co-host. At the same time though, he chose to accept the wisdom and shrewdness of Bernstein and was cognizant of his role on sports talk radio.

“He solidified the station,” Boers said of Bernstein. “I was just along for the ride – that’s what I was. I didn’t have any great thoughts about it, [and] I didn’t have any great ideas of what the station could become, but what it’s become still makes me proud to this day because I know what little I had to do with all that that where the station is today, and the people on it are terrific.”

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Boomer Esiason: ‘Michael Malone’s Response to Reporter Was Ridiculous’

“Everybody wants to beat you; everybody wants to give you their best effort.”

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Boomer Esiason
Courtesy: Gail Schulman, CBS

The matchups for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals in the NBA were solidified on Sunday to narrow the field to four teams remaining looking to capture a league championship. The early game resulted in a 21-point win for the Indiana Pacers over the New York Knicks. Later in the day, the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a 20-point deficit to eliminate the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets, gaining key contributions from several members of the team. With the Nuggets having a double-digit lead in the third quarter and losing the game by seven points, the swing surprised many basketball fans and left Ball Arena in a state of shock.

After the game concluded, Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone fielded questions from members of the media about the game and season as a whole. One reporter asked him about how it felt to process a loss of this magnitude, especially when the team had held a substantial lead in the second half of the game. Malone responded with ostensible indignation and disappointment, immediately articulating to move on to the next question.

“The season’s over – that’s what’s hard,” Malone said. “F**k being up 20. The season’s over – you don’t understand that. The season’s over – it’s hard. Stupid ass questions.”

On Monday morning, the Boomer & Gio morning show on WFAN and CBS Sports Network played audio of Malone providing the response, something that was met with incredulity and surprise in the studio. Update anchor Jerry Recco explained the paradox of these athletes being tired from playing heavy minutes in the playoffs, yet taking the court over the summer anyway rather than resting. Throughout the series against the Timberwolves, three-time NBA most valuable player Nikola Jokić averaged 40.2 minutes per game and star guard Jamal Murray averaged 38.2 minutes per contest, both in the upper echelon among the rest of the league. Even so, Malone emitted choleric towards the season coming to a close.

“I can’t believe Mike Malone would do that,” co-host Boomer Esiason said. “I just can’t believe it. You’re in the NBA freaking Playoffs. You have to play, you have to be tired. I mean, you just have to go – you got to go 100 mph, and you know what, because you’re the defending NBA champions, you got the target on your back. Everybody wants to beat you; everybody wants to give you their best effort. I can’t believe he said a ‘stupid ass question;’ that’s ridiculous.”

Co-host Gregg Giannotti agreed with Esiason’s point of view, especially when Malone has a team and standout player who is expected by many basketball fans to win multiple championships. The Nuggets finished as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference after hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy last year and were considered as a legitimate threat to secure a second consecutive league championship.

“They got embarrassed in this game because they were up 20, ended up losing the game [by] seven at home, and I think he’s grasping at straws and coming up with excuses to cover his own ass for coming up short,” Giannotti said. “That’s really what it is.”

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