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Josh Innes Admits He Wanted To Join 97.5 The Fanatic

“Hiring Innes would have been an interesting decision, considering his love/hate relationship with the local audience and his previous battles with The Fanatic’s afternoon host Mike Missanelli.”

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As Josh Innes departs Houston with an announcement on his future looming, the talented and polarizing sports radio host said his next stop could have been a return to Philadelphia.

Innes tweeted Wednesday that he was interested in joining 97.5 The Fanatic when they were searching for a new morning host last year, but the Philly station backed out. Hiring Innes would have been an interesting decision, considering his love/hate relationship with the local audience and his previous battles with The Fanatic’s afternoon host Mike Missanelli. 

Innes spent 18 months in afternoon drive on Sports Radio 94WIP, from 2015-2016. Alongside co-host Tony Bruno, the duo quickly beat Missanelli in the ratings battle, but the show split after just six months, when Bruno announced one of his retirements. 

Innes’s tenure in Philly included plenty of insults and punches being thrown in both directions with Missanelli. A culmination of decisions influenced Innes losing his afternoon spot on WIP, but his departure ultimately came after discussing a controversial incident at The Fanatic, where a white producer from the station pretended to be a Black caller into Missanelli’s show. 

Considering his tumultuous relationship with Missanelli, both hosts working on the same team would have been a fascinating dynamic, with everyone wondering ‘how long can it last?’ Although it didn’t happen, a return to Philly for Innes would have generated local intrigue for both the people that hate him and the fans that love him. 

Innes completed a 10-month tenure with ESPN 97.5 in Houston last week and already has the contract signed for his next radio stop, but hasn’t been able to announce what or where that will be.

Sports Radio News

Tony Rizzo To Baker Mayfield Critics: I Hope You’re Happy

“850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.”

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Courtesy: ESPN Cleveland

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked like much of a franchise star so far in 2021, and it has all the attention of sports radio in The Land. 

850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.

“You happy?” Rizzo said to his co-host, Aaron Goldhammer. “Are you Baker [Mayfield] haters? Are you guys happy? Baker looks bad, and you wanna jump down his throat. I’M A BROWNS FAN! I’M A BROWNS FAN. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE ROOTING AGAINST OUR QUARTERBACK!”

Mayfield has struggled with shoulder and knee injuries throughout this season and ranks 25th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR metric (42.9 out of 100).

“You want him to fail,” Rizzo continued. “To prove what? You were right? Do you realize what happens if this kid isn’t the right guy? WE’RE GONNA SUCK, AGAIN. You don’t find quarterbacks. It took you 20 years to find a guy to win 11 games. Now you don’t think he can take you the rest of the way? Are you happy?”

The Browns went on the road this past weekend and the New England Patriots stomped them 45-7. The loss meant Cleveland still hasn’t won in Foxboro since 1992, when, ironically, now Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held the same role with Cleveland.

“I hope you’re all happy,” Rizzo declared. “I hope you’re happy; so you can draft some quarterback in the 30s and try and pray…Don’t you understand? If Baker fails it’s back to the drawing board for my franchise.

“We know that everything has to be right for Baker to win. Sobering stuff for me. This year has been sobering; however, he’s got a bad shoulder, he’s got a broken bone. Now he’s got a bum knee and bum foot. He’s getting beat up. Maybe he can’t play the position.”

Watch the full clip from ESPN Cleveland above.

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Sports Radio News

Kraig Riley Named Brand Manager Of 93.7 The Fan

“He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010.”

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There’s a new leader in Pittsburgh and Audacy did not have to look too far to find him. Kraig Riley has been promoted to brand manager of 93.7 The Fan.

Riley is a familiar face in the building and voice on the air. He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010. He has served as producer of the station’s afternoon show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller. He also was the host of the station’s pre and postgame coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The opening was created earlier this year when Jim Graci exited The Fan and sister station KDKA New Radio. Audacy hired industry veteran Dave LaBrozzi, who most recently served as Vice President of Programming for WABC Radio in New York City, to lead the news talk station.

“As both KDKA and The Fan continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day it is clear that both stations need focused leadership,” Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Pittsburgh, said in a press release. “The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.”

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Sports Radio News

Fred Faour, Fred Davis To Launch ‘Fred Nation’ on SportsMap Radio

“The program, ‘Fred Nation’ will debut on Monday November 29th at 1pm ET.”

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SportsMap Radio is ready to introduce the country to Fred Nation! The network has announced plans to launch a new weekday show featuring familiar Houston sports voices Fred Faour and Fred Davis. The program Fred Nation will debut on Monday November 29th at 1pm ET.

“I’m excited to bring our unique style to SportsMap Radio,” said Faour. “It will be a combination of great sports talk with a big gambling slant. Our irreverent approach will create something very special for the network.”

“The show will be fun, informative, and fast-paced,” added Davis. “And what’s better than one
Fred? Two Freds.”

Faour and Davis will slide into the timeslot previously occupied by Matt Perrault. Faour was a co-host on The Blitz, on ESPN Houston, until August of 2021. The Blitz enjoyed more than a decade of success on Houston’s sports radio airwaves before ending after former host AJ Hoffman left for an opportunity in Las Vegas. In addition to his time on ESPN Houston, Faour has also served as the former editor of SportsMap Houston.

Davis meanwhile previously co-hosted the top rated Fred and Ted on Sports Radio 610 in Houston. He has also made regular on-air contributions on ESPN Houston.

“These two have amazing chemistry,” shared GowMedia CEO, David Gow. “Locally, they each
have a huge following and I expect similar success all throughout the Fred Nation.”

Fred Nation will air weekdays from 1pm-4pm ET.

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