Ever since the global pandemic descended upon us all early in 2020, people from all around the world have needed to adjust their typical day-to-day to some degree. Count professional sports broadcasters among those that absolutely find themselves in that group. Many have called games remotely rather than in-person, courtside or perched above and behind home plate.
Instead of being able to interact with players and coaches and those in-the-know before the game, or to take in the sights and sounds during, some broadcasters have to provide commentary from their own home; making adding extra insight to the games vastly more difficult.
WFAN color commentator for New York Yankees broadcasts Suzyn Waldman felt the repercussions of that first-hand last week. According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, during a critical ninth inning play in Wednesday’s Yankees-Blue Jays game, Waldman was looking at her notes and missed a controversial foul ball call.
Mistakes can happen in a 162-game season, but for a consummate professional like Suzyn Waldman, it stuck in her craw.
“I didn’t sleep all night,” Waldman told The Post. “I was really embarrassed.”
Waldman also mentioned she believes it would have been different if she was in Buffalo for the game, rather than working remotely. Currently, around a third of Major League radio broadcasts are done remotely, with more expected to return to ballparks after the All-Star Break. Given the rise in vaccinated players, coaches, fans, and personnel, it stands to reason broadcasting may be inching its way back to normalcy. Marchand posed that some of the hesitancy from some teams to return to the old model may not be due to the virus, but rather finances.
Still, Suzyn Waldman is not alone in her frustrations. Former ESPN and current Chicago Cubs broadcaster Jon Sciambi called KBO games during the heat of the pandemic, and told Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports last year of some of the difficulties of calling any kind of baseball game from afar.
“I mean, a league that I am learning seven days before the league starts, would be super hard. A league filled with players whose names are difficult to pronounce when you don’t get the lineups until 45 minutes before first pitch if I was physically there. That would be hard.
“And then, if you made me do the Royals and the Rockies exactly this way and my partner wasn’t next to me and I didn’t know the next shot was coming and they just showed me the Royals dugout, that’d be hard! Just all of it is difficult. It’s been really difficult.”
Tiki & Tierney Leaving CBS Sports Radio For WFAN
“Adding Tiki and Tierney is just the latest in a series of changes for WFAN.”
Tiki & Tierney are based in New York. Now they will be broadcasting to New York. The show is leaving CBS Sports Radio’s afternoon drive slot. It will move into mid days on WFAN.
The duo should be a good fit for New York sports fans. Tiki Barber is one of the best-known New York Giants of the early 2000s. Brandon Tierney is a Brooklyn native now and familiar voice to New Yorkers, having worked for years at ESPN New York in addition to other stations in various markets across the country. The duo has been together since the launch of CBS Sports Radio, having spent time in both drive slots for the network.
“Tiki and Tierney have a perspective and sound that is tailor-made for New York City and their addition will further solidify WFAN’s iconic position as the area’s most influential sports platform,” said Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Audacy New York. “Both are already very familiar to the FAN audience, so their voices joining “Boomer & Gio” and “Carton & Roberts” creates a powerful must listen to our weekday lineup for both listeners and advertisers.”
A new show means the old one has to go. Moose and Maggie had been holding down the mid day slot on WFAN. No official word is available on Maggie Gray’s or Marc Malusis’s future with WFAN or Audacy. Andrew Marchand reports that Gray is expected to have a different role within the company.
Gray did acknowledge on-air and online that Thursday was her last day as part of Moose and Maggie.
Adding Tiki and Tierney is just the latest in a series of changes for WFAN. In less than a month, the station has said goodbye to Steve Somers and added Keith McPherson in the nighttime hours. Sal Licata has also seen his overnight show extended.
1010XL/92.5 FM Radiothon Raises Over $243K For Tom Coughlin Jay Fund
The fundraising event was a huge success, raising $243,369, which is by far the most raised for the event in its history.
It is the time of year for many radio stations to give back, and this is a very special story coming from 1010 XL/92.5 FM in Jacksonville.
Yesterday, the station hosted its 14th annual radiothon. The event benefits the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund to help tackle childhood cancer, and the turnout was staggering.
The event was a huge success, raising $243,369, which is by far the most raised in its history. The station had set a goal of $150,000 and far exceeded it with hours still to go in the fundraiser.
They posted on social media Thursday morning following the fundraiser.
“It’s the favorite day of the on-air staff every year,” Steven Griffin, President & General Manager of the station, said in an email. “This year, they slayed it.”
Donations can still be made to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund at any time on their website with multiple different ways to give back to children in need of help.
Big Jab Sports Radio Adds Mannix & Mannix In Mid Day
“There is just a unique perspective from both of us because we grew up under different circumstances.”
Maine’s Big Jab Sports Radio (WJJB) understands the importance of local sports radio, and is replacing syndicated programming with a new show in mid days.
Big Jab is adding Jeff and Taylor Mannix to their midday lineup to debut their new show “Middays with Mannix and Mannix” on weekdays from 10 AM to 2 PM.
The two have been at the station hosting a Saturday morning show for the past three years, but will now take over a new time slot. They will be replacing FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick and CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.
The afternoon “PM Jab” with Javier Gorriti will move from 3-7 to 2-6, shuffling around with the move.
General Manager for the station Jon Van Hoogenstyn said, “Our station leadership is proud and excited to add Middays with Mannix and Mannix to our weekday lineup. This is a significant differentiator for our station and aligns with our commitment to preserving and advancing the art of local talk radio programming.”
This move is a part of a bigger overall movement of all local programming at the station from 6 AM to 6 PM on weekdays.
“There is just a unique perspective from both of us because we grew up under different circumstances.” said co-host Jeff Mannix. ” There is an age difference between us, he is younger, I am older, so we just kind of mesh the two generations.” he added.
“We bring a little bit of different angles because our personalities are complete opposites.” said fellow co-host Taylor Mannix.
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