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Kevin Graham Named New Program Director of KNBR

“In an internal memo to staff, Blumhagen highlighted Graham’s experience in the sports format, and praised his abilities to drive digital success.”

Jason Barrett

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KNBR in San Francisco has found their next program director!

Last month, Jeremiah Crowe announced plans to move to las Vegas and exit as the station’s top programming boss. To fill his position, Cumulus SVP of Sports Bruce Gilbert, Cumulus San Francisco GM Larry Blumhagen, and Cumulus President Dave Milner have tabbed Kevin Graham to move the brand forward.

Graham joins the sports leader with a spectacular resume programming talk stations. His experience in the sports talk space is extensive, having previously programmed WEEI in Boston, WXYT in Detroit, 1050 ESPN NY in New York City, Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix, ESPN 1250 in Pittsburgh, and The Fan in Columbus and Salt Lake City. He was most recently the PD of News/Talk stations WBAP and KLIF in Dallas, working under the highly respected and accomplished Dan Bennett.

Regarding the new opportunity in the Bay Area, Graham said: “I am humbled to go from legendary News/Talk stations WBAP/KLIF to KNBR, one of the best Sports radio brands in the country. I am very grateful to continue to work for Cumulus and Larry Blumhagen and the great KNBR Team, and thank Dave Milner, Brian Philips and Bruce Gilbert for their confidence in me. It was an absolute honor to be able to work with and learn from Dan Bennett, one of the best market managers in radio, and the talented Cumulus Dallas team. While the last five years were some of the most rewarding in my career, I am excited to return to my roots and be back in sports radio!”

In an internal memo to staff, Blumhagen highlighted Graham’s experience in the sports format, and praised his abilities to drive digital success. He’ll spend a few weeks in Dallas helping the company identify his replacement before making the move to the Bay Area. His first day on the job is expected to be August 9th.

The move west reunites Graham with the format he’s enjoyed most of his career success in. He inherits a brand that is in the driver seat for local ratings and the new opportunity gives him a chance to work again with John Lund, a talent he spent time working with in Detroit. With the Giants performing well, the 49ers just two months away from kicking off their 2021 campaign, and a strong roster with market credibility locked in place for the near term, Graham should have plenty of opportunity to keep the sports leader healthy, hungry and chasing future ratings victories.

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.

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.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

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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