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Karsch & Anderson Use Squid Game To Grow Twitch Audience

“I have a white index card; I’m going to write four words down. As soon as [Karsch] finishes ‘Squid Game,’ he is going to say these four words.”

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Netflix’s new dystopian series “Squid Game” has been captivating and enthralling viewers from all around the world with its high-stakes competition and lethal penalties. The South Korean fictional survival-based competition revamps traditional children’s games, such as “Red Light, Green Light” and “Marbles,” into competitions with a chance to win ₩45.6 billion if they make it to the end. All of the initial 456 contestants are in deep amounts of debt, and trying to make a better life for themselves and their families — with the caveat that if they lose any of the competitions, they will be immediately killed.

Over its first month of streaming worldwide, 142 million Netflix members have watched the series, amounting to approximately two-thirds of the platform’s subscriber base, something the service, in a press release, called “mind-boggling.” Additionally, 89% of those viewers watched at least 75 minutes of the series, and 66% finished the series’ first season in a mere 23 days. Recently, it was the number one streaming program in 94 different countries, including the United States, resulting in the addition of 4.38 million subscribers in the third quarter, nearly double the figure from this time last year. The show has generated nearly $900 million in impact value, and cost $21.4 million to produce, meaning Netflix figures to substantially profit from this series, which has already been renewed for a much-anticipated second season.

So what does this mean for sports media? Well, on Wednesday morning, “Karsch and Anderson” on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit spoke about their experiences watching this global phenomenon. Then, they played a game of their own, transforming show listeners into viewers while emphasizing the impact cross-platform integration has and will continue to have on radio today.

“I did power through another episode of Squid Game,” said Doug Karsch, co-host of the morning-drive show, who is in the midst of watching the series on Netflix. “It’s interesting; I want to know what the hell is going on.”

Show Producer Khang Huynh, who, along with co-host Scott Anderson, has already finished the Netflix hit, proceeded to draw the listening audience to 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch live stream of “Karsch and Anderson” simply by using a standard, white index card.

“I have not met or read one review after [someone has] finished [‘Squid Game’] say something different,” expressed Hunyh. “I have a white index card; I’m going to write four words down. As soon as [Karsch] finishes ‘Squid Game,’ he is going to say these four words.”

In anticipation of Hunyh’s revealing the four-word message, the viewership on 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch stream proliferated from 166 to 472 viewers in the span of about a minute-and-a-half, demonstrating the power a complimentary video live stream can have on a sports radio show.

Without the video live stream, the secret index card message could not have been as easily and instantly disseminated while simultaneously entertaining the audience without it serving as somewhat of a spoiler to Karsch. By utilizing Twitch, “Karsch and Anderson” kept viewers engaged in their conversation, and compelled many of them to switch over to the Twitch platform, some for the first time, expanding their potential audience and future capabilities on that avenue of transmission.

As for Karsch, finishing “Squid Game,” he puts his chances in doing so at over 50%. “I’ll just come back the day that I finish watching, and see if I say that exact thing.” Anderson can’t wait for the day that happens, as his feeling was analogous to that of Hunyh’s regarding the thrilling ending of season one.

“I can’t wait to tell you what I was going to say, because it was so close!”

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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