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John Fricke Tells LA Times Writer He Isn’t Welcome At Waffle House

“First off, it’s not ‘The Waffle House;’ it’s just ‘Waffle House,’” said Fricke. “No they don’t take reservations and no, you’re not welcome; get the hell out of town.”

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Following back-to-back walk-off wins by the Atlanta Braves at home in the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers found a way to take two out of three games in Atlanta. Facing elimination down three games to one Thursday night, Dodgers’ utility player Chris Taylor provided the much-needed spark to his team’s offense and morale, becoming the first player in major league history to hit three home runs in a postseason elimination game. As the series shifts back to Atlanta for a decisive game six, where the hometown Braves will try to win their first National League Pennant since 1999, some writers feel the momentum has shifted towards the Dodgers, who overcame an analogous three games to one deficit in the NLCS last year against the Braves, and ultimately went on to win the World Series.

On Friday morning, “The Morning Show with John and Hugh” on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta discussed the plethora of writers who have deemed the Dodgers to have the momentum heading into game six of the NLCS.

“Another shot at ESPN if I can — this is the website, ESPN.com,” said John Fricke, co-host of the morning drive program and former anchor at CNN. “The headline this morning: ‘Against all odds — here come the Dodgers.’ What odds are the Dodgers overcoming here? [They] have so much money that [they could] go out at the [trade deadline] and spend $200 million to get Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. There are no odds. [They] just buy stuff.”

The story, which was written by ESPN Senior Writer Tim Keown, was shared on Twitter by ESPN.com Senior Writer and Sunday Night Baseball Reporter Buster Olney, who happens to have a whopping 1.3 million followers. The Tweet highlighting the story was flooded with comments, including one suggesting ESPN and Major League Baseball are hoping the Dodgers come back and win the series.

“I guess [ESPN] was just talking about how good the Braves are,” suggested former Pro Bowl NFL defensive end and show co-host Hugh Douglas. “It’s definitely hard to say.”

Later on in the program, the show referenced Dylan Hernandez, who serves as a sports columnist at The Los Angeles Times, who recently wrote an article with the headline, “Unpredictable series swings back with L.A. now in control.” Similar to the ESPN headline, this narrative was something that “The Morning Show with John and Hugh” were clearly not adopting as bon-a-fide fact.

“Is that really true?,” questioned Fricke. “You’re down [three games to two] coming to Atlanta.”

Hugh added to the conversation: “Especially since you haven’t won one [game] in Atlanta — I don’t think that’s the case.”

Before the article was released, though, Hernandez sent out a Tweet questioning if “the Waffle House takes reservations?,” purportedly referencing his impending trip back to Atlanta for game six Saturday night. The morning show hosts then made Hernandez an offer to him live on-the-air.

“First off, it’s not ‘The Waffle House;’ it’s just ‘Waffle House,’” said Fricke. “No they don’t take reservations and no, you’re not welcome; get the hell out of town.”

More congenial in his tone, Hugh suggested he and John Fricke treat Hernandez to a meal at the ubiquitous Atlanta-based restaurant chain, which recently tweeted “Go @Braves” in support of the team’s quest for a World Series berth.

“We should all go to Waffle House together,” suggested Hugh. “If you live here, you don’t have to worry about reservations because we got you.”

Agitation abound, Fricke is irked by writers doubting the Braves’ ability to close out the series, and is calling on sports columnists to stop putting ‘spin’ on their stories to generate more intriguing headlines.

“We’ve been putting up with constant spin on all of this,” said John Fricke, “and it just makes you roll your eyes.”

The Atlanta Braves face the Los Angeles Dodgers in game six of the National League Championship Series at 5:08 p.m. E.S.T. on TBS, with Brian Anderson on the play-by-play, former major leaguers Ron Darling and Jeff Franceour serving as analysts and Lauren Shehadi reporting on the action on the field. The Dodgers’ Max Scherzer is set to face off against Atlanta’s Ian Anderson in what will be, at the most, the series’ penultimate contest. The highly-anticipated matchup will also be available to listen nationally on ESPN Radio with Jon “Boog” Sciambi and Jessica Mendoza behind the mics, and locally on AM 570 LA Sports and across the Atlanta Braves Radio Network.

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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