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Good Karma Brands Acquires ESPN Stations In New York, Chicago & Los Angeles

“FCC approval is expected in February.”

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Good Karma Brands has announced it is expanding its presence in major market. The company informed its staff today and the press later in the afternoon to confirm they’ve assumed control of ESPN Radio’s stations in New York and Los Angeles. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post had reported the deal had gone through. FCC approval is expected in February.

The particulars of the deal call for Good Karma Brands to acquire ESPN 1050 (WEPN-AM) in New York, ESPN 710 (KSPN-AM) in Los Angeles, and ESPN 1000 (WMVP-AM) in Chicago from ESPN, and operate 98.7 ESPN (WEPN-FM) in New York under a Local Marketing Agreement. The three key sports stations will remain ESPN Radio affiliates as part of the agreement and continue airing a mixture of local programming and ESPN Network Radio content. It should be noted that Good Karma Brands has been operating ESPN 1000 in Chicago under a Local Marketing Agreement since October 2019.

“We are thrilled to add ESPN New York and ESPN Los Angeles to GKB,” said Good
Karma Brands Founder and CEO, Craig Karmazin. “These stations and teammates give
us an expanded footprint and increased resources to help meet our mission of serving
our teammates, fans and advertising partners at a best-in-class level.”

In addition to taking over operations of four respected brands, Good Karma and ESPN have agreed to extend their ESPN Digital sales agreement, which began in 2015. That deal calls for GKB to represent display and video inventory on ESPN.com and the ESPN App to local and regional advertisers in 14 select markets.

Scott McCarthy, Vice President, ESPN Audio, said: “At ESPN, we are focused on
evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of our business, providing the outstanding
content that our fans expect, and growing our audience in critical, leading markets. We
have a strong, 20+ year relationship with Good Karma Brands and know they will further
contribute to the success of these great local audio operations.”

Good Karma is no stranger to operating sports radio stations. The company also owns and operates ESPN Radio affiliates in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee and West Palm Beach. With GKB assuming control of ESPN’s local brands in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, the lone owned and operated station still under ESPN’s control is 103.3 FM in Dallas. That station currently airs ESPN Radio network programming throughout the broadcast day. Whether GKB or another company is interested in operating that signal is unknown at this time.

Sports Radio News

Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders

“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”

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Boomer and Gio

Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.

“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”

“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.

After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.

“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.

Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.

“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.

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Sports Radio News

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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