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Howard Stern Says Al Michaels Should Tell Viewers to Get Vaccinated, Rips NBC

“I think it’s a big f—ing error. It’s just like New England letting Brady go. Dude, I don’t get it.”



Leading up to what could be his final Super Bowl telecast in a long, accomplished broadcast career, Al Michaels has appeared on a variety of media outlets to look back at his years of calling The Big Game for ABC and NBC.

On Tuesday, that “farewell tour,” if that’s what to call it, stopped at The Howard Stern Show. Anyone who’s listened to Stern over the decades or appeared for an interview knows that the infamous radio personality could touch on any topic and take the conversation in many different directions. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when Stern put Michaels on the spot.

First, Stern voiced his disbelief that NBC could possibly let Michaels go when his contract expires after Super Bowl LVI. The expectation throughout the sports media industry is that the veteran broadcaster will move to Amazon to call play-by-play for Thursday Night Football.

“Really? NBC is gonna let you walk out the door?” Stern said to Michaels (via Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina). “I think it’s a big f—ing error. It’s just like New England letting Brady go. Dude, I don’t get it. I think I’m in shock. This is bulls—. Everyone loves you. You’re doing great. What are they changing things up for? You got the No. 1 show.”

As could be expected, Michaels didn’t take the opportunity to criticize NBC. He didn’t feel “betrayed,” as Stern speculated, and went on to explain the thinking.

“I feel that the decision was made predicated on making sure there was a succession plan in place,” said Michaels.

Looking back, it’s entirely possible this is a plan Michaels thought was a good idea until getting to this point and realizing he still had plenty left as a broadcaster and might want to continue at NBC.

But if Michaels thought he was off the hook after evading Stern’s attempts to goad him into ripping his NBC bosses, the conversation eventually moved to another topic: the COVID-19 vaccine. With a worldwide audience of 100 million, Stern implored Michaels to encourage viewers to get vaccinated.

Listen to the clip from Mediaite (via The Big Lead):

“Do you ever feel, and I know with sports you can’t be controversial,” said Stern. “No one’s there to hear your opinion; I get all that. But Al, please — when you’re on there and you got 100 million people, tell them to get vaccinated for Christ’s sake, you know what I mean?”

Michaels didn’t take the bait there, either.

“You’re right when people tune in to watch the game, they want to watch the game,” Michaels said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in sports around the game.”

We don’t know what Michaels’ stance is on getting vaccinated and aren’t likely to find out since it’s such an inflammatory topic for some viewers. However, Michaels did make his irritation over having to wear a mask on the air apparent during a 2020 Eagles-49ers broadcast. A Santa Clara county mandate required it.

“We’re good boys, though,” Michaels said during the NBC telecast. “We’re going to get lollipops at the end of the game tonight.” He later added that he’d ditch the mask as soon as Sunday Night Football signed off.

Sports Radio News

Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte

“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”



Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.

Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin. 

“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”

Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.

“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”

Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.

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Sports Radio News

Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”



The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”



John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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