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Boomer Esiason On Staying With WFAN Mornings, Not Doing Super Bowl Radio Row

“There’s nothing like being the first behind the mic after a big game.”

Ricky Keeler

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Earlier this week, Boomer & Gio were named as the number two major market sports radio morning show in the country on the BSM Top 20. For someone like Boomer Esiason, he appreciates the journey that the morning team at WFAN has taken together and doesn’t want to leave that.

Esiason was a guest on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina this week. During their conversation, he mentioned having a chance to move to the afternoon when Mike Francesa decided to leave and WFAN thought about putting him back together with Craig Carton. Ultimately, he turned it down:

“If I didn’t love what I do, I wouldn’t do it. They did ask me to move to the afternoons when Mike left and they were thinking about reuniting me with Craig and all that other stuff,” said Esiason. “I was like, man, I don’t want to leave the morning. Look what we’ve built here. When I was saying ‘we,’ I mean also Eddie Scozzare, Al Dukes, Jerry Recco, Bobby Dwyer. I mean we all built it together. I wanted to stay there and I know those guys wanted to stay there.

“I could’ve easily went to the afternoons, but then I was like then my whole life is going to change again. I’ve got this routine, I’ve got it all down. I understand what’s going on, I know what my responsibilities are. There’s nothing like being the first behind the mic after a big game.”

Being on the air to talk about the Super Bowl Monday morning was one of the reasons, according to the former Bengals QB, that he did not make the trip to Los Angeles this weekend to watch Cincinnati try to win its first Super Bowl in franchise history:

“It’s one of the reasons why I think I decided not to go out to the Super Bowl this year is because I want to be able to watch it and then talk about it the next day coherently and not be drunk or hungover from being at the game and watching the game with my former teammates,” Esiason explained. “It’s a labor of love for sure, but I think both Gio (Gregg Giannotti) and I and the rest of our crew don’t mind getting up and getting our day started.”

This year, Boomer & Gio were not at Radio Row for the Super Bowl unlike some of the other shows on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network. However, Esiason didn’t mind that because it allows the show to continue as normally as possible:

“I’m not big on Super Bowl shows. I hate the interviews. Everyone is pushing a product,” he said. “Hell, I was pushing a product for a lot of those years, so I understand all that. At the end of the day, being back in our studio, being able to have a normal type of show and a normal conversation depending on what’s going on around here to me is more entertaining to the listener anyway.”

While Esiason gives a lot of credit to Gio and Carton for the way they handle those interviews on Radio Row and thinks those interviews are entertaining for the hosts, he knows they don’t exactly fare well with the audience the show is trying to appeal to:

“Both Gio and Craig Carton are really good interviewers. They have a unique way of bringing personality into the subjects that we’re talking to,” said Esiason.

“The fact that I am a former NFL player and some guys feel a little bit more comfortable maybe with me up there and those guys asking ridiculous questions. It actually was entertaining at least for us individually. But we know back home it doesn’t sound right, there’s a lot of background noise. It gets a little awkward at times… Those things sometimes lend to funny interviews and awkward moments, but I don’t think overall the entertainment value is there.”

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, according to sources.

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. An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now. He was tweeting during his show’s scheduled time, with this being his most recent one which also referenced the show which appeared to still be on the air at the time.

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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