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Fred Toucher Shares His BSM Summit Experience on 98.5 The Sports Hub

“It went well. Felger’s ratings are better so every time they put up the ratings, Felger seemed vastly superior to me.”

Derek Futterman

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Fred Toucher

For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports media industry came together at the 2022 Barrett Sports Media Summit, an opportunity not only to learn about the evolution of the industry, but also to catch up with former colleagues and make valuable connections for the future.

The two-day event welcomed executives such as ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro and Meadowlark Media CEO John Skipper; program directors including 670 The Score/105.7 The Fan’s Mitch Rosen and 98.7 ESPN New York’s Ryan Hurley; and on-air hosts, among them Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, WFAN’s Craig Carton, and 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Fred Toucher.

The 2022 BSM Summit was the topic of discussion Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich in Boston. Toucher was joined by his colleague and afternoon drive co-host Mike Felger on the “Kings of Content” panel presented by Beasley Media Group at the event and, upon returning to Boston, spoke about his experience in New York City both inside and outside of the Anne Bernstein Theater.

“Me and Felger were up there for an hour, but the thing is Felger is a real businessman,” said Toucher. “Felger flew in, did his thing [at the BSM Summit], then drove over to the ESPN Studios and did a show and flew home.”

Felger and his co-host Tony Massarotti were honored as the recipients of the first-ever Mike & the Mad Dog Award Thursday as the best local sports radio show in the United States. Additionally, 98.5 The Sports Hub Program Director Rick Radzik won the 2022 Mark Chernoff Award as sports radio’s top programmer Wednesday, for which Toucher was on-hand to witness.

“It went well,” said Toucher. “Felger’s ratings are better so every time they put up the ratings, Felger seemed vastly superior to me.”

Toucher and his wife flew in for the event the night before and kicked off their time in New York City going out to dinner with friends. They also made the time to check out some of the destinations around Times Square, including the M&M’s Store and MLB New York City Flagship Retail Store. Being that the BSM Summit was within the Broadway Theatre District, Toucher noticed that many of the classic plays are still in theatres.

“They have the same plays: Chicago and The Book of Mormon; those are all still playing out there,” said Toucher. “It’s exhausting, though, walking around there trying to find out where you are.”

While specifically discussing the BSM Summit, Toucher called the Anne Bernstein Theater a “perfect” venue for the event and was impressed by the list of names assembled for sports media’s premier conference.

“I’m not positive who was there when I was there,” said Toucher. “I talked to [SVP/Market Manager for Audacy Boston] Mike Thomas for a while.”

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iHeartMedia Extends with Pittsburgh Steelers Through 2028 Season

“We teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Logos for iHeartMedia and the Pittsburgh Steelers

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announced an extension of their audio partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will now include the newly established “Steelers Audio Network” through 2028.

The “Steelers Audio Network” will offer a wide range of content, including game day broadcasts, additional shows, digital audio, podcasts, and social media posts. Fans can access the “Steelers Audio Network” and its programming throughout the year on various platforms such as 102.5 WDVE, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (970AM), the Steelers mobile app, the iHeartRadio mobile app, as well as on the team and station’s websites.

Additionally, 102.5 WDVE will continue to be the home of the Steelers game broadcasts, as they have done since 1999.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of our long-standing partnership with iHeart Media and our flagship station, 102.5 WDVE,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a release. “We’ve teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartSports. “Our renewed agreement, now known as ‘Steelers Audio Network’ encompasses a comprehensive range of audio offerings, delivering an exceptional listening experience for Steelers fans. Additionally, we’re excited to provide promotional support and further brand awareness across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and digital sites. Our longstanding partnership continues to thrive, and we look forward to celebrating many more victories together!”

“iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and the Steelers have had a longstanding partnership,” said Tim McAleer, Market President, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to continue to give Steelers fans access to Steelers audio broadcasts and unique Steelers programing content for years to come.”

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Nick Cattles To Fill In on 98.5 The Sports Hub

“No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photo of Nick Cattles and a logo for 98.5 The Sports Hub

Nick Cattles, who was last heard on the air at the end of June 2023 at Sactown Sports 1140 in Sacramento and has been hosting podcasts, will get a chance to fill in Monday on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Cattles posted about the assignment on his LinkedIn account.

“The wait is over,” he wrote. “It’s been almost a year since the last time I walked into a radio studio. I’m back. This Monday morning from 6a-10am, you can listen to myself, Ryan Johnston, and Kendra Middleton on 98-5 The Sports Hub. No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Cattles was part of the Cattles and Ramie show in Sacramento and upon leaving said, “It’s just, we love our family more. Since moving to Cali, we’ve had to overcome a lot personally. Those challenges have been amplified the last two months. It’s no longer tolerable to be 3,000 miles away. Once we settle the home situation, we’re heading back.” He had started with Sactown Sports in 2021 and also had the program director title for a period of time.

Cattles worked at The Sports Hub from in 2017 and 2018, taking part in The Adam Jones Show in the evenings and hosting on the weekends. Cattles had other stints in Boston, Virginia and with ESPN Radio.

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Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael Celebrate 5 Years Together on 92.9 The Game

“To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Graphic for Andy and Randy on 92.9 The Game and a picture of hosts Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael
Graphic Courtesy: Audacy Photo Courtesy: Randy McMichael X Account

It was a milestone week for Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael, hosts of 92.9 The Game’s The Midday Show with Andy & Randy in Atlanta. It was this week five years ago they permanently took over the midday slot replacing John Michaels and Rick Kamla who had been released earlier that year.

The show celebrated on remote at a party with several listeners, friends and family members and spent time talking about their time together. “People listening right now, thank you, we appreciate that,” said Bunker. “We wouldn’t be doing this if you weren’t listening and if you hadn’t been listening the last five years…Making it five years on a radio show is not normal. I know it seems normal at 92.9 because we are a radio station that has a lot of stability. Dukes and Bell have been on for 10 years. The morning show that’s on right now is doing great, and the show before them was on for a lot of years.”

Bunker later added, “To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.” McMichael replied, “It has been a fun five years.”

Bunker had been hosting the evening show for three years prior to partnering with McMichael, and had previously been in sports radio in Seattle, Portland and Boston. McMichael had been with the station for about four years at the time, after an 11-year career in the NFL. Prior to that he was a three-year letterman at the University of Georgia.

The show amassed an 8.3 share for the most recent quarter, retaining their fourth place ranking it had in the fall. The show airs from 11a-2p EST.

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