Tuesday was an exciting day for Tony Massarotti, the Felger & Mazz show on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub, NESN, and Red Sox fans.
NESN and the Red Sox announced that Massarotti will be one of three new analysts joining the TV broadcast crew for game broadcasts, along with Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Millar. (Will Middlebrooks is also joining NESN as a pre- and postgame analyst.) The new faces — and voices — join play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien and returning analyst Dennis Eckersley.
Soon after the news was announced, Massarotti called into Felger & Mazz and, as could be expected, Mike Felger had plenty of questions for his co-host. According to Massarotti, the plan is for him to call 30 to 40 broadcasts, depending on how the season develops and availability of his fellow analysts. And he’ll do a mix of home games and road games, determined by how it fits with his radio schedule.
And if anyone was concerned that this means Massarotti is leaving 98.5 The Sports Hub, he and Felger confirmed that he’s not going anywhere.
“I am not leaving The Sports Hub,” Massarotti said. “This is why it required the cooperation of a lot of people… there’s a lot of moving parts in this thing. It took a little figuring out and it’s still going to take some. But I am not leaving The Sports Hub. I love The Sports Hub and I love the show.”
Another question some, such as Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, have had when Massarotti was reported to audition for NESN was whether he might tame his opinions on the Red Sox if he joined the broadcast team. Asked about the Red Sox’s offseason, he demonstrated that won’t be the case.
“I think it sucks, that’s what I think,” said Massarotti. “I want the Red Sox to make major moves. So the luxury tax went up to $230 million; I’d like to see them spend up to, if not over that number. They can do that. I’ve always said they should never take themselves out of the market for any kind of player, no matter the cost.”
So it’s reasonable to presume that Massarotti isn’t satisfied with adding James Paxton and Rich Hill to the starting rotation. The Red Sox are one of the teams rumored to be pursuing free agent slugger Freddie Freeman, the kind of move Massarotti is referring to. Freeman’s left-handed swing at Fenway Park would give Mazz and his new fellow analysts plenty of fun moments to call.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at [email protected].
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.