Brackets! It’s March Madness, which means plenty of people — college basketball fans or otherwise — are filling out their NCAA Tournament brackets to beat out their friends and colleagues with their picks.
But bracket fever also extends beyond the NCAA Tournament into other aspects of sports and culture. The possible topics for a good bracket are numerous. Best college basketball or NBA players of all time. Greatest buzzer-beaters. Best sports movie. Best TV sitcom. And what about food? Maybe a local publication has lined up a Best Fried Chicken Sandwich bracket.
Crossing Broad did the work and put together a field of 32 for Philadelphia sports talk radio. With such a deep sports radio scene in the city — with SportsRadio 94WIP and 97.5 The Fanatic, in addition to the contributors and callers for each station — Crossing Broad could assemble a bracket quite easily.
Philly sports fans and radio listeners will likely agree with the No. 1 seeds in each region. WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and Mike Missanelli from 97.5 The Fanatic typically battle for the top show in the market. But some of the argument and competition among fans begins while moving down the bracket.
Howard Eskin and Glen Macnow, both from WIP are the No. 2 seeds. The No. 3 seeds are Macnow’s co-host, Hall of Famer Ray Didinger, and John Kincade, who’s come on strong as 97.5 The Fanatic’s morning man. Should weekday shows get more consideration over weekend shows? That’s an intriguing consideration. Then the No. 4 seeds are a battle of midday hosts, The Cuz (Anthony Gargano) and WIP’s Joe DeCamara.
Who is being overlooked? Is anyone overseeded? Underseeded? What are the later round match-ups to anticipate? Those are the sorts of things that make filling out brackets, no matter the subject, so fun.
All voting for the bracket will be through @CrossingBroad on Twitter. You can see each first-round matchup on their timeline right now.
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].
Greg Papa: ‘These Are Rough Times’ After KNBR Cuts
“Murph, I’ve known forever, going back to the A’s days. These are rough times. Things change.”
Late Wednesday, it was unveiled that KNBR had undergone a series of cost-cutting measures that eliminated the jobs of morning co-host Paul McCaffrey and evening host F.P. Santangelo. KNBR midday host Greg Papa reflected on the changes Thursday morning.
To open Papa and Lund, Greg Papa took the opportunity to address the elephant in the room.
“With Murph and Mac, and Pauly, I’ve been on with them every Friday since I started working with the Niners in 2019, and we hardly ever talked football,” Papa said. “It was always about other things and coming to the studio and getting to know them. Murph, I’ve known forever, going back to the A’s days. These are rough times. Things change. Look at what’s going on with the RSNs in the country. Certainly, terrestrial radio is feeling the brunt of it for a number of factors.”
John Lund agreed, calling McCaffrey “one of my favorites”.
Fill-in host Deiter Kurtenbach hosted the morning show Thursday in place of Brian Murphy. Papa joked that the fill-in host needed a better understanding of radio if he’s going to have the job full-time.
“For Deiter, if you’re going to be on in the morning, you gotta get on the clock better. We can’t start at 10:08 AM. You get a false start right away.”
It is unclear what Murphy’s role with KNBR will be going forward. The station has removed him from its website, and he has yet to comment publicly about his future. Kurtenbach said this morning he would host the morning timeslot for the remainder of the week.
NASCAR President ‘Can’t Overstate’ Importance of New TV Deal
“Everyone talks about getting younger and we’re no different…We have, but we have to keep going…”
Yesterday, NASCAR announced a new television deal with 10 races split between new partners Amazon Prime Video and TNT. NASCAR President Steve Phelps says you can’t overstate the importance of new partnerships.
In an interview with Sports Business Journal, Phelps admitted the agreements with TNT — and it’s Max streaming service — and Amazon Prime Video are focused on reaching a younger audience.
“I don’t think you can overstate how important it is,” Phelps said. “Everyone talks about getting younger and we’re no different. Have we had success over the last three years getting younger and more diverse? We have, but we have to keep going and we have to meet those potential fans where they are, whether that’s our Netflix show that’s going to come out early next year or what’s going to happen with here.
“Amazon is going to do some different content-related things going into 2025 and … our expectation is Warner Bros. Discovery is going to plug us into Bleacher Report, House of Highlights, and other channels that will start to promote NASCAR. Because, honestly, we haven’t had a lot of that. Now they’re a partner and see us as a partner and there’s going to be a mandate to promoting NASCAR, and that to me is really important and it speaks to the changing landscape of where media consumption is going specifically.”
Phelps continued by saying it was “one of the most important, if not the most important” contracts of his career, noting that the new deal was about more than just money.
“It was critical – even past dollars. Are they important? Of course, but it’s really about having these distribution outlets that are just incredible. The reach these five companies have is incredible.”
SiriusXM and MLB Sign Extension Through 2028
“We’re very proud to continue Baseball’s rich history of reaching fans through their radios.”
SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have announced an extension of their partnership that goes through the 2028 MLB season.
Every MLB game will remain available to SiriusXM subscribers on their car radios and in the SiriusXM app. The new deal also ensures that MLB Network Radio will continue through the 2028 season.
“We’re very proud to continue Baseball’s rich history of reaching fans through their radios. Today, we’re delivering those fans the sounds of the game through SiriusXM’s state-of-the-art platforms in the car and on the SiriusXM app,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Being able to hear their team’s announcers is important to fans, and no matter where you are listening from across North America, you’ll get access to every team’s broadcast for every game on SiriusXM. Couple this with the best daily talk and analysis of the game on the MLB Network Radio channel and SiriusXM is a must-have for baseball fans, and will be for years to come.”
The new agreement continues the relationship between SiriusXM and MLB that dates back to the 2005 season.
“The collection of MLB game presentations and content that has developed through our extended relationship with SiriusXM has been a powerful asset in making our game more accessible to fans wherever they are,” said MLB Executive Vice President of Media & Business Development Kenny Gersh.
“The sounds of Baseball are an important part of our story and we’re proud to continue to work with SiriusXM as they advance and grow the MLB streaming experience for fans on their platforms.”