The San Diego Padres will have a new voice leading pre- and post-game coverage on their radio flagship broadcasts this season. The team announced on Monday that Sam Levitt will be the studio hosts for Padres games on 97.3 The Fan (KWFN-FM).
“I’m incredibly excited to join 97.3 The Fan and the Padres Radio Network,” Levitt said in an official release from Audacy.
“Since I started broadcasting baseball as a college student and throughout my time in the minors, it’s remained my goal to be part of a Major League broadcast team. I’m extremely grateful to both 97.3 The Fan and the Padres organization for believing in me. I look forward to covering a team that has World Series aspirations, while interacting with San Diego’s outstanding fanbase on radio, social media and beyond.”
Jesse Agler will continue as the Padres’ lead radio play-by-play voice alongside analyst Tony Gwynn Jr. Don Orsillo and Mark Grant call the TV broadcasts for Bally Sports San Diego, and Eduardo Ortega and Carlos Hernandez call Spanish-language broadcasts on XEMO (860-AM) and Fox Deportes.
Levitt has been the play-by-play broadcaster and director of broadcasting for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s worked in that role since 2019, the inaugural season for the Sod Poodles. His performance earned him Ballpark Digest’s 2021 Minor League Broadcaster of the Year award.
In addition to experience calling minor league baseball for the Corpus Christi Hooks and Gateway Grizzlies, Levitt has hosted Loyola Chicago men’s basketball pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage for Learfield IMG College. He’s also called play-by-play on Big Ten Network, NBC Sports, and ESPN+.
Levitt is also active on social media, something that’s increasingly important in engaging fans and reaching younger audiences. He currently has more than 375,000 followers on Tik Tok, most recently taking fans behind the scenes with his college basketball work during March Madness.
“We could not be prouder of Sam and all that he has done for the Sod Poodles organization,” said Amarillo team president and general manager Tony Ensor. “He has played an integral part of making the Sod Poodles one of the most recognized and highly regarded brands in all Minor League Baseball.
“We have no doubt that he will do the same for the San Diego Padres organization once again. He has helped lay the groundwork for the best broadcast in MiLB to continue here in Amarillo for years to come.”
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.”
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.”
Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’
“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.
On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.
“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”
Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.
“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”
Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.
The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.
“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”