Connect with us
BSM Summit
blank

Sports Radio News

Rick Radzik Knows It Could Change At Any Time For 98.5 The Sports Hub

“I’ve pretty much been in a 20-mile radius to where I grew up ever since I got in the business 34 years ago.”

Brian Noe

Published

on

blank

Rick Radzik oozes Boston. You can feel his authenticity when you talk to him. Rick is from Quincy, or as the locals call it Quinzy, which is just outside of downtown.

Before working his way up to become the program director at 98.5 The Sports Hub, Rick’s career began at WEEI. He interned at the all-news station back in 1986. After graduating from Emerson College and completing his internship, Rick landed a gig at EEI in the tape operations department. He made around $11,000 at the time.

Although the money wasn’t great, the benefits were really cool. Rick routinely got to watch the ‘80s Celtics practice for two hours and then grab sound from Bird and McHale. It led to bigger opportunities, like being an assistant associate producer for the Celtics broadcast. He then transitioned to being the executive producer of the Boston Bruins broadcast on WEEI. Rick left that station in ’94 to remain with the Bruins at WBZ. A decade and a half later, he took a leap of faith and joined The Sports Hub.

In our conversation, Rick talked about Mike Thomas being back in town as Audacy’s SVP and market manager. There is a Brady/Belichick dynamic between the two; a lot of success together and a lot of respect, but they now find themselves on opposite sidelines. He also was gracious enough to discuss his wife, Liesl, who passed away three years ago and had a huge impact on his life and career. Rick also gave his thoughts on Tony Massarotti joining the Red Sox broadcast, and wondered if he could ever do what many in the sports radio industry have done. Enjoy the column!

Brian Noe: When the Hub was first launched, would you have ever thought it would reach the level it’s at right now?

Rick Radzik: No, I thought I’d be in a different profession by 2011. I’m kind of joking. We just all felt we could do okay. I think being on the FM signal was what a lot of people may have underestimated at the time. There weren’t a lot of sports talk stations around the country on the FM signal. That really helped us. I think the way we presented it was a little bit different at the beginning. At the time a little bit younger, a little more music, different sound.

We had the Patriots, which obviously having one of the franchises helped. And we got the Bruins. We were in a good spot to launch. But EEI became such a monster; those 2003, 2004 Red Sox-Yankees, Patriots Super Bowls. A couple of stations tried to take them on; they were all AM stations with smaller signals. This was the first time that an established FM signal with some established talent was going to give it a shot.

I didn’t think we’d do as well as quickly as we did is really what I mean when I say I didn’t think it would last. We elevated more quickly than we thought. We were fortunate to have some championships thrown in there and some awesome storylines that continue today with guys like Brady and Belichick and the personalities of the teams and the passion that the fan base has. It all just kind of fell into place. I think we just came at the right time when people were looking for a little bit of a change. I think we were able to provide it for them.

BN: You guys have monster ratings. When you gauge success — is it being number one, is it getting a certain share in the market — what is your idea of success?

RR: Yeah, I think it’s all those things obviously because I think that’s what sells the station. I think what we do is important because it’s entertainment and I think people look for entertainment. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. We’re very appreciative of the ratings and that people listen.

I think what I’m most proud of though honestly, Brian, is a lot of our guys have really been here since the launch. We haven’t had much turnover with the on-air talent. A couple of people moved around like Bertrand started with Felger & Mazz. The nights changed, middays changed a little bit. But other than that, guys still really, really want to put on a good product every day.

We’re going to be coming up on year 13 of our launch in August, and guys I don’t think really get satisfied. They might look at the ratings and I’m sure the easy thing to do is be like well, we really don’t have to do much, but it’s not that way. I think that’s a testament to them. Doing a show four hours a day, five days a week, you’re in there with the same guys and the same crew, it can get a little tedious. [Laughs] You can get sick of each other. But they overcome all of those things by wanting to put out good content.

I think that one of the things that I try to stress is being humble. Look, it can change at any time. You never know, the audience could always go somewhere else, or something else comes along like we did and they just go to another avenue. A lot of these things weren’t around when we started; there wasn’t podcasting and different platforms that people can put their content out on. It was the radio and you’d read the paper. There are many more people doing it today. Within that, you find those pockets of creativity and people that break out. We deal with that too. We just try to keep up with everything that’s going on around us.

BN: Mike Thomas, Mark Hannon and yourself played key roles in building the Hub into what it is today. Mike left for Chicago, but has since returned to lead Audacy Boston, which owns and operates WEEI. What’s your reaction to him being back in Boston except working across the street this time?

RR: I think the position was attractive to Mike. He didn’t come back as the program director. I think the title of being the market manager was appealing. I think he really enjoyed his time in Boston when he was here. I know Mike has moved around a lot coming up through the industry. He did have a long stay here in Boston. I wasn’t shocked.

I think I would’ve been a little more surprised if he came back as the PD. But I think the title and overseeing the cluster for Boston, he’s so connected to here and the competition with WEEI. He’s a competitive guy so he’s going to want to do what he can to make things a little more difficult for us. I’m sure he’ll enjoy that. Let’s say the competition is good.

I had a great relationship with him. He was very supportive when Liesl was sick and all those things. I don’t really focus on it too much about him being there. I know some things probably will end up impacting us. I’m not surprised he’s back. I think that being a market manager is something he’s always wanted to do and to get a higher elevation with the management position. So, good luck to him.

BN: You mentioned your wife at the BSM Summit and you mentioned her just now. What was the impact that she had on your life and also your professional career?

RR: In this industry with the ups and the downs and the hours; when I was working with the Celtics at WEEI or WBZ, I was also doing some side work. I was a remote engineer for a lot of the visiting teams that would come in. It was just a part-time, extra money gig. I worked with all the great play-by-play people of the NBA, MLB and hockey for 25+ years. In this industry, there are no set hours. There are Saturdays, Sundays, nights. She was always, always supportive of just do what you gotta do and we’ll make it work here.

Then we got married and had the girls. The girls were younger so you try to manage all those things. She was never one to say don’t go for this, it was always just that’s important. And she heard all the complaints too, I can tell you that. [Laughs] That sounding board of just telling you when you want to bitch about something whether you work there or whatever. That was a great thing.

She was always very encouraging and in some cases, probably had more confidence in my ability to do something maybe at times than I did. It might have given that extra boost to say no, you should go for this, or you should maybe consider that APD job at The Sports Hub even though you’re in a really good spot at WBZ-AM. I don’t think I would’ve taken the job if she didn’t encourage it.

A friend of mine refurbished an old hotel down in Falmouth, Massachusetts, which is part of Cape Cod. He’s transformed it into a massive vacation home for kids with cancer. It’s got about 12 bedrooms and 20 rooms total. It’s got all these awesome things where once a week a kid with cancer and their family stay for a one-week, free vacation. It’s called Tommy’s Place. One of the bedrooms is dedicated to Liesl.

Part of her giving spirit that she had when she was here was recognized. Me and the girls and friends of mine and people here at The Sports Hub have a cornhole tournament for Liesl every year to raise money for Tommy’s Place. I’m running the Falmouth Road Race this year for Tommy’s Place. I’m going to be regretting that for about six months out.

You try to channel some of those things into things that help others, which is what Liesl was really all about. She spent her career as a social worker and doing meaningful things, unlike us in radio, who just do things to try to entertain people. It’s complicated, it’s different, it’s challenging, it’s all those things. But at the end of the day, if you can do some things in life to help others, she’s now connected with this place, so we’re connected to it. We try to keep the legacy going for the girls mainly to let them know their mother was a good person, which they know. That’s pretty important stuff to me.

BN: What did it mean to you to win the Mark Chernoff Award?

RR: It meant a lot and it probably meant more when I talked with Mark at the event. I hadn’t seen Mark in a long time. I think I realized when I went into this position, I really got an appreciation. I think I mentioned this; Mark working with Imus, Francesa, Mad Dog, the managing of the personalities is a lot of the position. He had a lot of high-level talent there with big egos and he was able to navigate through that. I probably didn’t appreciate that 10 years ago. It’s not until you actually do get into a position like that and you deal with them daily with talent and on-air and all that stuff, so I really appreciated that. 

FAN really started it all. If it wasn’t for Mark and WFAN and the way they did it, who else is launching? If it didn’t work there it wasn’t going to work anywhere. He was the person behind the scenes who was kind of keeping the ship afloat when they got started and then managing all of that talent and putting all of that together into what they became. Yet you hear more about the guys that do it than someone like Mark, which I appreciate.

I think Mark is very, very respected within the industry obviously and he’s got a great legacy. I think that’s probably good enough for him. That’s more important to me. I never wanted to be on the air. I never had a desire to do it or anything like that. I think that’s what I appreciate about that award, just the appreciation I have for him and his legacy, and what he did at FAN was something I was really able to think about when I received it and thought about it more.

BN: What led to Tony Massarotti being on the Red Sox broadcast this year and how much do you think it will benefit The Sports Hub?

RR: Well, Toucher & Rich will find a lot of content in it. I know that.

BN: [Laughing] That’s right.

RR: There will be a lot of Mazz sound on there. If you go back and listen to T&R’s show from last Monday or Tuesday, it was kind of funny. I’m not totally sure who got the ball rolling on NESN for this, whether it came from the Red Sox ownership. Trust me, we were very surprised and Mazz was surprised because we haven’t really been the Red Sox’s best friend over the last 10, 11 years. We’re pretty tough on them, tough on ownership. I don’t know. I think that maybe when Jerry Remy passed, maybe they were looking for different ways to do it.

I think the ManningCast thing has maybe changed the way people might look at play-by-play going forward in the future. I know the women’s national championship, they had Taurasi and Bird doing that. Again, I think it’s just a different way to do it and thinking out of the box. It’s always easier to just go to the ex-player. Mazz is on one of the most popular shows. He’s very recognizable. He covered the Red Sox. Baseball is his thing. He has his baseball show here. He’s a very credible baseball voice and always has been.

I’ll tell you this, Bri, there was more interest in if Mazz was going to go to NESN or not, than there was with any of the other names that were thrown out there. Whether it was this player or that player might do it; everybody had an opinion on whether Mazz would be any good at this or not. That’s content. It was just interesting to me.

No one’s even commented on the other guys, it’s only about him. It’s great because half think he’ll be good and the other half think he’s going to be horrible. We’ll see how it goes for him. He’s done a couple already. He’s doing pretty good.

BN: For your future professionally, what would you want it to look like?

RR: I think when I started this job, two months later in March of 2020 the world shut down. Immediately this job didn’t become programming the station, it really became how do we even do this? And how do we create content? We can’t have people in the building and we have to set up remotes. Everything got reinvented.

For me, I think I’m finally feeling like this is a normal position of the job. I was here, but our hosts were broadcasting from home. Our play-by-play people were doing the road game in Seattle from the Gillette Stadium booth and our Celtics broadcasters are in Studio B and our Bruins broadcasters are watching monitors. It was crazy. It was just really figuring out how to get things on the air, never mind program the station.

I think for me it’s just really settling into the position and trying to maintain what we have. Keep the people that we have and continuing to evolve on various platforms. I think that’s where I’m at right now. I don’t think I ever thought I would be a PD. I’ve got to be honest. I worked with some real good ones at WEEI and at WBZ-AM and obviously here with Mike. I remember I used to kind of be like ugh, that looks like a lot of headaches. And it is. I think it’s more kind of seeing where it takes me. I have to tell you, did you interview Kevin Graham?

BN: I did. Yeah.

RR: I will say this — I don’t want to say the word is envious — I’m always impressed by these guys who’ve been in five or six or seven different cities. And they’ve really grinded, and they’re here and then they go there. I’ve pretty much just been where I’ve lived. It’s kind of fallen that way for me.

When I was APD at The Sports Hub I wasn’t really looking to say oh, I want to get to Cincinnati to be a PD. That’s why I never thought being a PD was probably in my future because I looked at all of these guys like man, these guys go all over the place.

It’s a funny thing; I’ve just been here. My family was rooted here. But I have so much appreciation for those guys that have done it in various cities and adding what they think would make for good programming in San Francisco and then being in Dallas two, three years later. In an odd way I guess what I’m saying is — not that I would leave Boston for anything — I always wondered like could I do that? Could I go to San Francisco where I know absolutely nobody and say no, this is how you have to do it? You have to do it like Felger. You’ve got to completely kick the shit out of these teams. [Laughs] You know? It’s just kind of interesting. I do wonder if that would ever work.

Kevin was here. I never met him, so I don’t know Kevin. But I read that article and I’m like oh wow, that’s amazing. Mike’s the same way. Mike was in San Diego. He was in Wisconsin, he was in Illinois, he’s in Boston, he’s in Chicago. Wow. And I’ve pretty much been in a 20-mile radius to where I grew up ever since I got in the business 34 years ago. [Laughs]

BN: [Laughs] The business is crazy like that. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten during your career?

RR: I got to say, Jim Pansullo, who was a guy that was a longtime newscaster here in the Boston area. He was very well-known back in the day. He was a neighbor of mine. He used to do the Celtics games with Johnny Most back in the ‘60s. He got me my first internship.

I’ll never forget what he said to me and I still use his line to this day. He said to me in this business it’s who you know to get in, and what you know to stay. I still remember that.

That piece of advice probably made the most sense to me as far as yes, I can help you get this ground-level job, but if you stink at it, I’m not going to be able to do anything for you. That still resonates with me today. That’s why when I try to talk to college kids or interns, I always want to try to be honest with them because somebody who said that to me in 1987 that I still remember, that means it really stuck with me. And I think it really does sum up this industry in a lot of ways.

Sports Radio News

The Michael Kay Show Celebrates 20 Years of New York Sports Radio Excellence

“When we started, I thought it was going to be a short-term gig. 20 years – it’s really hard to fathom; it really is.”

Derek Futterman

Published

on

blank

The appetite for sports in the New York metropolitan area has long been strong but the craving of sports radio conversation might even be stronger. The Michael Kay Show has treated fans to a surplus of memorable moments dating back to 2002 when the show began delivering informative and entertaining talk on 1050 ESPN, eventually moving to the FM dial on 98.7 ESPN, and adding a television simulcast on the YES Network in 2014.

On Friday, the program broadcast its 20th anniversary show live in front of a large, fervent crowd of New York listeners at The Palladium in Times Square. The three co-hosts were introduced by New York Knicks public address announcer and Fordham University alumnus Mike Walczewski to the roar of the crowd. Throughout the course of the live broadcast, the program welcomed several special guests and looked back at memorable moments from the past while also creating new memories.

“It’s kind of amazing,” Kay told Barrett Sports Media. “It’s hard to wrap your mind around it. 20 years is a long time. I’ve got to be honest – when we started, I thought it was going to be a short-term gig. 20 years – it’s really hard to fathom; it really is.”

Kay has co-hosted the eponymously-named program from its first day on the air, but the first voice on the station itself was actually none other than his co-host Don La Greca. Former ESPN New York executive and current President of the Broadcasters Foundation of America Tim McCarthy was responsible for pairing Kay and La Greca, but over the first three days of the show, Kay thought La Greca was there “in case the line dropped.” Once Kay received a phone call telling him he could start incorporating La Greca into the program, the dynamic of the show instantly changed. The program started utilizing its co-host rather than fully adopting a solo approach. Today, Kay calls him “the most important component” of the show and the personality who does a majority of the talking.

“It feels like it’s an appendage; it’s a part of my body [and] it’s a part of my life,” La Greca told Barrett Sports Media. “I’m 54 years old – I’ve been in the business [for] 30 years and 21 of them have been with ESPN and 20 of them have been with Michael Kay. It’s not anything that I take for granted and a day like this is really amazing; I’m so proud.”

blank

Mike Greenberg, current host of Get Up and NBA Countdown on ESPN, along with longtime host of #Greeny on ESPN Radio, joined the program in its first hour. While his appearance centered around discussing the New York Jets upcoming matchup against the New England Patriots this weekend in Foxborough, Mass., he recognized the magnitude of the moment and what differentiates The Michael Kay Show from other sports programs.

“There’s a reason why this show works,” said Greenberg. “Chemistry is something that is very difficult to predict, but to me it is very easy to define although people, particularly executives, have a hard time understanding this. If you didn’t have chemistry, the sum total of your show would be Michael-plus-Don-plus-Peter. Because you have chemistry, it’s Michael-times-Don-times-Peter.”

Peter Rosenberg, the third co-host of the show, concurred with the point made by Greenberg and recognizes his skillset and how he best complements those of Kay and La Greca. He joined the afternoon drive program in 2016 while simultaneously working morning drive in music radio, making him unique in that he works in both drivetime slots in two different formats in the nation’s largest market.

“We really are a different show when we’re together,” Rosenberg told Barrett Sports Media. “Each one of us brings a piece to the table that is different. It’s never the same show if we’re not all there.”

Four-time World Champion as manager of the New York Yankees Joe Torre appeared on stage to a thunderous applause. He was celebrating a 20-year anniversary with his charity, the Safe at Home Foundation, which provides services to end the cycle of violence that risks being fostered in children who have experienced traumatic events. The charity recently had an anniversary gala, an event which many former Yankees attended, and was excited to celebrate the overlap of both milestones.

“I’m happy to be here. You’ll always be special [to] me,” Torre said to Kay. “You were there during a very special time in my career and in my life, and I’ll never forget that.”

blank

Torre regaled the audience with a story delineating his mindset when he was trying to plan how to address the Yankees in his first spring training with the team in 1996. It was a task that was keeping him up at night, especially entering the job with a win-loss record significantly below .500. As he was working out one morning on a stairmaster machine, reading the top of a page in a motivational book by Bill Parcells gave him the answer he was looking for. “If you believe in what you do, stay with it,” Torre recalled the page saying.

“I said to the players, ‘First off, everybody on my coaching staff has been to a World Series – I haven’t. But I don’t want to win one; I want to win three in a row,’” Torre recalled. “I said that not to show off in any way, but just to let them know that if you win, it’s necessary to show people and show yourself that it wasn’t a fluke. Again, you have to have the right audience and I had some grownups in that clubhouse.”

Following Torre, New York Yankees rookie infielder Oswaldo Cabrera joined the show and discussed what it was like launching his major league career playing in the media capital of the world. Cabrera is familiar with Kay since he also serves as the television voice of the Yankees on the YES Network. As a congratulatory gift, he gifted him one of his lucky necklaces he wears during each game, along with a signed baseball card from Kay’s favorite childhood Yankee, Bobby Murcer.

After the show announced New York Jets cornerback and rookie phenom Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was running late, the show adjusted by bringing fans a live “Daily Don” of the most-talked about sports figures on the air over the duration of the show. Kay and Rosenberg both took their turns trying to guess the order of the list, taking suggestions from the audience. The panel quickly guessed Álex Rodríguez as the most-talked about sports personality over the time of the show. Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning ranked second, and rounding out the top three was Carmelo Anthony due to his stint with the New York Knicks from 2010 to 2016. Completing the top five were former New York Jets head coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan at four and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving at five.

Shortly thereafter, Kay, La Greca and Rosenberg spent time discussing New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge winning the American League Most Valuable Player award, before welcoming Kay’s YES Network booth partner David Cone. The former Yankees and Mets all-star pitcher also occupies the same role nationally on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Cone talked with the show about a number of New York baseball topics before congratulating the crew on twenty years and saying goodbye.

Following Cone’s appearance, WWE superstar Seth Rollins hit the stage in entertaining fashion, taking part in ENN with Peter Rosenberg. Rollins shared how becoming a wrestler was always his plan and there never was a Plan B before tackling a few current news and events items with the hosts. One of those stories was the arrest of Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing for drunk driving in Nashville, Tenn. following the team’s win against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc.

blank

“He was in Lambeau, they win the game, he gets back on the jet, and at some point he decides: ‘It’s midnight. It’s still early. Let’s go party,’” Rollins said.

“When the Yankees travel, if they’re flying anywhere into New York, there is no liquor served anywhere on the plane,” Kay added. “When you’re going into another town and going on a bus, then you may have some liquor.”

Since it was Friday, Rosenberg closed out the segment by making viewers aware of the announcing duos on the local and national NFL games of the week. He noted how both the Jets and the Giants play at 1pm, a scheduling decision that makes it difficult for New York sports fans to watch their football teams that both have a chance to qualify for the NFL playoffs.

Up next was New York Jets rookie sensation Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner. The star defensive back joined the show to discuss his first year in the NFL, becoming a New York fan favorite, and securing a partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings which included the creation of his own custom hot sauce, playing off of his signature nickname. Gardner talked about managing pressure through practice and preparation, and the upcoming AFC East showdown with the New England Patriots.

As the live broadcast ended, The Michael Kay Show thanked all of its listeners both in-person and listening from afar, concluding the program receiving a standing ovation. Kay brought Joey Salvia on stage, an original member of the program who performed the program’s theme song in its first year, along with 98.7 ESPN New York Program Director Ryan Hurley.

“The only way that you could last on the air in any city is if people listen to you, and that’s what you people have done,” Kay told the audience. “You’ve allowed us to come into your home and your car for these last 20 years, [and] we can’t thank you enough. We love you like family. We can’t believe that you came out on this Friday night. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Who knows if there’s going to be a 30th or a 40th, but let’s aim for it.”

blank

Once the radio show concluded, the lights were dimmed for Michael Kay Unplugged, a two-hour program referred to as the “bacchanal” containing roasts and a “Reverse Centerstage” panel reflecting on the show’s run and its future. Good Karma Brands CEO Craig Karmazin addressed the room before the event started, thanking the show for being great teammates. Along with Good Karma’s executive vice president Debbie Brown, and president Steve Politziner, the management team presented Don, Michael and Peter with custom hand-painted commemorative plates to commemorate twenty years of on-air success.

Karmazin then pitched to a prerecorded video message from Turner Sports and MLB Network commentator Bob Costas to kick things off before ESPN New York hosts Dave Rothenberg, Chris Carlin and Rick DiPietro took the stage. Once the trio of New York sports talkers grabbed hold of live microphones, the jokes and ribbing began. Rothenberg and Carlin hypothesized about what La Greca would be like if he held other types of jobs. They then took aim at Rosenberg’s music album and compared his gift-giving ability to Tim Tebow’s quarterback talent before turning their attention to Kay and busting his chops for being too sensitive while labeling him the “Gary Cohen” of talk show hosts.

Carlin then got serious and told the audience how special The Michael Kay Show is. In addition to being good friends, Carlin shared how they have the ability to make you feel like you’re home no matter where you’re listening from. He spoke about radio as a medium for cultivating and maintaining a community and thanked the station’s listeners for continuing to support the brand through changes in media dissemination and consumption.

“The word that just comes to mind listening to you guys is joy,” Carlin said. “I think we can all agree we have not experienced a ton of joy over the last few years. I listen to these guys, and immediately I’m smiling, I’m laughing; I’m having a good time.”

Rothenberg echoed that sentiment by reminiscing on how through his radio career, there have been many professionals in the industry who are “awful people.” He feels fortunate to be at a station with a congenial atmosphere and longevity, bringing New York sports fans informative and entertaining talk about their favorite teams.

“I think of everyone at the station,” Rothenberg said. “We have an amazing camaraderie here.”

Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo then made a guest appearance hosting a reverse CenterStage, referencing the YES Network interview show Kay hosts, and asking the co-hosts of The Michael Kay Show questions about their careers and what such longevity has meant to them. Russo famously co-hosted Mike and the Mad Dog with Mike Francesa on WFAN from 1989 to 2008, a 19-year run. Both afternoon drive shows battled it out in the ratings and understood the perspectives they brought to New York sports fans, satisfying their hunger for live and local content.

blank

“I grew up listening to you,” La Greca told Russo. “I grew up wanting to be in sports radio. I grew up listening to Steve Somers after the Mets games; calling the show to talk about my teams, dreaming I’d get a chance to do this. All I wanted to do was to do a talk show; that’s all I ever dreamt about doing.”

La Greca worked at WFAN while Francesa and Russo broadcast their hit program, but changed broadcast outlets after earning an opportunity to join the local ESPN radio station in New York. Before starting as a talk show host, Kay himself recalled asking Francesa and Russo for advice on being a radio host while he was doing pregame and postgame coverage for the New York Knicks on MSG Networks.

“Chris couldn’t have been nicer and he’s giving me all of this advice,” Kay recalled. “Mike goes, ‘Why would I give you advice? Who are you? You might be competition one day,’ and he walked away.”

Rosenberg joined the show in late 2015 and has brought his eclectic background and jocose personality to the airwaves. When he began matriculating at the University of Maryland, he met other students who were aggressive in their pursuit of a career in sports media, dissuading Rosenberg and forcing him to consider another way to get on the radio. He began hosting music programs, found his way to New York where he’s now a big part of the morning show on Hot 97, and is thankful that his path led him to being able to discuss his two biggest passions, sports and music.

“As much as I loved sports, I wanted to get on the radio,” Rosenberg said. “I simultaneously adored Funkmaster Flex and Bob Costas. The fact that I ended up here is just such a dream come true.”

After Don, Michael and Peter talked about their love for radio, and the different roads they took to get to ESPN New York, Russo mentioned the competitive battle in afternoon drive. Mike Francesa beat the show in the ratings for a long period of time on WFAN but eventually the tables turned. Kay told Mad Dog he could pinpoint exactly when the momentum shifted. He singled out Francesa traveling to Atlanta for Super Bowl week in 2019, a tradition that Mike and Chris started. Kay felt the show that year would be better served not making the trip and instead doing their normal program from their New York radio studio.

blank

As luck would have it, on January 31st of 2019, the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks after it was widely reported that he asked to be moved. When Porzingis was dealt, the show went full steam ahead attacking the biggest New York sports story. Because Francesa was in Atlanta and swamped with Super Bowl guests, he wasn’t able to do the same. Kay called it a “watershed moment,” which allowed the show to gain additional listeners and eventually pass Francesa in the ratings.

Michael Kay, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg have developed a distinct sound and attracted large listenership for 98.7 ESPN New York in afternoon drive. Friday’s event was a reminder that there are people who are devoted listeners to the show who value the unique connection fostered by radio as a broadcast medium. While listeners are not usually present as the show is taking place, they are indeed a part of the experience no matter where they are and figure to keep listening as New York’s longest-tenured sports afternoon radio program continues its run.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Former 590 The Fan Host Jay Randolph Jr. Dies

“He looked at me blank in the face and I said ‘Is it bad?’ He said ‘Real bad’.”

blank

Published

on

blank

Longtime 590 The Fan host Jay Randolph Jr. has died.

A fixture in St. Louis sports radio, Randolph Jr. shared he had been diagnosed with liver cancer late last month. He said on The Morning After last week he was given three-to-four months to live.

“It’s a shocker,” he said. “When you sit down in the chair with the (doctor), you’re thinking he’s going to say, ‘We can do this, we can do that, we can do chemo.’ He looked at me blank in the face and I said ‘Is it bad?’ He said ‘Real bad’.”

He jokingly then quipped “other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?”

In addition to his work at 590 The Fan, Randolph Jr. also spent time at SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. His father, Jay Randolph, is a Hall of Fame sportscaster, working as the play-by-play announcer for the West Virginia Mountaineers, Dallas Cowboys, SMU Mustangs, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Cincinnati Reds, and Florida Marlins, in addition to his work with NBC Sports.

A GoFundMe account was created after he announced his cancer diagnosis. It has currently raised more than $50,000.

He was 53 years old.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Asheville Sports Radio Host Pat Ryan Dies

“Pat’s passion was infectious, his presence, professionalism, enthusiasm, and positive attitude were an inspiration to the lives he touched.”

blank

Published

on

blank

Longtime Asheville, North Carolina sports radio host Pat Ryan has died.

Ryan co-hosted The WISE Guys on 1310 WISE since it began in 2005. He also helped facilitate the station carrying UNC-Asheville women’s basketball.

“WISE Sports Radio and The Asheville Radio Group are deeply saddened by the passing of WISE Host Pat Ryan,” Asheville Radio Group Market President Tom Davis told The (Asheville) Citizen-Times. “Pat’s passion was infectious, his presence, professionalism, enthusiasm, and positive attitude were an inspiration to the lives he touched. The joyful and courageous way that he lived his life is an example for all of us. His smile and bright soul will shine forever in our hearts. Please put Pat’s wife Kathleen and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Ryan was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He was 57.

Continue Reading
Advertisement blank
Advertisement blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2022 Barrett Media.