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Mark Chernoff Bemoans Lack Of Development For Local Talent

“At WFAN, we were always able to stay live and local, 24/7. So many stations, even music stations, are missing that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Former WFAN brand manager Mark Chernoff has been in the radio business for 30 years and has seen many changes in the way shows are done. As things are changing, there is one thing Chernoff wishes there was more of in today’s radio.

Chernoff was a guest on the latest episode of the Takin’ A Walk podcast with Buzz Knight. He bemoaned the lack of opportunities for new talent to develop at the local level across all formats. 

“It is so important to develop local talent,” Chernoff told Knight. “At WFAN, we were always able to stay live and local, 24/7. So many stations, even music stations, are missing that. Many stations have morning shows and nothing else. They are syndicated. Alright, fine, they play 12 songs in a row or 2 hours in a row and it’s commercial-free, but we are not developing talent the way we need to develop talent.” 

He noted that there is more opportunity than ever to find fresh voices. Podcasts, YouTube, and other outlets give people the ability to get reps without waiting for permission. Radio is missing an opportunity by not taking advantage of those talents.

While Chernoff was at WFAN, his former assistant program director Eric Spitz, came up with a theory called POKE, which ended up being a good talent evaluator for radio hosts. 

“Passion, opinion, knowledge, entertainment. That kind of capsulized how we felt about the talent. We always made sure if the talent had those four qualities, they were going to be superstars whether it was Don Imus, Mike [Francesa] and Chris [Russo], Joe Benigno, Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, Evan Roberts. If they could have all four of those qualities, you knew they were going to be successful.Every show was different, but every show knew how to hit the hot topics.” 

Mark Chernoff has always revered great talent. He told Knight that he tried not to overmanage them unless it was needed. He hopes that’s something his staff would remember about his management style.

“I’m sure there are some people who say I over-managed them. Sometimes with newer staff, you sometimes did need to teach people the format and how to be on-the-air and stuff like that.”

Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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Sports Radio News

BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week

“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”

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BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII. 

Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.

The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.

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