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Kansas City Sports Radio Reacts to Len Dawson’s Passing

Jordan Bondurant

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Len Dawson

Many were saddened to learn of the passing of legendary broadcaster and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson on Wednesday.

All day, tributes to the Super Bowl champion and Kansas City media icon came pouring in.

“What Len Dawson did in the middle of the 70s is pretty common now. It wasn’t common in the 70s,” Carrington Harrison said of Dawson on his show The Drive on 610 Sports Radio. “We see guys now leave playing and immediately become broadcasters. We can name hundreds of people that have done that. That wasn’t what you did in the 70s.”

Harrison added that while Dawson should be rightfully honored and remembered for his prowess on the field, his contributions in media should be recognized just as much.

“Len Dawson is not just a Hall of Fame caliber player. He is a legendary broadcaster,” he said. “To do it at the local TV level, to do it at the local radio level, and also travel in the middle of the week to go be a host of one of the most popular shows around football that’s ever been created. Like Len Dawson is not only an important football player, he’s also an important football broadcaster for the bridges that he crossed.”

Over on Sports Radio 810 WHB, host Jason Anderson said Dawson no doubt sits on many a Mount Rushmore of Kansas City legends.

“When you talk about the legacies, the icons, those that have meant so much to the city for so long, Len Dawson was absolutely that,” Anderson said on his show, The Zone. “He was one of many that have played their careers in Kansas City and decided to stay and make their home in Kansas City. Not everybody does that.”

Anderson remembered Dawson as someone who meant so much to people of varying ages and generations for the different chapters of his career.

“What’s amazing on so many levels, there’s some amazing aspects of his life, he was something different to different generations,” he said. “Like my dad’s generation he was ‘Lenny the Cool’ because of what he did on the field…To my generation he was Len Dawson the ex football player and a broadcaster, and the sportscaster and the color commentator for the Chiefs. He was on Inside the NFL and it was cool.”

Kansas City Royals legend George Brett told Bob Fescoe one of his favorite memories of Dawson was when Dawson showed up at his house in 1999 while he was with KMBC-TV to interview him about his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“So I’m going sure Karen Kornacki or Dave Stewart are going to come over to the house and set up, and no it was Len Dawson. Lenny frickin Dawson!” Brett said. “They came over to the house and did it.

Brett said Dawson even interviewed him again in Cooperstown that year. But the fact that Dawson was the one that showed up to his house was something he’ll never forget.

“I had met Lenny numerous times prior to that, but to have Lenny Dawson in your house that was quite a thrill,” he said.

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106.7 The Fan Extends Deal to Remain Washington Nationals Flagship

“We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future…”

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106.7 The Fan has announced it has reached a multi-year extension with the Washington Nationals to remain as the MLB club’s radio flagship.

Nationals fans will continue to hear game broadcasts on the station, and those living inside the club’s broadcast territory will be able to stream the radio broadcasts on the Audacy app.

“Opening Day is finally here and we’re thrilled to celebrate the return of baseball season by extending our partnership with the Washington Nationals,” said Audacy Washington D.C. Senior Vice President and Market Manager Ivy Savoy-Smith. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future and give the team’s fans a front row seat to the action on the field and top storylines throughout the year.”

The Nationals have called 106.7 The Fan home since the 2011 season. Beyond game broadcasts, the station will welcome Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo to The Sports Junkies every Wednesday at 9:00 AM throughout the season. The station will also air segments titled “Nats Insider”, hosted by broadcaster Dan Kolko that feature player interviews and features. Those segments will air all along the Nationals Radio Network.

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with Audacy in bringing Nationals fans even more of the interviews and exclusive access they love,” said Lerner Sports Group COO Alan H. Gottlieb. “From in-depth interviews with execs and top players, to off-the-field profiles and more Spanish and English bilingual content than ever before, Audacy offers a comprehensive look at our ball club from all angles.”

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Todd Markiewicz Departing 97.1 The Fan

“He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

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Longtime 97.1 The Fan Vice President and Market Manager Todd Markiewicz has announced he is leaving the sports radio station.

Markiewicz has been named the President of the 1870 Society, a Name, Image, and Likeness collective working with Ohio State athletics and Learfield to devise NIL strategy, fundraising, and logistics.

In an internal memo, Tegna Columbus President and General Manager John Cardenas credited Markiewicz for helping to establish the brand as “the powerhouse sports station in the country. He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

Markiewicz joined the station in 2010. Under his leadership, 97.1 The Fan has routinely ranked as the highest-rated station in the Columbus market.

His final day with the station will be Friday, May 26th.

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Gregg Giannotti: Doug Gottlieb Is ‘Using My Name’ To Deflect Blame From Himself

“I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there.”

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Earlier this week, Doug Gottlieb revisited a gaffe he made on the set of CBS’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show a decade ago. On a set that included Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Greg Gumbel, and Kenny Smith, Gottlieb said that he was there to “provide the white man’s perspective.” Gottlieb owned that it was a poor attempt at humor, but Gregg Giannotti takes issue with the FOX Sports Radio host’s version of events that lead up to the televised misstep.

“If you’ll allow me, I’d like to clear my name for a little bit,” Giannotti said on Wednesday’s edition of Boomer and Gio on WFAN.

Gottlieb contends that he tried out a better rehearsed version of the joke in a number of other places before going on television and it was well-received. No one told him it was a bad idea or that if delivered in the wrong way, it could create problems. One of those places, according to Gottlieb, was CBS Sports Radio’s Gio & Jones.

One problem, the show did not exist in 2013.

“Here are my issues with this,” Gregg Giannotti said. “One, I wasn’t there. This was 2013 before the incident. I wasn’t even there. Two, he is placing blame now on whoever he told this to to stop him and say ‘Don’t do this on the set!’”.

Boomer Esiason, Giannotti’s WFAN partner said he can see how Gottlieb overlooked the reality that this joke would not land well with a general audience. Former athletes are used to joking with one another like this in locker rooms. Plus, being on a set with Barkley and Smith may have made Gottlieb think that he would get a little more leeway.

Esiason added that he can see how Gottlieb would assume Gio was there. The show on CBS Sports Radio that he was likely on was MoJo, which featured Brian Jones and Chris Moore. It became Gio & Jones in 2015 when Giannotti came to CBS Sports Radio from 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, where worked in 2013. More surprising to Esiason was the Gottlieb wanted to talk about this a decade after it happened.

“He’s still hanging on this,” Giannotti answered. “The issue I have is that he is using me, saying that he tried it out on me and that I found it hilarious but I should have stopped him from saying the joke when I wasn’t even part of this. I was talking about the god damn Penguins!”

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