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Original Trail Blazers Radio Voice Bill Schonely Dies

Jordan Bondurant

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The Portland Trail Blazers are mourning the loss of the team’s first radio broadcaster Bill Schonely, who passed away over the weekend at age 93.

Schonely called Blazers games beginning with the franchise’s inaugural season in 1970.

“Bill was a warm, engaging and sharp person – always up for a joke, a keen observation or a kind remark,” team president of business operations Dewayne Hankins said in a statement. “His mark on the organization, the state of Oregon and all of sports broadcasting will be felt for generations.”

Schonely was the pioneer of the “Rip City” moniker that the team has embraced throughout the years.

“It took a little while for that phrase to catch on,” Schonely said in an interview with The Oregonian last year. “I had no idea that all of this was going to happen, but it did and wherever you go … it’s humbling to me, but it’s ‘Rip City.’”

Schonely is a 2012 Curt Gowdy Media Award winner given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The award annually recognizes members of print and electronic media for outstanding contributions to basketball. Additionally, Bill was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Bill Schonely called 2,252 games, including Portland’s run to an NBA championship in 1977. He only missed 28 games before he retired at the end of last season.

Schonely started out doing news and sports reports on Armed Forces Radio while stationed in Guam as a Marine in 1948. He had additional stops in Baton Rouge and Seattle before being hired by Blazers owner Harry Glickman ahead of the team’s first season.

Schonely’s wife Dottie was at his side when he passed.

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Jonathan Hood: ‘I Don’t Understand the Chip on the Shoulder from John Schriffen’

“If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photos of Jonathan Hood and John Schriffen

The Chicago White Sox have not been much to talk about this season; however, their new television play-by-play voice has been talked about a lot in the first quarter of the baseball season. John Schriffen had big shoes to fill when he took over for fan-favorite Jason Benetti and some have been critical of his upbeat style while others have taken him to task for particular things he has said. This was a topic on the Kap & J. Hood morning show ESPN Chicago with Daniel Kaplan and Jonathan Hood.

Kaplan and Hood played a recent clip of Schriffen where fill-in analyst Gordon Beckham had made a mistake during an ad read. After the read Schriffen remarked, “If any of those radio losers clip it and try to make fun of you, nobody cares about them anyway.”

“That is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard…that’s just a dumb comment, dumb,” said Kaplan.

Hood added, “He has, what I consider to be a dream job. To be the voice of a team is just amazing. People turn to you, especially during these dark times for the White Sox, for some optimism, some entertainment, some hope. And you decide that you want to be able to take time out of the broadcast to address criticism that you’ve received as the voice of the White Sox?

“…You always have big shoes to fill when you are the new guy. And so, for you to step on the rest of the Chicago media, saying people that clip things you say are ‘radio losers’ and ‘they don’t matter’ you’re not currying favor with your listeners or the people that are supposed to be here to support you.”

Kaplan added, “All you did was set yourself up for that to be another drop that continues to get played on multiple stations.”

Hood talked about the difficulty of being in a new market and mentioned Benetti had not had the smoothest of transitions taking over for Hawk Harrelson. Still, Hood said he is just not understanding why Schriffen would go after the media. Hood said, “I don’t understand the chip on the shoulder from John Schriffen…I don’t get that, I don’t understand that…No one is out to get John Schriffen…he is new to this city, he is new as a White Sox broadcaster. What I would say to him is “what is the point of all of it if you’re arguing with The Score or you’re arguing with us about clips?’ How about just focus on being the best broadcaster you can be.”

Kaplan later said he would probably react similarly to how Schiffren has to some of the criticism saying, “I actually sort of respect Schriffen doing it, I just think he did it in the wrong place. You shouldn’t do it on the broadcast.”

Hood added, “It’s just not been a good start for him.”

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Fred Toucher Takes a Jab at Rich Shertenlieb

“At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photos of Fred Toucher Rich Shertenlieb

Boston radio had a major change this morning when former 98.5 The Sports Hub host Rich Shertenlieb started his new morning show, The Rich Shertenlieb Show, on 100.7 WZLX. Shertenlieb was paired with Fred Toucher for 17 years before leaving the station just over six months ago.

On his debut show on the classic rock station, Shertenlieb addressed a feud he had with his former employer over access to social media accounts which he says were personal accounts he had started. He said he spent “five figures” with an attorney but then gave up and gave access to the station. “My rationale was this,” he said. “Instead of me spending all that money paying attorneys to fight this why not spend that money in a much better place…The minute I get back my 150,000 followers…I am writing a check to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.” Shertenlieb’s X account currently has 18,000 followers.

Fred Toucher and Rob ‘Hardy’ Poole came out of a break during Toucher & Hardy talking about how someone told Toucher old promos for Toucher & Rich had accidentally aired that weekend and joked about putting their boss “on blast.” Then Toucher says, “At 8:20, a new bit ‘Putting You on Blast.’ I put you on blast and then I give a nice chunk of change to charity and let you know all about it…If you listen to me, I’ll give you a chunk of change to charity.”

Shertenlieb hosts his new show with Boston television personality and sportswriter Michael Hurley on a full-time basis and has a rotating cast that includes former New England Patriot Ted Johnson, Charlotte Wilder, formerly of FOX Sports, ESPN and Sports Illustrated and Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal.

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Jim Rome Announces Launch Date on X will be May 28

“We have been building this thing since the end of Super Bowl, we are finally ready to roll it out, or we will be a week from tomorrow, I am hyped.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Screengrab of Jim Rome broadcasting on X
Screengrab from Jim Rome X Account

Jim Rome announced back in February he was ending his simulcast with the CBS Sports Network and that his show would go dark on video “for a short period of time.” That short period turned out to be about three months and will end on May 28 when the show launches a video stream on X.

Rome announced on his show today, “Tremendous news, tremendous news and I’ve been waiting but I am finally ready now to announce it…This radio program is going to launch on the X platform a week from tomorrow, May 28th…That’s how you can watch the show going forward on the live stream on X.”

Rome stressed that nothing changes as far as how people can listen to the show on one the many radio affiliates across the country or on SiriusXM. “But, if you want to watch this show, the live stream begins a week from tomorrow on the X platform,” he said.

Rome introduced the hashtag, JimRomeOnX, and told his fans they “have a much better chance of getting your post read and seeing your post on the stream as it is impossible for us to get to all of them anyway.”

“Tuesday, a week from tomorrow is the big day,” Rome said. “It is go time. We are all fired up. It is finally going to happen. We have been building this thing since the end of Super Bowl, we are finally ready to roll it out, or we will be a week from tomorrow, I am hyped. Make sure you’re a part of this. It’s going to look great. If you’re seeing this now you are getting a taste.

“We will be streaming for the first time ever. As many of you know, I have been on cable, some national TV, but we have never even streamed our content, ever.”

Rome then gave his fans a quick look at what the studio will look like for the X live stream, a screengrab of which is the featured image on this story.

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