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Pat Donovan: Dave Wills Dying Leaves Tampa Fans ‘in a Fog’

“Very few people mentioned the kind of broadcaster he was because everyone was talking about the man that he was.”

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For the last 18 seasons, the voice of Dave Wills was synonymous with Tampa Bay Rays baseball. Over the weekend, the long time radio broadcaster died suddenly. He passed away in his sleep early Sunday morning at the age of 58.

“I know for the last 24 hours or so since I found out, since we all found out, I think all of us are just in a fog and Rays fans are in a fog,” Pat Donovan said Monday morning to open WDAE’s Pat & Aaron.

Wills was a beloved figure in the Tampa Bay area. Donovan said that if you ever doubted that, all you needed to do was look at social media to see the way he was being discussed.

“I noticed on Facebook, I noticed on Twitter, I noticed everything I saw about Dave Wills had very little to do with the broadcaster he was, and he was a Hall of Fame level broadcaster. Very few people mentioned the kind of broadcaster he was because everyone was talking about the man that he was.”

Dave Wills is survived by his wife Liz, his son Alex and his daughter Michelle. Donovan said that he couldn’t help but also think about Andy Freed, who had been Wills’ partner on the Rays’ radio broadcast since 2005.

Donovan compared the relationship to his own with co-host Aaron Jacobson. He noted that if something were to suddenly happen to Jacobson, it would be hard to come back to the WDAE studio and do a show. Freed will have to do that relatively quickly with Rays’ radio broadcasts and returning to a booth that Dave Wills isn’t in is likely going to be painful.

“Very few people outside of this profession, and there aren’t many professions, where you have your entire life, almost your identity tied to another human being the way that we do, the way that Dave and Andy do,” Pat Donovan said.

The segment concluded with Donovan noting how ubiquitous Dave Wills was on the Florida Gulf Coast. He wasn’t just a broadcaster that came to town to do a job. One look at Wills’ social media pages, Donovan says, proves he was a part of the community.

“When you’re the play-by-play guy for anybody as long as he was, that’s a big part of your identity, but if you knew the guy at all, if you were Facebook friends with him, you see so many of his posts were about hanging out at this place and having a beer, hanging out at this place and eating food.”

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Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run

“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

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Eli Gold
Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.

“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”

Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.

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670 The Score Hosting ‘QB1 Town Hall’ to Debate Future of Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

“We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation to our listeners and Bears faithful.”

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670 The Score – QB1 Town Hall
Courtesy: Audacy

Audacy-owned 670 The Score in Chicago will host a unique discussion to deliberate what the future could hold for the Chicago Bears quarterback position on Wednesday’s edition of the Parkins & Spiegel Show.

Following a 7-10 campaign by the Bears that marked the third consecutive season without a playoff berth for the team, there have been several questions surrounding the future of starting quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in a class with several accomplished college quarterbacks. Having selected Fields with the 11th-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the organization could look to move on from him, although he is coming off a season where he threw for more than 2,500 yards for the first time in his career.

Emanating from the Audacy Chicago Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage, afternoon co-hosts Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel will deliver insightful perspectives and opinions on this quandary that has the football world waiting for a potential resolution. Various football experts will join the program, which will also include a live audience, contributing to the conversation surrounding this pressing topic.

The station ran a contest last week that determined the crowd at Wednesday’s event, known as the “QB1 Town Hall.” Members of the crowd will also be able to express their opinions and ask questions to a panel composed of Audacy personalities and sports industry professionals.

“This decision will determine the entire season’s trajectory and the fans are passionate about their views on it,” Mitch Rosen, vice president of programming at 670 The Score and BetQL Network, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation to our listeners and Bears faithful.”

Consumers can listen to the “QB1 Town Hall” broadcast of the Parkins & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score, the Audacy mobile app and company website. Additionally, video functionality will be available through the official 670 The Score Twitch and YouTube channels. The program will run from 2 to 6 p.m. CST.

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Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio Celebrate Anniversary on 94 WIP

“Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

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Logo for WIP Middays with Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio
Courtesy: 94 WIP

94 WIP hosts Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio celebrated their one-year anniversary as the midday show in Philadelphia today. Following Angelo Cataldi’s retirement in 2023 and the subsequent move of DeCamara and Ritchie taking his place in mornings, Douglas and Giglio formed the station’s new midday show.

Giglio started the show, “Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

Douglas, who had been part of the morning show at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta prior to starting with Giglio on 94 WIP, had mixed emotions. He was excited for the show, but was also reminded that he had been in Philadelphia now for a full year and had yet to find his permanent place to live. Giglio said he believes the reasoning is simply Douglas’ attention to the show and nothing else.

Giglio took a moment to thank those who help with and listen to the show. “We appreciate everyone who has been a part of the show for the last year,” he said. “We are excited for the next year to get started.”

Douglas played in the NFL for ten years, spending time with the Jets, Eagles and Jaguars.

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