Sports Radio News
NC Governor Roy Cooper Fills Out Tournament Bracket For 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh
“Cooper isn’t doing this as some sort of stunt He legit watches the local teams and he listens to the shows and podcasts.”
When Barack Obama was in the White House, a visit from Andy Katz was an annual tradition ahead of the NCAA Tournament. The 44th President of the United States of America filled out an NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN all eight years he was in office. It was a unique spin on the celebrity bracket bit that could only be pulled off by a national network taking advantage of the right politician.
That doesn’t mean that sports stations across the country couldn’t find a local spin to put on it. Since 2018, 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh has made a tradition of its own out of visiting the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion ahead of March Madness each year and 2023 is no exception as the hosts of The OG brought a camera, blank bracket, and marker to Governor Roy Cooper.
“I’m so sad about my Tar Heels that you’ve gotta pour your soul into what’s left,” the governor, an alum of the University of North Carolina and a diehard college basketball fan, said.
The Tar Heels started the season as the number one team in the country but missed out on an invite to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Hubert Davis also declined an invitation for his team to play in the NIT.
Host Joe Ovies asked Governor Cooper if he would have had to bring a blank NIT bracket if Davis had a change of heart.
“Oh, absolutely we would have!” Cooper answered. “Sure, yeah. It would have been maybe the most important tournament going on.”
The governor did give the ACC teams from his state some love even if they are the two most-hated rivals of UNC. He had North Carolina State making it to the Sweet 16 and Duke returning to the Final Four alongside Arizona, Houston and UConn. He picked Houston to win the national championship. Ovies warned him against the pick as co-host Joe Giglio made the same prediction.
“In 2021, we did a zoom version of the bracket where Giglio roasted Cooper’s picks,” Ovies told Barrett Sports Media. “Turns out Cooper was right with Baylor, so Giglio drew up a certificate that said ‘You were right, Cooper’ and we presented it last year. So that’s what sort of started the running gag between him and Giglio.”
While Roy Cooper did make a point to say that he was rooting for Houston because head coach Kalvin Sampson is a North Carolina native, he gave solid basketball reasons for his selection.
“Even though they are not Phi Slamma Jamma, they are a smothering defensive team. They are a balanced offense. That have it all cooking,” he said. “If they can put it together, Houston can be the national champion. We can actually have number one seed do it.”
Joe Ovies was not surprised by how much thought Roy Cooper put into his NCAA Tournament bracket. The governor has a reputation in North Carolina for being passionate about all of his favorite teams, including the Carolina Hurricanes, who play in Raleigh.
“Cooper isn’t doing this as some sort of stunt He legit watches the local teams and he listens to the shows and podcasts,” Ovies said. “Especially Canes Corner. So when the Tar Heels didn’t make it, he felt it deep. He made it to the Final Four last year and sat in UNC’s section.”
Sports Radio News
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…”
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.”
Sports Radio News
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.”
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.
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio. Reach him at email@example.com.
Sports Radio News
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.”
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!”