Tuesday’s edition of First Take contained some fireworks between commentators JJ Redick and Stephen A. Smith. The two fiercley debated how the NBA was covered with Redick saying it was a disservice to the league that ESPN only focuses on a handful of teams and Smith arguing that it is a star-driven league and networks are just giving fans what they respond to.
“You didn’t play, Stephen A.,” Redick, a 15-year NBA veteran, said. “You don’t understand athletic mortality [with] three games at whatever… Winston-Salem State doesn’t count.”
“I got you. I understand,” Smith chimed back. “I got a degree and I’m here on TV with you; I must be doing something right.”
Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan’s afternoon program, The Drive, reacted to the light altercation amid the conversation about James. The show is hosted by former defensive end Derek Wolfe and commentator Darren McKee, presenting a similar type of dynamic with a former athlete and bonafide radio professional.
“I do think it can apply in certain circumstances,” McKee said Wednesday regarding former athletes accentuating their experience over all else. “I do think that you guys – ex-pros – I do think you can put it in your back pocket for some circumstances. If you use it all the time, it’s pretty weak.”
Wolfe replied by stating he does not try to use that epithet on the air because it does not make for a fair argument, but did assert that there are instances of events in locker rooms the media would be shocked to discover occur on a daily basis.
“Every day something wild happens,” Wolfe said. “It’s wild.”
While they took little issue with the back-and-forth between Redick and Smith, the part they were surprised about was First Take host Molly Qerim precipitously attempting to resume the conversation about James rather than letting the banter continue. At its core, sports studio shows provide both information and entertainment; however, they felt as if Qerim was acting in a paternal manner towards her colleagues.
“God forbid you have some fun conversation,” McKee said. “‘Oh come on guys. Stop it guys.’ Thanks Molly.”
The two apologized to one another on the air Wednesday to smooth over the situation, and Smith addressed it in detail on his podcast, The Stephen A. Smith Show. It is safe to say there is no hostility between the two, and that they will continue providing First Take fans with distinctive commentary. That is – unless Redick is named as the new head coach of the Toronto Raptors, as he reportedly interviewed to fill the vacancy earlier this month.
“I love JJ Redick by the way,” added Wolfe. “…People are seeing him say, ‘You didn’t play,’ but they’re not seeing the part where he took a shot at him to try to get it going.”
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.