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Rich Shertenlieb: Stephen A. Smith Too Big for Disney

“He’s talking [for] 12 hours a day. He’s making statements like, ‘I like breasts,’ on a regular basis.”

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Stephen A. Smith
Courtesy: Evan Angelastro, GQ

Over the last several weeks, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s morning duo of Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb have made the assertion that Stephen A. Smith is trapped in a television prison with a microphone in front of him for hours on end. The show has also stated how they feel ESPN only contains Smith, Mike Greenberg and Scott Van Pelt on most of its coverage, and that it will soon add Pat McAfee to that group when he brings his eponymous digital show to its platforms. When this topic is brought up, it is part of what has become a recurring segment known as, “Stephen A. Smith is horny,” and the show is now fully convinced Smith himself is listening to it.

“Is that a little big-headed? Maybe,” Shertenlieb said of the idea Smith knows about the bit. “But do I believe it to be true? Absolutely.”

“People at ESPN do listen,” Toucher added. “We are on the radio and have a certain amount of popularity.”

The Walt Disney Company, according to Smith, is traditionally conservative in the subject matter it allows on its air. It is precisely why the freedom Smith is afforded on the podcast to pruriently talk about sensitive subject matter is questionable to some consumers.

“It’s truly phenomenal that a segment I thought we were only going to do once a month has become a once-a-week thing,” Shertenlieb said, “and now I’m starting to think that he’s doing it on purpose because he knows we’re doing this bit.”

On the latest edition of the segment, Smith expressed his opinion on the news of a transgender activist being banned from all future events at The White House after she recorded topless videos on the residency’s South Lawn. When Smith began to use language that had to be censored from airing on terrestrial radio, the duo began to wonder whether Smith is taking things too far.

“He’s gotten too big for Disney,” Shertenlieb said. “He doesn’t even care.”

“What is he going to talk about?,” Toucher replied. “He’s talking [for] 12 hours a day. He’s making statements like, ‘I like breasts,’ on a regular basis.”

Toucher believes Smith wants to be suspended by ESPN for the language he uses so he is able to relax and enjoy his life. Smith recently took two days off from the network following the Denver Nuggets NBA Finals victory over the Miami Heat but still hosted his podcast on Thursday afternoon.

“It is true Stephen A. Smith is trapped in a TV prison,” Toucher said. “He is required to be on prison [for] an unconscionable amount of hours. Then he does a radio show and podcast. A man throughout the day is going to think about many things that are not sports.”

Shertenlieb concurred, thinking how his consistent statements pertaining to these topics could be a rebellion of sorts against The Walt Disney Company. Toucher firmly believes the issue is that he is always in front of a microphone and is now knowingly supplying 98.5 The Sports Hub with weekly content to enthuse its audience.

“Stephen A. Smith has gone off the rails,” Shertenlieb said. “This break – he did stuff in the other room I was cackling [about] because I had no idea he would go to this place.”

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iHeartMedia Extends with Pittsburgh Steelers Through 2028 Season

“We teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

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Logos for iHeartMedia and the Pittsburgh Steelers

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announced an extension of their audio partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will now include the newly established “Steelers Audio Network” through 2028.

The “Steelers Audio Network” will offer a wide range of content, including game day broadcasts, additional shows, digital audio, podcasts, and social media posts. Fans can access the “Steelers Audio Network” and its programming throughout the year on various platforms such as 102.5 WDVE, Fox Sports Pittsburgh (970AM), the Steelers mobile app, the iHeartRadio mobile app, as well as on the team and station’s websites.

Additionally, 102.5 WDVE will continue to be the home of the Steelers game broadcasts, as they have done since 1999.

“We are excited to announce the continuation of our long-standing partnership with iHeart Media and our flagship station, 102.5 WDVE,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales and Marketing in a release. “We’ve teamed up with iHeart to build a new platform that allows Steelers Nation to connect with the team – where they want and on their terms.”

“We are thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartSports. “Our renewed agreement, now known as ‘Steelers Audio Network’ encompasses a comprehensive range of audio offerings, delivering an exceptional listening experience for Steelers fans. Additionally, we’re excited to provide promotional support and further brand awareness across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and digital sites. Our longstanding partnership continues to thrive, and we look forward to celebrating many more victories together!”

“iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and the Steelers have had a longstanding partnership,” said Tim McAleer, Market President, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. “We are thrilled to continue to give Steelers fans access to Steelers audio broadcasts and unique Steelers programing content for years to come.”

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Nick Cattles To Fill In on 98.5 The Sports Hub

“No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

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Photo of Nick Cattles and a logo for 98.5 The Sports Hub

Nick Cattles, who was last heard on the air at the end of June 2023 at Sactown Sports 1140 in Sacramento and has been hosting podcasts, will get a chance to fill in Monday on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. Cattles posted about the assignment on his LinkedIn account.

“The wait is over,” he wrote. “It’s been almost a year since the last time I walked into a radio studio. I’m back. This Monday morning from 6a-10am, you can listen to myself, Ryan Johnston, and Kendra Middleton on 98-5 The Sports Hub. No future guarantees, but it’s the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait to get back to do what I love to do.”

Cattles was part of the Cattles and Ramie show in Sacramento and upon leaving said, “It’s just, we love our family more. Since moving to Cali, we’ve had to overcome a lot personally. Those challenges have been amplified the last two months. It’s no longer tolerable to be 3,000 miles away. Once we settle the home situation, we’re heading back.” He had started with Sactown Sports in 2021 and also had the program director title for a period of time.

Cattles worked at The Sports Hub from in 2017 and 2018, taking part in The Adam Jones Show in the evenings and hosting on the weekends. Cattles had other stints in Boston, Virginia and with ESPN Radio.

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Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael Celebrate 5 Years Together on 92.9 The Game

“To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.”

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Graphic for Andy and Randy on 92.9 The Game and a picture of hosts Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael
Graphic Courtesy: Audacy Photo Courtesy: Randy McMichael X Account

It was a milestone week for Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael, hosts of 92.9 The Game’s The Midday Show with Andy & Randy in Atlanta. It was this week five years ago they permanently took over the midday slot replacing John Michaels and Rick Kamla who had been released earlier that year.

The show celebrated on remote at a party with several listeners, friends and family members and spent time talking about their time together. “People listening right now, thank you, we appreciate that,” said Bunker. “We wouldn’t be doing this if you weren’t listening and if you hadn’t been listening the last five years…Making it five years on a radio show is not normal. I know it seems normal at 92.9 because we are a radio station that has a lot of stability. Dukes and Bell have been on for 10 years. The morning show that’s on right now is doing great, and the show before them was on for a lot of years.”

Bunker later added, “To make it five years, we are proud of it because in the grand scheme of things in radio it is unusual.” McMichael replied, “It has been a fun five years.”

Bunker had been hosting the evening show for three years prior to partnering with McMichael, and had previously been in sports radio in Seattle, Portland and Boston. McMichael had been with the station for about four years at the time, after an 11-year career in the NFL. Prior to that he was a three-year letterman at the University of Georgia.

The show amassed an 8.3 share for the most recent quarter, retaining their fourth place ranking it had in the fall. The show airs from 11a-2p EST.

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