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Ken Carman Still Wants to Cover NASCAR

“You’ve cornered the market on NASCAR because there aren’t a lot of big voices talking [about] NASCAR.”

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Ken Carman
Courtesy: Perfect Power Wash

Although NASCAR has long been the most prominent and venerated level of automobile racing in professional sports, it has been met with a challenger over the last decade in the growth of Formula 1 Racing. Owned by Liberty Media Corporation – which is set to bifurcate the Atlanta Braves into its own distinct entity – the two racing properties have competed for shares of viewership and revenue. As time has progressed, the contest has become more of a dead heat than a runaway, in part because of the premiere of the Netflix series, Formula 1: Drive to Survive. Last year, Formula 1 viewership in the United States averaged 1.21 million viewers across viewership platforms, while NASCAR saw a viewership gain to the tune of 3.7 million people. Yet when comparing the numbers globally, Formula 1 attracts over 70 million viewers per race and is continuously augmenting.

Formula 1 drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have become celebrities themselves and established a markedly different culture than NASCAR. Perhaps no radio host discusses automobile racing more than Ken Carman on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, Ohio, especially since he used to cover it. When NASCAR boomed in the ‘90s, Carman attended several races and recalled a story where he forgot to bring a pair of pants to Michigan International Speedway. Because of this, he had to make a trip to a local Walmart and bought the cheapest pair of jeans since he was not allowed in the garage area without them.

“I was walking around very uncomfortably,” Carman recalled. “….There’s only one way in and one way out of that place – one road; that’s it, that is it.”

Carman’s co-host, Anthony Lima, remembered covering an IndyCar race in Cleveland and how the presentation of the race on television made it look as if it was a spectacle. Formula 1 racing fans and the league itself continues to gain traction, attracting prominent figures from sports and entertainment to its races – especially in Miami, Fla. Part of the changes in viewing metrics can, perhaps, be attributed to changing lifestyles of American consumers.

“You take a look at what the roadways are,” Carman said. “The American icon car is not necessarily the icon as what it used to be…. Most cars are compact SUVs, not necessarily cars anymore.”

NASCAR’s popularity has taken a hit in concurrence with the growth of Formula 1, and it is not a topic that is frequently discussed on standard sports talk shows, whether that be on radio or television. Lima believes Carman is unique in that he bothers to mention the property, despite recognizing that by September, it will be far out of the conversation – presumably because of the start of football season.

“You’ve cornered the market on NASCAR because there aren’t a lot of big voices talking [about] NASCAR,” Lima said. “It’s you and Marty Smith – that’s it – and you are talking NASCAR.”

Despite covering both racing properties, Lima believes Carman has a preference for NASCAR and has conveyed a sense of envy towards Formula 1. While on the air on Friday morning, he made his viewpoint apparent and forced Carman to listen to his perspective.

“Ken, just sit this one out for two seconds,” Lima said. “Ken’s a little jealous of the Formula 1 popularity, and so he’s going against the grave there.”

Carman vehemently denied that assertion and stated that he enjoys watching both properties. Nonetheless, Lima and show producer Owen Lademann both presented evidence of Carman portraying himself in that light. Shortly thereafter, Carman conjectured what the image of NASCAR has become over the years and pointed out how it is unique.

“NASCAR needs to be more down home and connecting with the fans. Well, actually – maybe I’m wrong about that,” he equivocated. “Maybe there needs to be more of an F1 type of thing.”

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Tom Crean Added to SiriusXM NBA Draft Coverage

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine.

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NBA Draft logo, SiriusXM logo and a photo of Tom Crean

The 78th edition of the NBA Draft will be the first to be held over two days. The first round will take place on Wednesday June 26 and will be followed by the second round on Thursday June 27. The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will provide full coverage on SiriusXM NBA Radio channel 86, and they have announced Tom Crean will take part in a preview show prior to each round.

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine, on Tuesday, June 25 on Wednesday, June 26 prior to Round 1 at 4 p.m. ET, and on Thursday, June 27, prior to Round 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

Crean returned to ESPN as a college basketball analyst in December 2022 after having worked for them previously during the 2017-2018 season. Crean was fired after four seasons at Georgia, prior to his ESPN return.

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Dan Woike: ‘I Can’t Imagine’ JJ Redick and LeBron James Podcast Will Continue

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JJ Redick
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a contract to serve as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who recently broadcast the best-of-seven series for ESPN on ABC with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters, is reportedly in the process of compiling his coaching staff for his first season leading the Lakers. Although Redick does not have any NBA coaching experience, he played 15 seasons in the league with six teams and has been an analyst for ESPN over parts of the last four years. Outside of his work with ESPN, Redick also built his ThreeFourTwo Productions company and co-hosted The Old Man and the Three podcast.

This past March, Redick launched a new podcast with Lakers forward and four-time NBA champion LeBron James titled Mind the Game. Episodes of the show contained nuanced basketball discussions that some people feel gave Redick an inherent edge in the head coaching search. Dan Patrick recently had Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, on his program, the Dan Patrick Show, and asked about the future of the podcast with James.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to continue,” Woike said. “Sad, right? We might get a season finale episode…. Who knows what’s going to happen here.”

Woike spoke about Redick’s eclectic interests that include basketball, broadcasting, golf, wine and fancy suits. Part of this transition that Woike will be watching is how Redick makes the adjustments and focuses the energy that he has. The organization, he stated, is not hiring a podcaster and believes that Redick has an aptitude and shrewdness towards basketball and is serious about the endeavor. While Redick and James have a good relationship with strong rapport, it is relatively new and something Woike perceives as critical to everything going on. Nonetheless, he does not think they can continue the show because it would be an “unnecessary distraction” to the team.

“They’re paying him to coach, they’re not paying him to podcast,” Woike said. “His divestment from his podcast empire is sort of an interesting media side-note to this to see kind of how much he steps back and kind of what happens to it because it’s been really successful for him.”

Rather than asking him another question, Patrick presented Woike with a sentence and asked him to complete it. The statement was, “If he doesn’t have the podcast with LeBron…,” and Woike proceeded to outline that the Lakers would then have more questions about his ability to coach James. Patrick then immediately followed up by asking if he still would have landed the Lakers’ head coaching job if he did not have the podcast, to which Woike replied that he believed it would still be possible. Former Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was reportedly advising the organization throughout its head coaching search, and Redick previously played for him at the university.

Woike referenced a specific clip from the podcast in which Redick and James were discussing analytics and three-point shooting. At one point, James pushed back against the analytics by asking what would happen if a team missed 27 straight three-point shots, as the Houston Rockets did in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Redick quickly replied by asking if it had happened since, leading James to admit that he was right.

“Now how that plays in the locker room at halftime when you’re down 17 to the Charlotte Hornets and everybody’s tired, who knows,” Woike said. “That is a huge question, but I think, to be quite fair, there was going to be elements of question with that with Dan Hurley too.”

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ESPN LA 710 Announces New Fall Lineup

This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

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Logo for ESPN LA 710 and a graphic for their new fall lineup
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA 710

ESPN LA 710 announced more news today, introducing a new lineup which will start on Monday, September 9. This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

The new lineup will see morning drive start with Mike Greenberg’s Greeny , followed by Travis Rodgers and Allen Sliwa moving back an hour to start at 9a PT. Steve Mason and John Ireland will then air from 12p to 3p PT followed by the afternoon team of Jorge Sedano and Scott Kaplan moving to 3p-6p PT.

In addition to USC and the Kings, the station has play-by-play agreements with the Lakers, the Rams, the Angels and LAFC.

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