James Madison University’s postseason waiver request was denied by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on Wednesday, as it is in the midst of transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) after previously competing in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Under the existing rules from the NCAA, teams that are taking place in this transition are ineligible for the postseason during the first two seasons of this transition. James Madison is undefeated on the year, sporting a 10-0 record, and is ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
While he understood the rules, 97.3 The Game morning host Steve Czaban wanted to gain more clarity on the situation and tried to find a content source that gave him a wider scope of information. During his search process, he discovered himself struggling to come across a story that effectively explained the situation.
“It is stupid, although I had to dig for the ‘Why’ behind it because the major websites; like this once website – I don’t know if you’ve heard of it – called ESPN.com, they don’t even try to explain the why. I always thought journalism was the who, what, where, how [and] why.”
Many college football fans are perturbed at James Madison being left out of the College Football Playoff (CFP) because of the team’s stellar play on the field this season. The team has captured the interest of fans around the country, and its campus will host ESPN’s venerated program College GameDay on Saturday. As Czaban continued trying to scour the internet for an article he deemed sufficient, he came across The Athletic, a publication he signed up for a long time ago but feels he does not read enough.
“[The Athletic is] still doing the best, I think, true sports journalism out there,” Czaban said. “I don’t know if they’re making any money, [but] I know I subscribe. I think I got in at an absolutely abusive rate to them, something like a dollar a month or whatever.”
The New York Times Company purchased The Athletic in a cash transaction for $550 million and has since made it the primary sports content provider for its business. In a controversial decision over the summer, The New York Times shuttered the sports section of its newspaper and has been working to decrease adjusted operating losses at The Athletic, a figure it reduced by 38.1% year-over-year (YoY) to $7.8 million last quarter. For the company as a whole, average revenue per user (ARPU) on solely its digital platforms augmented by 1.2% YoY to $9.15, while overall revenues at The Athletic increased by 55.3% YoY to $30.4 million.
Although the outlet has varying types of articles, along with other content offerings such as podcasts, Czaban finds it difficult to consume because of his diminished attention span. According to a study by Dr. Gloria Frank, adults pay attention to one screen for an average of 47 seconds, which is down 75 seconds over the last 20 years. Moreover, the average human attention span is equivalent to 8.25 seconds, per a Microsoft study conducted in 2015.
“Maybe if it gets down to zero; maybe if my attention span gets whittled all the way down to one second…. then it’ll reset and I can go back 20 years to where I go, ‘Ooh, a long article about something in sports. I am in; hold my calls,’” Czaban said.
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.