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97.1 The Fan’s Mike Ricordati Threatened with Removal, Suspension After Refusing to Take Commercial Breaks

“I’m not supposed to talk about what just happened in there, but I will. There’s a chance that I may get a ‘rest’ tomorrow.”

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A photo of Mike Ricordati and the 97.1 The Fan logo
(Photo: 97.1 The Fan)

On Saturday, Ohio State suffered its third consecutive defeat to Michigan in one of college football’s biggest rivalry games. The mental effect the loss had has trickled down to local radio hosts, as Mike Ricordati and Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith were nearly pulled off the air Monday.

While discussing the Buckeyes’ loss Monday, Ricordati noted that it was time for the station to take a break, but he was refusing to allow the show to enter commercials.

“I don’t want to take a break. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to take a break,” Ricordati said. “How much are all the ads in this commercial break? If we tallied them all up. I just bought ’em. I’ll buy ’em. I don’t want to play any more commercials today.”

When T-Bone followed up by asking if he was on the hook for paying for half the commercials, Ricordati said the responsibility was his and his alone.

“I’m sorry to put you in this position, but I’m not going to break,” continued Ricoradti. “I’m doing three hours of sitting here, drinking my bourbon, talking to my buddy about how bad I feel. They may take me off the air.”

97.1 The Fan Program Director Matt Fishman — who joined the station in September — then entered the producer’s studio and questioned why Ricordati was taking the stance he was.

“What’s happening?,” Fishman pondered.

“I just don’t want to take the break,” replied Ricordati.

“Ok. ‘I don’t want to eat my vegetables’? Is that what this is now?,” Fishman asked.

“No, I think we’d have a better show today if we just went the whole way through and didn’t take a break,” Ricordati retorted. “I’ll pay for the spots. Take them out of my check.”

“So, I appreciate what you’re trying to do for the fans. I do,” Fishman reiterated, before Ricordati interrupted by saying it isn’t about the fans, it’s about him. “But we do have a business to run,” Fishman continued. “I hate to be that guy. But I’m now that guy.”

Later in the show, Mike Ricordati noted he had received an email from 97.1 The Fan’s parent company — TEGNA — sent him an email telling him he would be removed from the air if he did not take his regularly scheduled commercial breaks.

“We’ll get back on schedule, then,” Ricordati said. “That’s a first. 20 years on the air here. Here’s what’s happening. I’m gonna take a break, I’m gonna go outside, get chewed out by our boss, and I may or may not see you in the next segment.”

Evening host Tim Hall joined the station after Ricordati didn’t make it back to the studio in time from the end of the commercial break after speaking with management.

“I’m not supposed to talk about what just happened in there, but I will,” Ricordati shared. “There’s a chance that I may get a ‘rest’ tomorrow.”

After the confrontation, Mike Ricordati spent the rest of the show taking his regularly scheduled breaks. He took to X Tuesday morning to tell fans that he was “still alive” and employed by the station, saying “Talk to you at 3pm.”

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Sports Radio News

Eli Gold Out as Voice of Alabama Football; Ends 35-Year Run

“I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

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Eli Gold
Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

The Tuscaloosa News has reported longtime University of Alabama radio play-by-play voice Eli Gold will not be returning next season. Gold, who has been in the position for 35 years, told Birmingham FOX 6 Reporter Jonathan Hardison, “I will not be returning. The university chose to not bring me back. I have not retired!”

The report says Chris Stewart, who has been calling Alabama basketball for the Crimson Tide Sports Network, will take over the football broadcasts.

“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team,” Jim Carabin, Vice President and General Manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network said in a statement. “We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”

Gold missed the 2022 season for health reasons, otherwise he has been calling Crimson Tide games each season since 1988. Gold, 70, had been diagnosed with cancer just over one year ago but called home games in 2023. Stewart filled in for Gold both in 2022 and 2023.

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670 The Score Hosting ‘QB1 Town Hall’ to Debate Future of Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

“We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation to our listeners and Bears faithful.”

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670 The Score – QB1 Town Hall
Courtesy: Audacy

Audacy-owned 670 The Score in Chicago will host a unique discussion to deliberate what the future could hold for the Chicago Bears quarterback position on Wednesday’s edition of the Parkins & Spiegel Show.

Following a 7-10 campaign by the Bears that marked the third consecutive season without a playoff berth for the team, there have been several questions surrounding the future of starting quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears have the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in a class with several accomplished college quarterbacks. Having selected Fields with the 11th-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the organization could look to move on from him, although he is coming off a season where he threw for more than 2,500 yards for the first time in his career.

Emanating from the Audacy Chicago Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage, afternoon co-hosts Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel will deliver insightful perspectives and opinions on this quandary that has the football world waiting for a potential resolution. Various football experts will join the program, which will also include a live audience, contributing to the conversation surrounding this pressing topic.

The station ran a contest last week that determined the crowd at Wednesday’s event, known as the “QB1 Town Hall.” Members of the crowd will also be able to express their opinions and ask questions to a panel composed of Audacy personalities and sports industry professionals.

“This decision will determine the entire season’s trajectory and the fans are passionate about their views on it,” Mitch Rosen, vice president of programming at 670 The Score and BetQL Network, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation to our listeners and Bears faithful.”

Consumers can listen to the “QB1 Town Hall” broadcast of the Parkins & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score, the Audacy mobile app and company website. Additionally, video functionality will be available through the official 670 The Score Twitch and YouTube channels. The program will run from 2 to 6 p.m. CST.

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Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio Celebrate Anniversary on 94 WIP

“Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

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Logo for WIP Middays with Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio
Courtesy: 94 WIP

94 WIP hosts Hugh Douglas and Joe Giglio celebrated their one-year anniversary as the midday show in Philadelphia today. Following Angelo Cataldi’s retirement in 2023 and the subsequent move of DeCamara and Ritchie taking his place in mornings, Douglas and Giglio formed the station’s new midday show.

Giglio started the show, “Happy Anniversary, Hugh!…Yes, it is the one year anniversary of the midday show, of the change at WIP. Our key cards still work here, they still let us in this morning.”

Douglas, who had been part of the morning show at 92.9 The Game in Atlanta prior to starting with Giglio on 94 WIP, had mixed emotions. He was excited for the show, but was also reminded that he had been in Philadelphia now for a full year and had yet to find his permanent place to live. Giglio said he believes the reasoning is simply Douglas’ attention to the show and nothing else.

Giglio took a moment to thank those who help with and listen to the show. “We appreciate everyone who has been a part of the show for the last year,” he said. “We are excited for the next year to get started.”

Douglas played in the NFL for ten years, spending time with the Jets, Eagles and Jaguars.

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