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Darren McKee: Paranoia Comes With Being in Sports Radio

“The paranoia about being a broadcaster… it’s got to be the most idiotic choice to hang your shingle on and make a life out of. I mean, who would do this?”

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A photo of Darren McKee with the Altitude Sports Radio logo
(Photo: Bonneville International)

Longtime Denver sports radio host Darren McKee — affectionately known as “DMac” — recently joined Altitude Sports Radio after a long run at 104.3 The Fan. In a sitdown interview with Mile High Sports, McKee shared his view that the life of a broadcaster isn’t an easy one.

“I couldn’t be happier where I ended up – could not be happier. I don’t know if “vindication” is the right word. In this business, you’re just so paranoid; it’s almost like relief, not vindication,” Darren McKee said. “The paranoia about being a broadcaster… it’s got to be the most idiotic choice to hang your shingle on and make a life out of. I mean, who would do this? I’m like the guy who’s the bass player who quit his day job, to get in the back of the station wagon with the band. I have not given myself any other choices. Right? This is it.

“I really didn’t want to leave Colorado. With all my years of experience, I suppose I could always get a job somewhere, but I didn’t want to go somewhere else. I love it here. I’ve built up a lot of equity here in the state of Colorado, and literally is my favorite place in the country. I’ve been all over the country, including my hometown of Boston. And I swear to God – this is not just a line – I would never want to live anywhere else.”

When asked about the situation with Altitude Sports Radio — which is owned by Kroenke Sports and Entertainment along with the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Rapids (MLS), and Colorado Mammoth (NLL) — and if there is an edict to steer clear of criticizing the franchises.

“I think it’s about being critical fairly. Right. I’ve been told as long as everything is fair, criticism is fine. I don’t really have a problem with that. I think I can be fairly critical about what’s going on; that pertains to everything. To be fairly critical for me is to be as informed as I can be about the things that matter the most,” McKee said.

“Right now, I’d have to be going out of my way to be overly critical (of the Nuggets or Avalanche); it’s a weird question because (we’re lucky enough to be) talking about an NBA Championship and a team that’s poised to make a Stanley Cup run. I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. I guess that’s a lucky break on my part, that it’s really not much of an issue.”

After joining Altitude Sports Radio, Darren McKee is partnered with Tyler Polumbus and Scott Hastings from 12-3 PM.

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KFC on WFAN: What Makes Barstool Sports Successful is the “Reality TV Aspect”

“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly.”

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Kevin Clancy, aka KFC from Barstool Sports
Courtesy: Barstool Sports

Kevin Clancy, better known as ‘KFC’ from Barstool Sports, filled in for Boomer Esiason on WFAN this morning with Gregg Giannatti. The two hosts discussed the feuding going on between members of the 1990’s Chicago Bulls as some players, most notably Scottie Pippen, are disputing some of what was said in The Last Dance back in 2020.

They compared the situation to some of what they face at their offices, noting they spend a lot of time with their co-workers, who aren’t members of their family or in most cases their best friends and drama can sometimes ensue. “Barstool has taken that office drama to a level that no one else has achieved,” Giannotti said to KFC. “When we do stuff like that here [at WFAN], it’s very rarely serious. The drama that you guys have, it’s real and it’s out there and that’s got to be a really difficult thing to deal with if you’re not prepared for it.”

“We usually refer to it as “being in the mud,” Clancy responded. “And there’s only certain people that can really live in the mud…It’s part of what made Barstool successful, is that reality TV aspect of it in that it is kind of like a team, and there is internal drama like clubhouse drama, locker room drama and the way we usually handle that is let’s do it out there and on the air.”

KFC talked about being a fan of WFAN and seeing it from the outside looking in. He said as a listener you could sense who was not a fan of certain people. He used the example of the feuds which would take place between Mike Francesa and Craig Carton and then the subsequent feuds Giannotti found himself in with “The Pope” when he took over for Carton.

“Anybody that has success in entertainment and sports…I think there is going to be that desire to see behind the curtain and we just kind of opened the curtain willingly,” KFC said about Barstool Sports. “We will probably fight each other more than anything, but then when there’s an outside problem, we close ranks and we are like, let’s handle business.”

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Gow Media Parts Ways With Sports Map Radio Program Director Craig Larson

“With Larson exiting, Gow Media will make another change, tapping into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations.”

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It’s been a tough week in Houston for Gow Media. First, the company made cuts to ESPN 97.5, parting ways with the midday team of Joshua Beard, Michael Connor and Andrew Carlson. Then yesterday, the company informed longtime network program director Craig Larson that he too was unfortunately a budget cut casualty.

Larson had been with Gow Media since the company acquired the Sporting News Radio network in 2010. He started with Sporting News Radio as a producer in Illinois, moving next to Los Angeles to take on programming duties for the network before relocating to Houston to lead the outlet following David Gow’s acquisition of the brand.

During the fourteen years that Larson managed the network, it’s gone through a few changes. Gow elected to change the identity from Sporting News Radio to Yahoo Sports Radio in 2011. That was followed by rebrands to SB Nation Radio and its current name, Sports Map Radio.

With Larson exiting, Gow Media will tap into its partnership with VSiN to satisfy its Sports Map Radio affiliate stations. The two groups have already been working together. This just gives the sports betting network an even bigger push. It also helps Gow stand out better in a crowded national sports radio marketplace.

As for Larson, this is his first trip to free agency in nearly a quarter century. When reached by BSM, he acknowledged that his time with the company had come to an end. He added, ‘It was an amazing 14 years in Houston. I’m proud of the work we put in, and there’s no better person in the world to work for than David Gow.’

Those interested in chatting with Larson about future possibilities can reach him at [email protected].

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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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