94WIP host Jon Marks has left the building. Marks hosted his final show at WIP with Ike Reese on Wednesday, and from the top he knew it was going to be an emotional day.
“I was crying on the drive in,” he said to open Marks & Reese. “I’m a crier as you know, Ike, it doesn’t take much to make me cry.”
“But text messages from people that I’ve worked with and former interns, and messages from listeners, and it’s been amazing,” Marks added. “But today is it.”
Marks and Reese have had the last couple of days to really reflect on their run together, launching the afternoon drive show in August 2019 and braving the pandemic six months later. Going through so much adversity like so many others did during that period but still finding a way to develop a successful program and chemistry stood out to Reese.
“For two people who had never really worked together before, for us to be able to put something together in the time that we did to become what it is right now, they say God don’t make no mistakes,” Reese said. “And things are done for a reason, and we were brought together obviously for a reason. And we did something beautiful. I hope you can appreciate it. I hope it’s something you can be proud of. I know it’s something I’m proud of. And I wish you nothing but the best moving forward.”
Marks was nothing but complimentary of his co-host, who he felt had really blossomed into a superstar talent.
“I’ve watched you grow from being what I thought was a very good radio host into the number one sports personality in Philadelphia,” Marks said. “You just are.”
Jon Marks continued by saying that he’s been very fortunate to live out his career dream. It’s been hard work, but Marks hoped the audience knew how much he respected them.
“When you’ve grown up and all you’ve ever wanted to do was radio, then you actually get to do it, it’s humbling,” he said. “But you take the responsibility very seriously. And any day that I came in to do this job I always wanted to respect the audience and the call letters and the frequency.”
After seven years, Marks signed off.
“WIP was here a long time before I came and they’re going to be here a long time after I’m gone,” he said. “For me to come in and for seven years to be a big part of this station is something that will always be one of the biggest parts, if not the biggest part, of my professional life. And I couldn’t have done it without my coworkers, without my co-host and without the listeners. Cause that’s really what it’s about.”
“It’s been my ultimate privilege to be on this show and on these airwaves for the last seven years,” Jon Marks concluded.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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].
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!”
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.