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Jon Marks Bids Farewell to 94WIP

Marks is exiting the 94WIP afternoon show after seven years with the station.

Jordan Bondurant

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Jon Marks
Courtesy: Audacy

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.

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Chris Curtis: It’s Obscene How Announcers Think Someone Else’s Achievement is About Them

“Allow the call to stand for what you are celebrating don’t make the call about you.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Screengrab of Chris Curtis of WEEI
Screengrab: WEEI

The city of Boston just went through a championship win with the Boston Celtics taking home the NBA Championship this year. But it was the championship won by the NHL’s Florida Panthers, their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, that had The Greg Hill Show on WEEI talking this morning. Hosts Greg Hill, Jermaine Wiggins, Courtney Cox and producer Chris Curtis had talked about the game earlier, but later got into the final call by the Panthers’ radio announcers and Chris Curtis was not a fan of it at all.

“Can we just get to this unbelievable sound?” Curtis asked. “…I really think we should rip someone that doesn’t work with us.”

Curtis then played the audio of the last ten seconds of the broadcast with Panthers broadcasters Doug Plagens and Bill Lindsay.

“Ten seconds left, 2-1 Panthers,” Plagens said. “A dream 30 years in the making is real. The Florida Panthers have won the Stanley Cup.” This was followed by Lindsay yelling, “Lord Stanley is coming hoooooome.”

“Stop it right there,” Curtis said. “First of all, Lord Stanley, if he was cryogenically frozen like Ted Williams, would never return to a place he never visited, which is Sunrise, Florida. There is more hockey in Sudan than there is in Southern Florida. It is obscene how these people all across radio, mostly Syracuse ‘johnnies’ that think someone else’s achievement is about them.

“You are the conduit to the audience to enjoy…Maybe there are a handful of people that grew up watching the Panthers. Yesterday meant a lot to them. Allow the call to stand for what you are celebrating don’t make the call about you.”

Then, Curtis really went in and started with a local announcer who does something similar to what he was describing the Panthers’ announcers did.

“Sean Grande does this all the effing time,” Curtis said. “He writes out soliloquies. Sean, you didn’t do anything, you’re just telling us what they did. It’s not about you, you dullards. Bill Lindsay screaming on Doug Plagens of course Syracuse master’s degree, that’s where you learn to talk like someone who sounds like someone you have never met in your life while they’re trying to be relatable.”

“He went to Newhouse, Curtis,” Hill chimed in.

“If you need to go to Newhouse to get a job, you’re not that good,” Curtis said.

Wiggins disagreed a bit with Curtis’ take saying, “I like a homer broadcaster who feels the emotion of getting into it. The color guy who played for the team who gets emotional when you win.”

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Boomer Esiason: People Watch Stephen A. Smith ‘Because of Him and What He’s Going to Say’

“What other alternative or where else can he go?”

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Graphic for the Boomer & Gio Show and a photo of Stephen A. Smith

With reports coming out that ESPN had made an initial contract offer of 5 years and $90 million dollars to Stephen A. Smith, various sports show hosts have weighed in and given their opinions. Such was the case during Boomer & Gio this morning on WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti.

“Have you seen any of this Stephen A. Smith contract stuff that’s going on?” Giannotti asked.

“I have seen it, yes,” Esiason said. “Listen, the guy works his ass off, he is definitely a firestarter for that network and quite frankly he has built himself into a one man show.”

Giannotti replied, “He’s had success. He’s one of the bigger voices in sports if not the biggest voice in sports.”

Esiason added, “What’s different about him compared to Troy [Aikman] or Tony [Romo] or somebody else – people are going to tune in to watch the football game no matter who is doing it. People are watching him because of him and what he’s going to say.”

Giannotti reviewed the report of how much was offered and mentioned the other reports that say Smtih is looking for closer to $25 million per year. He also mentioned Dan Le Batard saying he thought ESPN had lowballed Smith with the offer.

Giannotti said, “This is one of those things that is just hard to calculate. I don’t know how much money they would lose if he wasn’t there. This is something I’d love to know…how many advertising dollars, how many things that they sell because he is there equates to a loss if he leaves?”

Esiason then said, “Here’s what I would ask. What other alternative or where else can he go?” He then later added, “In our medium on a national basis…both he and Pat McAfee have brought eyeballs or attention to ESPN for different reasons, and I think that if they can extract that kind of money out of those companies, good for them. I have no problem with any of it.”

Giannotti continued to ask about the ad dollars, but Esiason explained there were a lot of other factors that come into play.

“I don’t know about the advertising,” he said. “I think it’s more about the subscription services. I think it’s more about the fact that they use him in every single aspect they possibly can…He’s on that morning show…but then he’s all over the NBA playoffs, he’s all over the NFL playoffs. He’s all over everything. I couldn’t even imagine. I know what it was like for me when I was doing NFL Today, Monday Night Football and this radio program. It was exhausting…I know that he has complained about how much he is asked to do over there.”

All of this led to a discussion about a weekly Smith guest on First Take, Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo. “I tell you what, when he is on there, I find him to be extremely entertaining,” Esiason said. “The interaction between the two of them is about as entertaining as it can get on television…If I was ‘Dog’ I would quit [SiriusXM] cuz nobody hears you and go over [to ESPN] and take a full-time spot over there and get paid.”

“I don’t know if they’re offering a full-time spot for him over there, he’s like a novelty,” Giannotti replied.

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ESPN Chicago Announces 2024 Football Fest with Adam Schefter and Field Yates

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Graphic for ESPN Chicago's Football Fan Fest
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN Chicago on Facebook

ESPN Chicago announced the return of Football Fest, an event they started in 2022. The 2024 edition will take place at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana on Sunday, August 25. ESPN NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Field Yates are back as guests and will share insights and engage with fans throughout the event.

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned,” said Danny Zederman, director of content for ESPN Chicago in a release. “We listened to fan feedback, and we’ve added new ways for fans to interact with their favorite ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities, as well as a live onstage version of our fan-favorite, unfiltered podcast Crosstalk Unhinged with Carm, Jurko, Waddle, and Silvy.”

ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities will be available for meet & greets with fans taking photos and signing autographs. The Good Karma Brands owned station says the event “will consist of live programming from local and national experts on the upcoming football season, fantasy football, as well as games, vendors, and more.”

$10 tickets for the event are on sale through Ticketmaster.com.

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