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Adam Klug Sets the Record Straight on 97.3 The Fan Changes

“A lot has been said, a lot has been written about what’s going on here at 97.3 The Fan over the last week and a half, but we have not said anything or made any announcements.”

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97.3 The Fan Brand Manager, Adam Klug, recently appeared on the Ben & Woods morning show with hosts Ben Higgins and Steven Woods, to discuss the recent changes made in the midday time slot.

In late December, midday host, ‘Coach’ John Kentera told The San Diego Union-Tribune he had been let go from the station. What followed became a feeding frenzy of information which appears to have been misleading. The biggest point of contention was that the firing happened right before Christmas, and the San Diego Padres (whose games air on 97.3 The Fan) had a hand in the decision. Other issues were raised too including whether or not Steven Woods influenced the decision to change the midday show.

“A lot has been said, a lot has been written about what’s going on here at 97.3 The Fan over the last week and a half, but we have not said anything or made any announcements,” said Klug. “So, I wanted to come in and share that we here at 97.3 The Fan have decided to make a programming change in our midday timeslot.”

Klug stated the decision was a difficult one to make. “When you bring in the human element it compounds the decision. I have nothing but the utmost respect for John Kentera, both personally and professionally, and we, wish him all the best in his future endeavors. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about John Kentera.”

A December 21st story in The San Diego Union-Tribune, with the headline “Coach’ John Kentera says he’s been fired from radio job,” was printed and appears to have only told a portion of the story.

Said Klug, “Theres some misinformation out there that needs to be cleaned up. The first thing that is out there that is false, 100% baseless, was that we fired John Kentera right before Christmas.”

Klug said he met with Kentera on October 12th to forewarn him of what was to come. He shared that they discussed how and when the midday show would wrap up.

“I wanted to honor him, and put out a statement, and for him to talk about it, and for us to have a farewell tour and celebrate all of his accomplishments. I thought he deserved that and earned that right.”

Klug also said the station offered Kentera to do live talk shows on Saturdays and Sunday mornings, in addition to staying with the station for when other opportunities arose.

“I absolutely wanted him to be involved,” Klug told Ben and Woods.

As for his involvement in the matter, Woods stated, “How this narrative got spun that I had something to do with this was the one that was most troubling for me. I’ve taken a lot of shrapnel this week.”

“Want me to put an end to that?” Klug asked. “Nobody here at the station, none of our talent had any input whatsoever into the decision to make a change in middays. Nor did they have any input into who would be replacing Coach in middays. Furthermore, The San Diego Padres had no say whatsoever in to the decision to make a chance in middays. Nor did they have any say into who would be taking over in middays. Period. End of the story.”

Klug stated the decision had been made locally by he and his boss, Audacy Senior Vice President/Market Manager Michael Valenzuela, who Klug said supported the decision.

When Kentera met with Klug in October, the date Friday December 22nd was discussed as the date for Kentera’s final midday show. However, when the story came out a day ahead of time and the narratives had spun out of control changes had to be made. “There was no decision to be made (about doing the final show). It would have been people reacting to a completely false narrative that was out there.”

Klug wrapped up his appearance noting they would soon announce who Kentera’s replacement. An hour later, the station announced Annie Heilbrunn and Craig Elsten as the new midday show for 97.3.

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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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