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Gow Broadcasting, operator of Yahoo! Sports Radio in partnership with Yahoo! Sports, announced the addition of “The Big E Sports Show,” with Elissa Walker Campbell, beginning 9/20. The fast-paced, upbeat sports talk show features sports superstar guests who share real-life stories with Walker Campbell and her audience every Friday evening from 8-10 PM ET.

“Elissa’s show is a great addition to our lineup. Her dynamic personality has garnered strong reviews for her show, and we are delighted to make it available to our Yahoo! Sports Radio network affiliates,” said David Gow, CEO of Yahoo! Sports Radio. “Elissa conducts some of the best interviews in the industry and offers a great perspective on sports,” he added.

“I’m honored to join the Yahoo! Sports Radio team,” said Walker Campbell. “This is an exciting new growth opportunity for our show, and I am thrilled to partner with one of the most recognizable brands in sports radio. I look forward to continuing to offer compelling stories and informative interviews for our ever-expanding audience with some of the biggest and best names in sports.”

“The Big E Sports show” features top-flights guests, including Jason Peter — the former NFL and Nebraska football standout — who joins Walker Campbell each week for a segment on the NFL and college football. Previous guests have included Dallas Mavericks’ Head Coach Rick Carlisle, Dallas Cowboys’ great, Cliff Harris, TCU’s Gary Patterson, and even former NFL/NBA owner Red McCombs.

A seasoned broadcaster, she has been a TV analyst and sideline reporter for CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBA TV.

Read more at Broadcast News where this story was originally published.

Craig James can add Fox Sports Southwest to a college football broadcast resume that includes CBS, ESPN and ABC but he will have to explain why his gig lasted just one week.

Last Friday, FSSW announced “James will offer analysis on Fox Sports Southwest’s college football postgame shows this fall following primetime games on Saturdays. He’ll be paired with host Erin Hartigan and former NFL quarterback Tony Banks.”

James, who lives in Celina, worked Saturday. On Monday, the Foxies, in a one-sentence statement, announced James, who had yet to sign a contract, was out.

It seems the honchos at Fox Sports headquarters in Los Angeles weren’t happy with the hire at their most important regional network.

Politics got in the way. Not the college football kind that had pitted James, the parent, against Mike Leach, the Texas Tech football coach, whom James believed mistreated his son, Adam.

Rather it was the Washington kind.

Recall James resigned from ESPN in 2011 to enter the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat that ultimately went to Ted Cruz.

During the campaign James took a strong anti-gay stance.

“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department,” said a Fox spokesman. “He couldn’t say those things here.”

Read more at Dallas Morning News where this story was originally published.

Pelicans voice fights fires by day

September 10, 2013
Courtesy of WWLTV

It had been nearly a week for Sean Kelley.

A week since driving the District 13 fire truck to a blaze.

A week since helping around the fire house, making sure things are in place to quickly get out for an emergency.

A week since being a part of someone’s worst day in the best possible way.

And he misses it.

Fighting fires, you see, is Kelley’s second job. A hobby, if you will, that satiates his appetite to do more for the community than to just be on the radio and watch Pelicans basketball for a living like his first job requires.

“I always wanted to be able to use sports, or my job in sports, to affect something else,” Kelley said. “So I’ve always tried to do something along the way on the side. There’s always been that wanting, and it’s not necessarily giving back, but to do something to make somebody’s life better.”

A Romantic Connection
Truth is, Kelley took a circuitous route to get where he is today, a key member of the Saints and Pelicans digital and radio staffs as both the voice of the basketball team and host of the Black and Blue Report online.

Growing up in St. Louis, he followed the Cardinals, listening to Jack Buck. He was drawn to how those announcing the games were “essentially a part of people’s lives.”

“Whether it be listening to a college football game on a Saturday or a summer night listening to a baseball game, those were people that were brought into your life or your car or your home and I thought that was a very romantic connection,” Kelley said.

Though he wasn’t the kid in the upper deck of Busch Stadium calling the action on the field, he was the one staying up late on summer nights listening to Cards games in his room.

“I did the whole transistor radio under your pillow listening to games when the Cardinals were out West,” Kelley recalls.

Yet, he tried to tamp down his first love, heading to Northeast Missouri State where he planned on majoring in finance.

“That lasted until Christmas,” he said. “No. 1 I wouldn’t have been any good at it and No. 2, I just was kidding myself as to not go after what I really wanted to do.”

The Long Road
So, he worked at a Top 40 radio station while at N.E. Missouri State, interrupting the music once an hour to do a weather forecast.

Kelley transferred to Southern Illinois University where his radio career began in earnest, finagling his way into a sports gig at a rock station in Carbondale, Ill.

“All that was was a way to get credentials,” he remembered. “Got credentials for college games and high school games. I did that at night and went to school during the days.”

That, in turn, led to a job at a news-talk station in Columbia, Mo., where he was asked to do sports for the station part time. But there was one catch to the move.

“Thankfully my very loving wife was working radio sales at the time,” Kelley said. “We went almost as a package deal. She was willing to put up with me making $12,000 a year to see where it would go.”

Where it went was much more than part time. He called Missouri baseball games. He called play-by-play for high school football games. He worked his way up to sports director and began doing pregame and postgame duties for Missouri football.

And then the Tulane job opened up.

“I felt like if I could get in the club, then I could advance,” Kelley said. “You can’t really get the big job unless you get in this Division I club. The problem was the job didn’t pay a whole lot. The first year down here my wife worked a full-time job and on my days off, I washed golf carts at Beau Chene Country Club. When I wasn’t doing Tulane, I was at the cart barn at the golf course.”

Eventually, the Hornets found Kelley, bringing him on Tulane off nights to host the studio show before enrolling him as the full-time radio voice in 2005.

But even then Kelley felt the pull to do more, to be someone who helped out the community he lived in.

“He brought (fire fighting) up before and I initially panicked because we had two small children and I didn’t want him to give up chasing his dream as a broadcaster,” Kim Kelley said.

Though the bug was planted, Kelley couldn’t move on it just yet. It would take another 12 or 13 years before he could fulfill that dream.

Catching The Bug Again
Fifteen months ago, Kelley was helping coach at American Legion baseball game in Madisonville, La., when he noticed two fire engines nearby.

“I was like, man, I wonder if they’d be willing to give me information on being a volunteer,” Kelley said.

They were and they did, telling him about a volunteer meeting on the first Tuesday of every month.

But unlike the others interested in volunteering, Kelley’s schedule was hectic. As the radio play-by-play voice of the Pelicans, his job includes copious amounts of travel at odd intervals during the year. He basically only had the offseason to learn and train to be a firefighter.

His tough schedule hardly made those in the fire department blink twice.

“At any given scene there are 400 things that have to be done and we need bodies,” Kelley recalled being told. “I said this is perfect. I can get into this and find my place in the fire service.”

His place has quickly become fully involved thanks to the internet. LSU offers a course that allows entry into other parts of the firefighting profession. And he could study for the Firefighter 1 test while flying from city to city with the then-Hornets.

He also relied on the professional firefighters while spending time at the firehouse when he wasn’t traveling with the NBA team.

“Every time I’d go to work at the fire department as a volunteer, the paid guys, the career guys, were always great about training. They never ever were annoyed at any question,” Kelley said. “… That was one of the things that kept sucking me in. There was no, ‘Well, you’re just a volunteer.’ Or no, ‘Look, I’ve been working all day and I don’t want to teach you or train.’

“They kept teaching almost as if they were as excited as I was at going through the process.”

Kelley took his test and his chief, Lonnie Johnson, said he received a 100.

Impressing Those Around Him
The longer Kelley fights fires, the more he understands just how impressive those who do it for a living are at it.

But talk to those who know Kelley and you realize quickly that his impact is just as impressive.

“I think just by nature, the closer you are to a situation the less you kind of look at it with awe,” Kim Kelley said. “But stepping back, he’s a really cool guy for wanting to do some of the things he does. Whether it be for broadcasting or with firefighting, he has always had a heart that wants what he’s doing, whether it be in a booth or at a fire scene, he wants it to matter.”

And he focuses on everything at once, missing nothing that he has dedicated himself to. In addition to his radio job, he also has taken on a larger presence with the Saints, being a part of the preseason TV crew as a sideline reporter in addition to hosting the Black and Blue Report, a new online radio show.

“He kept his schedule and I didn’t even know he was a firefighter until he walked into my office one day,” said Greg Bensel, Vice President of Communications for the Saints and Pelicans, adding about the firefighting, “It doesn’t affect us at all. It’s a fantastic thing. Mr. (Tom) Benson, when he heard about it, he was pretty thrilled to find out there’s a guy who is a public servant, who is a first responder. It’s pretty neat. It’s definitely unique.”

Said Johnson, the fire chief, “For someone in his profession to come and say, ‘Hey, I want to volunteer and give back to the community,’ that is fantastic.”

Not About Being Unique

But this isn’t a story about being unique. Not for Kelley, who spent much of the past year keeping his second job to himself.

He was hesitant, in fact, to have anything written about it. He didn’t want to take away from those he worked with, those who fight fires on a daily basis and aren’t in the spotlight.

To him, they’re the heroes. They’re the ones working two jobs just to make ends meet because firefighters aren’t paid so well. They’re the ones “showing up on somebody’s worst day” on a consistent basis to help out.

“The men and women who do this as their full-time career, the amount of training and sacrifice that goes into what they do, I don’t think most folks know what it entails,” Kelley said.

They can’t do it alone, however, especially in places like District 13, which covers parts of the Northshore. That district isn’t alone. Other than the big departments, like New Orleans or Jefferson Parish or Mandeville and Slidell, areas are covered by small companies filled with volunteers.

And that’s where Kelley said he hopes his story will help out.

“You don’t have to spend a whole year training and achieving Firefighter 1,” Kelley said. “You can become a volunteer at a minimal level and there are things you can do that are a huge help without going all in.”

He later added, “When you work in a small department like District 13, sometimes you’re a one-man band. There’s three stations in the district and two of the three stations are manned by one full-time firefighter at all times. When you’re that guy at that station, you drive the engine, you’re first on the scene, you’re maintaining the station and all the gear.”

Make no mistake, though. Kelley is fully aware of just how unique his situation is.

“There is something cool about you’re interviewing NFL players and coaches or you’re getting off of a private chartered jet after an NBA road trip and the next day you’ve got a helmet and bunker gear on and you’re driving a fire engine,” he said. “That’s pretty crazy if you stand back and think about it for a second. But that’s kind of just who I am. That would seem odd to somebody else. That seems perfectly normal to me. So, I guess that makes me a little nuts. I kind of like that.

“I kind of like that.”

Read more at WWLTV where this story was originally published.

SilverBacks voice steps down

September 9, 2013
Courtesy of JuniorHockey.com

The Salmon Arm SilverBacks announce that Chris Wahl the Backs Dir of Marketing/Play by Play has submitted his resignation letter and has quit the team. This is effective immediately and the SilverBacks are now looking for a Broadcaster and Marketing person immediately.

GM/Head Coach Troy Mick says, “This is a complete shock to the organization and we are extremely disappointed” However we will move forward and look to fill these positions as soon as possible.

We would also like to take this time and apologize to our great corporate sponsors and season ticket holders for the lack of communication and will rectify this promptly.

Read more at JuniorHockey.com where this story was originally published.

Sedano joins ESPN Radio

September 9, 2013
Courtesy of ESPN Media Zone

Sedano-JorgeMiami radio personality Jorge Sedano has reached a multi-year agreement with ESPN and will join Mark Schlereth as co-host of the newly branded Sedano & Stink evening radio talk show. Sedano & Stink, which debuts September 9, will air Monday – Thursday, from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET on ESPN Radio, espnradio.com and the ESPN Radio app. In addition to his new role on ESPN Radio, Sedano will contribute to SportsCenter and other ESPN studio programming. Schlereth, a three-time Super Bowl champion and former All-Pro offensive guard, joined ESPN in 2001 as an NFL analyst and has co-hosted the time slot on ESPN Radio since January 2012.

Sedano said of the new show, “There are three elements to a successful talk show – be informative, entertaining and thought provoking. Those are the elements I expect from our new show. Between my energy, passion and analytical approach, coupled with Mark’s knowledge, insight and perspective, I feel like we have every aspect covered for the listener. It’s important to be interactive via social media during the show and truly connect with the listeners. Lastly, we’ll have fun too.”

Sedano brings more than 14 years of radio broadcast experience to ESPN Radio. Prior to joining ESPN, he served as program director and afternoon host at Sports Radio WQAM in Miami for one year. Sedano also served as studio host for Fox’s Sun Sports telecasts of the Miami Heat in 2012-13.

His radio career began in Miami in 1999 and has included stints on WAFN-AM until 2001, WINZ-AM (2001-04), and The Ticket Miami (2007-12). He hosted the Miami Heat pre- and post-game shows on WIOD-AM from 2004-2007. He also spent those three years hosting a nationally syndicated show for Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles (2004-2007).

His television career began in 2010 on CBS 4 WFOR-TV in Miami as a sports anchor which included hosting duties for CBS Sports. He contributed to ESPN and the NFL Network programming. Sedano’s extensive resume also includes local football play-by-play for Florida International University for two seasons, 2010-11.

Read more at ESPN Media Zone where this story was originally published.

Salisbury-SeanFormer NFL quarterback and sports talk media pro Sean Salisbury becomes part of the Yahoo! Sports Radio network lineup as co-host of “The War Room” with John Harris airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET daily.

Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow states, “Sean is a big-time addition to our lineup. He does his homework, he is insightful and he is not afraid to voice his opinions. And the combination of Harris and Salisbury provides some of the strongest football coverage in sports – we are delighted to announce his addition at the start of the NFL season.”

Salisbury adds, “I am excited to join Yahoo! Sports Radio and to work with John Harris. I really look forward to working with the entire team there and creating great shows. During his media career, Salisbury has worked for ESPN and CBS Radio. He is currently on the Dallas Cowboys pre-game show for Fox Sports TV in Dallas.

Read more at Talk Radio Online where this story was originally published.

Just a few years ago, Tom Barnard was talking about retiring from radio. Now, starting Monday, he’ll expand his on-air workload to more than seven hours a day, including an unusual arrangement with 105 FM/The Ticket, an all-sports station that’s calling on some heavy hitters to get attention in a crowded field.

“I’ve got a lot to say,” said Barnard, who in addition to his primary job hosting KQRS’ “Morning Show,” will stretch his weekday podcast from one hour to three with former WCCO anchor Don Shelby as his sidekick. The final hour of that program will be simulcast from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Ticket, which launched its sports format in April. Barnard said he won’t get additional money for his contribution to 105 FM, but the gig will give him a chance to promote his podcast, as well as the KQ show, to a younger audience. “It’s good exposure for the station and it’s good exposure for me.”
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idaho-vandalsIdaho Vandals Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holder for University of Idaho Athletics and property of Learfield Sports, announced Thursday that Chris King has been named the Vandals’ voice for men’s basketball in 2013-14.

King served two years as the voice of Boise State’s women’s basketball on KTIK-AM 1350. For the last two seasons, he has been the announcer on 870 AM for all 76 games of the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Colorado Rockies’ short-season Single-A affiliate in Pasco, Wash.

Read more at The Idaho Press-Tribune where this story was originally published.

Albany sportscaster dies

September 9, 2013
Courtesy of The Albany Times Union

Joe Hennessy, former play-by-play voice of the Albany Patroons and a Capital Region sports talk host, died Thursday at St. Peter’s Hospital after suffering a heart attack three days earlier. He was 58.

Perhaps best known as Albany Firebirds general manager when they won their only Arena Football League championship in 1999, Hennessy worked as corporate sales manager at Times Union Center the past two years.

Hennessy did play-by-play for the Patroons in the 1980s and later was public-address announcer at Firebirds home games.

He was host of “Sportstalk,” which ran weekdays 6:30-8 p.m. on what was then called WQBK (1300 AM) radio, from March 14, 1994, to Aug. 25, 1994, resigning to spend more time with family. Hennessy previously was host of “Sports Of All Sorts” until WWCN (1460 AM) left the air in 1987.

Hennessy is survived by his wife, JoEllen, and their 3-month-old son, Jack. Hennessy also had a son, Joe Jr., from a previous marriage.

Read more at The Albany Times Union where this story was originally published.

ScullyTwo weeks ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Vin Scully would be returning to the broadcast booth in 2014 for what would be an amazing 65th season. But Scully’s greatest accomplishment is not his longevity, but his sheer talent. He is probably the last representative of the golden age of broadcasting.

Now, we’re in the midst of the golden age for broadcasters. Because of the proliferation of television networks, there are ample jobs for play-by-play announcers, color commentators and studio talking heads. As those numbers increase, the talent dilutes — and you have only to turn on a college football game not shown on a major network to see and hear that.

They don’t make ’em like Scully anymore — and Scully probably couldn’t get hired in 2013. His style is beyond retro. He called his first World Series game at age 25 — in Brooklyn — and he was behind the microphone when the Dodgers won their only world title there.
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