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Wes DurhamFOX Sports South unveiled its new lineup of announcers for the 2013 ACC football schedule Wednesday, featuring a legendary voice of collegiate athletics, Wes Durham, who will handle play-by-play duties. Durham will be joined by “All-American” Brian Stann, a former linebacker for the Naval Academy, a decorated veteran of the United States Marine Corps and former top contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Emmy Award-winning reporter Jenn Hildreth will have the sidelines covered, as she returns for her third season of ACC football and her 12th covering college football on FOX Sports South.

“FOX Sports South is very excited to welcome Wes Durham and Brian Stann to our newly-expanded ACC football package,” said Jeff Genthner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of FOX Sports South and SportSouth. “Wes is nationally recognized as one of the great football play-by-play announcers at both the college and pro level, while Brian brings a dynamic and energetic perspective to the booth. We are also pleased to have Jenn Hildreth return to the ACC sidelines, where she has provided informative and insightful coverage on FOX Sports South football telecasts for eleven years.”

Bringing 18 years of ACC experience as the voice of Georgia Tech football and men’s basketball games, Durham will take over the play-by-play duties for the weekly ACC games on FOX Sports South. He is an eight-time Georgia Sportscaster of the Year recipient and 2006 winner of the Furman Bisher Award for Sports Media Excellence. Durham will continue on as the radio play-by-play voice for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be joining FOX Sports South on their coverage of ACC football,” Durham said. “Their broadcast has always been first class and I hope that I can do my part to continue that.”

Stann, a former linebacker for the Naval Academy and a UFC mixed martial artist with a professional fight record of 12-6, will join Durham in the booth as the ACC broadcast team’s analyst. Stann is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and received a Silver Star for his combat valor when his platoon was ambushed while on a mission in Iraq in 2005. He currently runs a non-profit organization, Hire Heroes USA.

“I am honored and excited for this opportunity with FOX Sports South,” Stann said. “I am a lifelong fan of college football and feel so fortunate to be a part of ACC football.”

Hildreth, a former soccer, basketball and track and field standout at Emory University, is the Emmy Award-winning host of ACC All-Access on FOX Sports South. She has also done play-by-play and reporting for ACC men’s and women’s basketball.

Read more at Fox Sports South where this story was originally published.

nhl-networkOnce the last Chicago Blackhawk had hoisted and kissed the Stanley Cup last Monday night, NBC wrapped up its broadcast and sent viewers to NBC Sports Network for its postgame show.

Over on NHL Network, a viewer would have thought the world’s top hockey league was already on its summer break.

The league-owned TV channel was showing a canned documentary. It didn’t break into that program to start its own live postgame show until NBC Sports Network was 10 minutes into its show, an eternity in terms of TV production. Viewers who wanted to sample NHL Network’s coverage immediately when NBC went off the air were left with only one option: NBCSN.

For its part, the NHL says it was honoring an agreement that allowed NBC to hand off postgame coverage to NBCSN before NHL Network went on the air. But the decision to cede the prime Stanley Cup Final postgame audience to NBCSN perpetuated a narrative that has defined the channel since its 2007 launch: that it is still not ready for prime time.
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Forty years ago, play-by-play coverage of sporting events was popular. It still is, but sports talk radio is all the rage today.

Sportsaholics can tune in a sports talk show anytime, 24/7. Granted, much of the programming is nationally syndicated shows, but there are a fair amount of local sports talk shows even in cities the size of Wichita.

How big is sports talk? According to Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey, sports is an $800 million business. That’s a figure significantly higher than any number that has been publicly stated by a radio executive. He says $200 million is going to the networks and $600 million is brought in by local stations.

Sports talk is good business because advertisers see it as a safe harbor.
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ChelesnikSTAA CEO Jon Chelesnik is a featured speaker this month at the Conclave, July 17th – 19th in Minneapolis. In it’s 38th year, the Conclave is an annual conference devoted to improving the quality of broadcasting through education.

For the first time, the Conclave includes Game Day — an entire day devoted to sports radio. Chelesnik has been chosen as Game Day’s Rockwell Award Keynote Speaker. He’ll address “Winning in Sports Radio: Giving Your Listeners Something They Can’t Get Anywhere Else.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to speak at Game Day, especially since this is the first time the Conclave is devoting an entire day to sports radio,” says Chelesnik.

In addition, Chelesnik will moderate a play-by-play forum featuring Minnesota Twins voices Cory Provus and Kris Atteberry, and Alan Horton of the Timberwolves and Lynx. The session will focus on how to do play by play, how learning to sell is part of the challenge, why it’s all media now, not just radio, and what you can do to get there.

“Conclave 38 will focus on teaching ideas our attendees can actually use,” says Conclave Executive Director Bob Shannon. “Focusing on what works today and the tools we’ll need for tomorrow, our faculty includes thinkers, visionaries and practitioners in a wide variety of disciplines including digital, marketing, mobile, programming, social media, and talent creation and training.”

For more information on the Conclave, visit

Kenneth Wilkerson remembered

July 9, 2013
Courtesy of WWL

Funeral services for longtime New Orleans sportscaster and award-winning journalist Kenneth Wilkerson are set for Tuesday Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home. Wilkerson died last week in his Pearl River home due to complications from a lingering battle with cancer, according to family members.

Family and friends are invited to visitation from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. Interment will be immediately following the service at Hope Mausoleum. (Note: Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home is in New Orleans at 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. Click here for a map and directions.)

WWL “Sports Talk” host Bobby Hebert talked about working with Kenny both as a player and a broadcaster.

“He was very active when he was in the locker room, always getting the interviews,” Hebert said. “He really got involved in the early 90′s when I was involved with the Saints, and then with his sideline reporting for 11 years. He always tried to do the right thing, and was on the cutting edge at the same time.”

Bobby said that Kenny was a tremendous help after he moved back to New Orleans following the death of Buddy Diliberto.

“He was really helpful when I came back home from Atlanta, considering that I had been away for eleven or twelve years. He was an unbelievable guy to work with, and was always supportive of me, and we really had a nice run working together.”

Hebert also noted that Wilkerson could never be tagged as a “homer” in covering the Saints.

“You can’t get any more New Orleans than Kenny, but he wasn’t afraid to be confrontational, to truly be objective. If the team was playing well, he’d acknowledge that, but also challenging the team when they weren’t playing as well. He really did his job and really asked the questions that the public wanted to know about the team.”

WWL/Saints Radio Operations & Program Director Diane Newman recalls Wilkerson as a member of the WWL family for “many, many years.”

“Kenny had a passion and love for WWL that matched his passion and love for this city. He was New Orleans through and through,” Newman said. “Kenny was kind & generous…tough & scrappy…he had a fun spirit; a joy that shined through even though he suffered through physical challenges, since a boating accident as a young man. It breaks my heart that Wilky left this earth so young. But, who can question God’s timing. What gives me comfort is imagining Kenny in heaven surrounded by animals of every sort…and belting out a big Who Dat every Sunday. God bless Kenny & his family. God bless us all. Ketchup… ; -) that’s for Kenny.”

Wilkerson, born on May 16, 1961, attended Jesuit High School and studied at both the University of New Orleans and Delgado Community College . He began his career in journalism reporting for various sports departments including KLFY-TV in Lafayette.

Starting in 1997, Wilkerson became a sideline reporter for WWL’s broadcasts of the New Orleans Saints games. He joined WWL 870AM and covered major sporting events for the station for more than 17 years. Wilkerson shared co-hosting duties on “SportsTalk” with former New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert. Prior to that, Wilkerson was the sidekick to Buddy “D” Diliberto until Dilberto’s death in 2005.

Though a life-long fan of the Black and Gold, Wilkerson was also considered an independent voice who held team officials and players accountable for their on-the-field decisions and actions. Over the years, Wilkerson became a mainstay at local NFL draft coverage, Saints camp, Saint games, and just about any major sporting event in town. Upon leaving WWL 870AM, Wilkerson continued reporting with WIST Radio and WLAE Television. He was the recipient of numerous awards from the New Orleans Press Club and Associated Press.

Neck surgery caused Wilkerson to miss reporting for a while, and he was then diagnosed with cancer in April 2012. He began to suffer medical setbacks, and his family says he died peacefully at his home.

Wilkerson is survived by his mother, former Jefferson Parish School Board Member Judy M. Colgan, his father Pat Wilkerson, three brothers, five stepsisters and one stepbrother. Wilkerson is also survived by stepfather Larry Colgan and stepmother Mary Lou Wilkerson.

Read more at WWL where this story was originally published.

Midwestern State Athletics has a new home for the radio broadcasts of the Mustangs.

MSU announced that KXPN-FM, 95.5 ESPN, is the new flagship station for Mustangs sports.

As part of a multi-year agreement starting with the 2013-14 school year, 95.5 ESPN will broadcast all Midwestern State football, men’s and women’s basketball games, including their pregame and postgame shows, along with weekly coaches shows for football and basketball, and the daily Mustangs Minute.

“We are excited to partner with 95.5 ESPN and especially Jim Marks,” said Midwestern State Athletic Director Charlie Carr. “It’s a great fit to match our vision for the future of MSU Athletics with 95.5 and the ESPN brand. The excitement of future MSU success will provide some great opportunities for the partnership with 95.5 as our flagship.”

Two-time Lone Star Conference Broadcaster of the Year, MSU Assistant Athletic Director Bill Powers returns as the play-by-play voice of the Mustangs for his ninth season behind the MSU microphone. KAUZ-TV news anchor Chris Horgen returns for his fifth season as the color analyst for the football broadcasts.

“We are thrilled to have 95.5 ESPN be the new home of Midwestern State sports,” said KXPN-FM General Manager Jim Marks. “MSU is the pride of Wichita Falls and we proud to be a partner with the Mustangs in bringing the excitement and tradition of Midwestern to Texoma. It’s only natural that MSU sports and ESPN Radio are tied together.”

95.5 ESPN, who’s lineup features “Mike and Mike in the Morning” and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”, also features Texas Rangers Baseball.

KXPN-FM was awarded the contract through a competitive bid following the expiration of the previous multi-year MSU broadcast contract with KWFB (BOB-FM).

“I want to thank Dan Balla, Fred Morton and everyone at BOB-FM for what they have done for Mustangs Athletics,” added Carr. “They helped make our MSU broadcasts among the best in NCAA Division II.”

The MSU broadcasts begin with the daily Mustangs Minutes starting Monday, August 26th. The first game to be broadcast on 95.5 ESPN is the Mustangs football season opener on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Tarleton State at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

clay-travisFox Sports quietly announced last month that it would be airing a two hour college football pregame show Saturdays this Fall at 10 am on Fox Sports 1. Yes, it’ll go head-to-head with the most popular pregame show in sports – sorry Sunday NFL shows – ESPN’s Gameday.

There’s a reason the press release didn’t mention who was going to be on the show – two sources tell me there will be a change from last year’s Fox Sports college football studio team of Erin Andrews (the host), Eddie George and Joey Harrington.

Two sources say Harrington will be replaced by Clay Travis, whose website, Outkick the Coverage, recently entered into a partnership with Fox Sports. Travis hosts a popular radio show in Nashville, Tennessee, and an NBC Sports radio show on Saturday mornings.

A Fox Sports spokesman had no comment. Travis didn’t reply to an email.

It is unclear if that’ll be the only change on the show. A source says Fox Sports is looking to add another person to the set – a few coaches recently interviewed for a position – and the cast should be decided within the next two weeks.

The pregame team would then shift and handle the postgame show – which was often preempted by MLB last year – at 6:30 pm on Fox Sports.

Read more at Big Lead Sports where this story was originally published.

BaribeauRachel Baribeau has left 92.9/The Game after eight-plus months.

She was part of the afternoon team with Kordell Stewart and Carl Dukes when the station launched in October, 2012.

She’s going to Raycom Sports, a production, distribution, and event management company. She will be working with the new ACC Network. “We love Rachel and we’ll stay in contact with her. She’s moving on to a great opporutnity for herself,” said Dukes today on air.

Baribeau, an SEC specialist, identifies herself on Twitter as “Zumba instructor,Motivational Speaker,Golfer,Crossfitter,Ultimate optimist & ALS advocate!” She has not yet commented about her departure on Twitter.
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hal-rameyHal Ramey can certainly appreciate the value of the spoken word.

“Speech is such a wonderful thing. It’s such an instant and easy form of communication,” said the KCBS Radio sports anchor. “We take it for granted.”

Ramey knows this better than most people.

For almost three months, the Walnut Creek resident didn’t say a word because of a growth on his vocal cords. The condition kept him off the radio airwaves for more than four months.

“It wasn’t really a health issue,” said Ramey. “It just took away my ability to speak. And in my job, that’s not a good thing.”
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ted-goldbergBorn and raised in the Martinsville section of Bridgewater, Ted Goldberg, a graduate of Bridgewater Raritan High School and Syracuse University, was recently hired as a sports anchor/reporter with TV3 Winchester.

“Depending on how you draw the map, it’s either Market 178 (Harrisonburg, Va.) or Market 7 (Washington, D.C.) out of 210 TV media markets,” said Goldberg, 22. “Winchester itself has almost 30,000 people, so it’s smaller than Bridgewater.”

In his role, Goldberg is responsible for filming and reporting local games for high school sports, will report 19-U baseball and cover Shenandoah University’s football, basketball and men’s lacrosse. He also will periodically cover James Madison’s University’s football and basketball and will talk about pro teams in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets when on air.
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