Archives For Headlines

Erdahl new Bruins reporter for NESN

September 11, 2013
Courtesy of Boston.com

jamie erdahlNESN has named Jamie Erdahl as its new rink-side reporter for Bruins telecasts in the 2013-14 season.

She replaces Naoko Funayama, whose contract at NESN recently expired. The network announced in June that the respected Funayama, who had held the position since 2008, would not return.

Erdahl, a Minnesota native who joined NESN last November, is a fine choice as Funayama’s successor. She has excelled as a fill-in sideline reporter on Red Sox telecasts this season, often showing a quick sense of humor during live in-game segments.
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Fired Atlanta host gets job at rival

September 11, 2013
Courtesy of WXIA-TV

Three months after being fired for a tasteless on air prank, former Atlanta sports radio personality Chris Dimino has another radio job, at a competing station.

Dimino, co-hosts Steak Shapiro and Nick Cellini were all fired by sports radio station 790 The Zone in June after they aired a fake, mocking interview with former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who suffers from the degenerative nerve disease ALS.

All three apologized shortly afterwards, including Dimino, who wrote on Facebook , “The weight of what he and they are going through did not need to be made heavier or worse by the pure and straight insensitivity of my actions.”
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Baseball HOF reforms Frick award

September 11, 2013
Courtesy of Radio World

The Baseball Hall of Fame has announced that the selection process for its Ford C. Frick Award is being changed. The award is given annually to a sports broadcaster.

Staring with the next selection, 2014, a chronological “era” filter will be applied to candidates. This year’s nominees will be selected from the “High Tide Era,” which is the current era and begins in the mid-1980s.

The 2015 award will be for the “Living Room Era,” the mid-1950s through the early 1980s; the beginnings of modern TV broadcast. The 2016 award will be for the “Broadcasting Dawn Era,” early radio through to the beginning of television. In 2017 the cycle will repeat.

By dividing the awards into eras, broadcasters from the past, less well-known, or even forgotten, will have a chance at the award.

The nominating process for the 2014 award began Sept. 9 when the Baseball Hall of Fame released a list of candidates. Baseball fans can vote on three of the 10 finalists. An HOF committee selects the remainder.

A 20-member voting board consisting of 16 previous Frick award winners and four baseball journalist and historians will make the final decision at the Baseball Winter Meetings, Dec. 10–11.

Read more at Radio World where this story was originally published.

Loubardias joins Flames broadcasts

September 11, 2013
Courtesy of Sports Net

peter LoubardiasSportsnet 960 The FAN today announced long-time hockey sportscaster, Peter “Loubo” Loubardias, will join its broadcast team as analyst for Calgary Flames broadcasts for the upcoming 2013-14 NHL season, alongside play-by-play announcer Peter Maher.

Loubardias called play-by-play for Sportsnet’s Calgary Flames television broadcasts between 2008-11, and most recently served as a commentator on broadcasts of Western Hockey League games. He takes over for the recently retired Mike Rogers, analyst for Flames broadcasts on Sportsnet 960 The FAN for the last 12 years.

In addition to the new Flames broadcast team, Sportsnet 960 The FAN also announced today it will launch a special version of HOCKEY CENTRAL @ Noon – with a Calgary twist. The one-hour, weekday show debuts Monday, Sept. 23 at Noon MT, and will be hosted by Ryan Leslie with guest appearances each week by Sportsnet’s Calgary Flames television broadcast crew including Rob Kerr, Roger Millions and Charlie Simmer. HOCKEY CENTRAL @ Noon will deliver engaging and insightful hockey talk, breaking news, analysis and opinions, all with a focus on the Flames.

The home for Flames fans everywhere, Sportsnet 960 The FAN is the exclusive broadcast rights holder for the Calgary Flames, delivering every regular and playoff game in the 2013-14 season. It is also the exclusive broadcast rights holder for all regular season and playoff Calgary Hitmen games, which will be delivered on radio or online at www.sportsnet.ca/960.

In addition to being the official radio and TV rights holder for the Calgary Flames, Sportsnet is the official regional television broadcast rights holder for the Vancouver Canucks , Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs (including radio rights on Sportsnet 590 The FAN).

Read more at Sports Net where this story was originally published.

Ex-Red Sox pitcher makes TV debut

September 11, 2013
Courtesy of Boston RedSox

derekloweDressed in a suit and tie, Derek Lowe reappeared in the Red Sox’s clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, eager to make his debut as a broadcaster.

One of the postseason heroes from Boston’s historic 2004 team, Lowe will serve as a color analyst on NESN for the next three nights, working with play-by-play man Don Orsillo.

Lowe’s solid Major League career ended in June when he was released by the Texas Rangers.

He made the two-hour drive from his home in Fort Myers, Fla., to work this series.
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sam-huffAfter 33 years of the Sonny and Sam show on the radio in D.C., the Washington Redskins Radio Network is moving on without Sam Huff, who retired after last season. Huff’s absence was noticed considerably during last night’s Redskins-Eagles game.

The broadcast duo, which consisted of retired Hall of Fame Redskin quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and retired Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff as color analysts, began in 1979. They were joiined by Frank Herzog in the booth as the play-by-play announcer.

Read more at the Washington Times where this story was originally published.

Yankess bumping Mets from WFAN

September 10, 2013
Courtesy of New York Times

The Yankees are close to completing an agreement that will take them from WCBS-AM to WFAN next season, knocking the Mets off WFAN, their longtime radio home, for a destination to be determined.

Lonn Trost, the Yankees’ chief operating officer, declined to give any details of the change, but said, “We’re getting close.”

The Yankees would provide a stronger, higher-rated, more expensive team for WFAN, which, like WCBS, is part of CBS Radio. The Yankees deal, if completed, would be for about 10 years and $15 million to $20 million annually, according to a person briefed on the negotiations. Newsday was first to report the move.

The Yankees moved to WCBS from WABC after the 2001 season.

Whether John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman continue as the Yankees’ announcers on WFAN will ultimately be up to the team. The Yankees will consult with the station but have final approval on their broadcast team.

The Mets have been on WFAN since the station’s inception in 1987. They could go to ESPN New York, at 98.7 FM, or WOR-AM, which both showed interest in the Yankees. The rights for the Mets’ games would be less expensive.

Jeff Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer, said it was “fairly accurate” that the team would be leaving WFAN.

“Right now, we’re still negotiating with numerous parties about what we’re going to do with our radio,” Wilpon said during a firehouse visit in Manhattan with Matt Harvey, David Wright and Zack Wheeler. Wilpon said the situation could be resolved in about six weeks.

Read more at New York Times where this story was originally published.

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.

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