Archives For Headlines

Fox sees riches in new network

March 6, 2013
Courtesy of NY Times

FoxFor Rupert Murdoch, creating a national cable sports network in the United States to compete with ESPN has been his white whale — a tantalizing television opportunity but one of the few fields that his media empire has not conquered.

But two decades after shaking up the sports broadcasting world for the first time by acquiring N.F.L. rights, Murdoch has plans to challenge ESPN head on and claim some of the lucrative revenue that the sports media giant has had largely to itself for more than three decades.

On Tuesday, Fox will announce its intention to start Fox Sports 1, an all-sports network, in August.

The channel will carry Nascar races, Major League Baseball games, college basketball and football, soccer and U.F.C. fights. It will also broadcast studio shows, including one that is to be hosted by Regis Philbin, a celebrated Notre Dame fan.

Murdoch’s effort is a long shot to topple ESPN, or at least take a huge bite out of it.

ESPN brings in more than $6 billion annually from its industry-high subscriber fees. It owns the rights to televise Major League Baseball; the N.F.L.; the N.B.A.; Nascar; tennis; myriad collegiate conferences; the Bowl Championship Series and its new playoffs; and a raft of other sports. Both ESPN and ESPN2 have 98.5 million subscribers.

It is a true empire, with eight domestic cable channels; the ESPN3 broadband network; the Web sites ESPN.com and Grantland.com; a radio network; digital properties like ESPNw, which focuses on women’s sports; a magazine; the WatchESPN app, which enables viewing of ESPN on computers, smartphones and tablets; and ownership of the Global X Games, college basketball tournaments and seven bowl games.

Fox Sports 1 will join a market that is far more crowded than it was when Murdoch first contemplated squaring off against ESPN. Not only will Fox face the dominance of ESPN, but NBC and CBS have their own sports channels, which are struggling for viewers and identities. The Big Ten and Pacific-12 conferences have created their own networks, and the Southeastern Conference is planning one. And in the past decade, M.L.B., the N.F.L., the N.B.A. and the N.H.L. have started their own channels.

Still, Fox and its parent, News Corporation, have a companywide faith in sports as a DVR-proof way to attract viewers — especially young men — and a belief that their new sports channel will differentiate itself from the competition, as the Fox News channel has demonstrated in its successful challenge to CNN and then MSNBC. To ensure that Fox Sports 1 has some of the style and attitude that Fox Sports has had since it began in the mid-1990s, Murdoch and Chase Carey, News Corporation’s president and chief operating officer, brought back one of their favorite executives, David Hill, for its creation and launch. Hill, the former head of the Fox Sports Media Group, left the division last year for another job within News Corporation.

“We think sports is a huge arena that has room in it to build a really attractive businesses,” Carey told analysts on an earnings call last month. He said that the company recognizes the escalating costs of sports rights but “in a world of increasing fragmentation, we think sports continues to be a more and more important and unique part of that overall landscape.”

The channel’s success might not have to come as a result of beating ESPN at its game.

David Bank, managing director of global media and Internet research at RBC Capital Markets, said that Fox Sports 1 would be a success “from Day 1” and could, in future years, bid against ESPN for N.B.A. rights and any cable package of N.F.L. games that might come to market.

“Do I expect them to be ESPN? No,” he said. “Mega-success will be hard to determine for five years.”

But, he said, “Rupert and Chase have had a pretty decent run at building long-term value.”

Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Nomura Securities, wrote in a recent report that Fox Sports 1 would be a “good start” for News Corporation but was “unlikely to make a material dent to ESPN’s business for the investable time horizon.”

One way to measure Fox Sports 1’s future success will be how many subscribers it gets and the subscriber fees it can accumulate. Fox has spent months working to convert Speed, a motorsports-centric network with 81 million subscribers, to Fox Sports 1. A companion service, Fox Sports 2, will replace another niche channel, Fuel.

Fox is seeking substantially more for Fox Sports 1 than the 31-cent monthly subscriber fee that Speed gets, according to the media research firm SNL Kagan.

Bank estimated that Fox Sports 1 will probably charge cable, satellite and telephone companies 75 cents to $1 a subscriber. “At $1 a sub, it’s a massive home run,” he said.

By comparison, ESPN charges $5.15 a month and additional fees for its other channels.

“We view Fox as a formidable competitor,” said John Skipper, ESPN’s president. “They’ve got the resources of News Corp., and the willingness that Fox has shown in the past to take big bets and to create a difference.”

He added: “We like our hand. We just have to play it well.”

Fox is certainly asset-rich. It plans to use existing long-term deals to fill Fox Sports 1 with M.L.B. games, including some from the league division series, beginning in 2014; Nascar Sprint Cup and truck races; U.F.C. matches; future World Cup soccer matches; and Big 12 and Pac-12 football and basketball games, as well as those from a basketball conference that is being formed by the seven Catholic universities that are leaving the Big East. The new network is also expected to buy some Big East games from ESPN.

Fox also has 22 regional sports networks to plumb for talent and some of its baseball programming. Two of those regional channels, each in Los Angeles, recently lost the rights to carry the Lakers and the Dodgers — each to networks created by Time Warner Cable. But last November, News Corporation made a major foray into the New York sports market by paying about $2 billion for a 49 percent stake in the YES Network, the profitable channel of the Yankees, with an option to buy up to 80 percent in three years.

Still, the possibility of starting a national sports network constitutes unfinished business at Fox.

In the late 1990s, Fox tied a package of M.L.B. games and a news operation with Keith Olbermann as the star anchor on its regional sports channels. It failed. Recalling that time, a former Fox executive said, “It was Chase’s vision that we’d use the regional sports networks to transition into a national sports network.”

Then, in 2004, Murdoch tried to create a national channel in partnership with the N.F.L. and cable operators. At the time, Murdoch said, “We want to consider the capacity of pay television subscribers to pay for two ESPNs.”

But that effort never got off the ground, and he has waited nine years to make his next move.

Sports will become even more integral by this summer, when News Corporation splits into two publicly traded companies. The company’s newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, will join a publishing-based company that will retain the name News Corporation. The 20th Century Fox studio, Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, the cable channels FX and Fox News and the regional sports networks will form the Fox Group.

News Corporation has recently grown its sports business in the United States and abroad, making live sports programming central to the Fox Group, executives have said.

In the past year, News Corporation paid $335 million to complete its acquisition of Singapore-based ESPN Star Sports, previously a joint venture with the Walt Disney Company, and $757.6 million to broadcast Indian Premier League cricket through March 2018 on its Star TV channel.

“Across the whole sports portfolio, it’s about making choices about where you want to invest and where to prioritize,” James Murdoch, the deputy chief operating officer of News Corporation, said on the earnings call last month.

Read more at NY Times where this story was originally published.

richard-flemingThe Colorado Rapids on Tuesday named veteran English broadcaster Richard Fleming as new play-by-play man as well as director of broadcasting for the club.

The former BBC veteran, who joins Rapids legend Marcelo Balboa in the booth for the Rapids, is the latest English export to join the league as TV talent.

“The switch to MLS, the Rapids and Altitude TV, in the beautiful state of Colorado – the exciting project that lays before me – was too good an opportunity to turn down,” Fleming told ColoradoRapids.com in a Q&A. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity both for me and for my family.”

Another BBC alum, Arlo White, parlayed his stint with the Seattle Sounders into a national TV gig with NBC Sports Network. His spot in the Seattle booth was taken by ex-BBC Radio voice Ross Fletcher.

Sporting Kansas City’s lead announcer, Englishman Callum Williams, also brings experience from where else? The BBC.

In Canada, fans will be familiar with the voices of Nigel Reed (Sportsnet & CBC) and Luke Wileman (TSN) – both BBC products.

Fleming gets his first crack at MLS on the March 16 match on Altitude for the Rivalry Week match between the Rapids and Real Salt Lake.

Read more at Major League Soccer where this story was originally published.

jorge-jarrinJaime Jarrin pioneered the radio broadcasting of major league baseball in Spanish with the Dodgers more than 50 years ago — and he earned a place in the Hall of Fame as a result.

On Thursday his son Jorge will make his radio play-by-play debut — in English — when the Dodgers meet the Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch.

Following a famous dad in the same profession has tripped up many a baseball player — as well as a few broadcasters. But Jarrin said he’s ready to take his lumps as he learns the ropes.

“I know that, until I get real comfortable I’m going to struggle,” he said. “But it’s an opportunity. What am I’m going to say? No?”
The younger Jarrin is no stranger to radio listeners in Los Angeles in either language, having spent 16 years as an airborne traffic reporter in English and Spanish. And last year he teamed with former big-leaguer Manny Mota to do TV play-by-play of Dodgers games in Spanish for Fox Deportes.

But radio broadcasting of baseball is new for Jarrin, who came to Arizona this week to host nightly “Dodger Talk” segments for the team’s flagship station, KLAC-AM (570). And with Charley Steiner, the Dodgers regular broadcaster, on assignment at the WBC, Jarrin was asked to call games, in English, both on radio and for two webcasts on the Internet. He’ll be joined on the air by regular commentator Rick Monday.

“To me, it’s a lot more involved,” Jarrin said of calling games on the radio. “With television, you’re following the broadcasts. When the producer’s telling you ‘all right, we’re going to lineups now’ and they throw up the lineup graphic, you just follow the lead and everything.

“But here, I’m still familiarizing myself with the format. It’s a little more proactive.”

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

pat_murphyThirty-three years in the business.

Twenty-nine years in the market.

Eighteen years at the station.

And now Pat Murphy — the television sports anchor most identified with West Palm Beach and its environs — is retiring. He’s scheduled to sign off Monday evening at WPEC-12.

“It has gone by fast,” the 57-year-old Murphy said during a recent lunch. “It has gone by faster than I ever thought it could. I’ve spent half my life here. I never would have imagined I’d be in one city as long as I’ve been here.

“But it’s a great place to live. I fell in love with it pretty quickly. Oh, sure, I had visions of grandeur about going nationally, and there were opportunities to go other places. But this became home. I carved out a nice niche. The viewers have been supportive, and viewers are everything.”

Murphy was born and raised in Milwaukee and went to college at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he initially thought he would pursue a career in law.

But when urged by friends to audition for an on-air gig at the campus television station, Murphy did … and got the job.

“It was all my buddies’ idea,” he said. “I was always throwing out statistics that nobody knew, and that was enough for them to convince me to give it a try. It worked out. I was in hog heaven. There was no teleprompter or anything. Everyone was just kind of winging it. I did some football play-by-play, which became a dream of mine to do.

“But that was a tough racket to break into. I was hooked on working in television, though.”

Murphy’s first professional job was in LaCrosse, Wis., in 1980 — making the princely sum of $140 a week — and he went from there to Chattanooga, Tenn., which was his only other stop before coming to West Palm Beach at WPTV-5, where he worked for 11 years before switching to WPEC-12.

Now, he’s walking away.

“This is me pulling the plug,” Murphy said. “It’s important to me to be able to leave on my own terms, and that’s what I’m doing. I had been thinking about it for a while.”

Murphy, who signed a new contract in December 2011, admitted that “some of the fun had left the job” as cutbacks reduced staff and travel. And the days of the “eight- or nine-minute blocks” of time for sports that Murphy remembers once being part of local telecasts are long gone.

“I’ve gotten a little disenchanted,” Murphy admitted. “I’ve seen good people forced out the door or not have their contacts renewed.”

Murphy, who has a great affection for golf, said covering last week’s Honda Classic was “a great way” to begin the end of his run.

“I’ll miss covering the Honda, because it has become such a great event,” Murphy said. “It’s more than just a golf tournament.”

Murphy, too, has made noteworthy contributions with his own Pat Murphy Golf Classic that has raised $5 million for disadvantaged children in Palm Beach County across 23 installments.

“It’s the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Murphy said. “Awards are nice, but they’re just plaques you hang on the wall. You never know what your career is going to be like, no matter what you do, but making a difference in society should be important for anybody.

“My father was a postal worker. My mother worked part time in a boutique. We didn’t have much, but I was taught that what you give, not what you have, is what counts.”

Murphy said his employers have been “generous enough” during almost three decades in West Palm Beach that he is able to make the choice he’s making. A popular emcee for area events, Murphy hopes to continue to serve in that capacity.

But his next order of business is traveling with his wife, Lisa, on various trips they have planned during the next six months.

“After that? I don’t know what the future holds,” Murphy said, “but I’m looking forward to it.”

Which might be as good a sign-off as any.

Read more at the Palm Beach Post where this story was originally published.

1-Fox, Philbin take aim at ESPN

March 5, 2013
Courtesy of Reuters

News Corp introduced a long-rumored national cable sports channel, Fox Sports 1, on Tuesday, aiming to compete with leader ESPN in an increasingly crowded TV sports marketplace.

Fox will launch the channel on Aug. 17 in 90 million homes, executives of the network said at an event in New York City.

The channel will carry college basketball games from conferences such as the Big 12 and Pac 12, college football games including a Notre Dame versus Stanford matchup, and Major League Baseball games starting in 2014. NASCAR, UFC matches and soccer will also appear on the new network.

Fox is the latest broadcaster to invest in building new national sports networks to grab a slice of the lucrative market dominated by ESPN, Walt Disney Co’s sports juggernaut.

“We believe we’ve amassed enough live events … where we can be a major player in the market,” said Fox Sports Media Group’s co-president and chief operating officer, Randy Freer.

Media companies from NBC to Al Jazeera are chasing the advertising dollars that flow in to live sports programming, plus monthly subscription fees paid by cable operators that are far higher than those for other channels.

Advertisers flock to sports programming because viewers tend to watch sporting events live, instead of viewing them later and skipping commercials.

Fox’s new channel will have live sports and talk shows. Daytime talk show host Regis Philbin will have an afternoon show on Fox 1 called “Rush Hour.” Fox has also poached ESPN on-air talent including Erin Andrews.

Initially, about 15-17 percent of the new channel’s programming will be live sports, Freer said.

The main live offerings on the channel will include Major League Baseball, college football, NASCAR races, soccer and ultimate fighting. A new Fox Sports Go app was also unveiled allowing viewers to watch more than 1,000 live games and events on mobile devices.

Fox said it will use its 22 regional sports networks to promote the new channel and would refer viewers to it during and after live sports on those channels.

News Corp shares were up 2.3 percent at $30.16 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday afternoon.

INFLAMED TENSIONS

Fox has long been rumored to be launching the channel, which News Corp Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey called the “world’s worst kept secret” a month ago. In October, it signed a nine-year extension of its agreement with Major League Baseball that allows it to carry up to 40 games on a national cable channel, according to an MLB news release.

The glut of sports channels seeking higher subscriber fees is certain to inflame tensions with cable operators who complain about the already-high payments they are required to charge customers who do not watch sports. DirecTV, Dish Network Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc are just some of the operators to complain about rising sports fees.

The channel is likely to lose money in the early years, analysts have said, which would mirror the company’s money-losing launches over the years of its Fox News and Fox Business channels. The Fox Business Channel, started in 2007, is expected to become profitable this year, Carey said in an earnings call on Feb. 6.

Offering national sports would allow Fox to charge more to the cable and satellite operators who carry its channels and expand its distribution to more homes to sell higher-priced ads.

RBC analyst David Bank estimates that the new channel could generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue if it gets distributed to roughly 90 million homes, receives a fee of $1.00 per subscriber per month and makes $460 million in ad revenue.

Fox Sports 1 will replace Speed Channel, which is seen in 87 million homes and currently gets 22 cents a month for each subscriber, according to media consulting firm SNL Kagan.

By contrast, ESPN gets $5.15 a month and is seen in well over 101 million homes, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

An ESPN spokesman said in a statement that “we like our position. We have always had vigorous competition, so there is really nothing substantially new here.”

Analysts say that while Fox’s channel is not an immediate threat, it could chip away at ESPN’s dominance over time.

“We would remind those who think ESPN’s incumbency is insurmountable that Fox has succeeded as the insurgent in two other significant cases: broadcast, with the launch of FOX in the mid-80s, and cable news, with the launch of Fox News Channel in the mid-90s,” Bank said in a research note.

“It’s going to take us a while, and we’re aware of this fact,” David Hill, News Corp’s senior executive vice president, said when asked about becoming a viable alternative to ESPN.

In a nod to its past, Fox played clips in New York comparing the launch of Fox Sports 1 to the creation of Fox’s broadcasting network and Fox News and featuring a voiceover saying “Fox is ready to change the television landscape again.”

Read more at Reuters where this story was originally published.

Abilene’s Sanchez honored

March 5, 2013
Courtesy of KSAL

SMG’s own Trent Sanchez was awarded the KIAAA (Kansas Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) 2013 Sportscaster of the Year.

He was recognized during halftime of Thursday night’s Abilene vs. McPherson boy’s sub-state semi-final basketball game in Abilene.

Trent will officially receive the award at a banquet at a later date. Trent did not know that he was receiving the award and that he was going to be recognized. Trent is an Abilene native. Trent is in his 11th year of sports broadcasting on KABI and for SMG.

Read more at KSAL where this story was originally published.

Ryan Haney is back where he started.

Haney, the former WJOX 94.5 FM program director who left that station six weeks ago to join sports-talk rival ESPN 97.3 The Zone, returned to WJOX today following a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by Citadel Broadcasting.

Haney, who had been with WJOX since 1998 and had been its program director since 2004, left the station on Jan. 21, and he started work at 97.3 The Zone a week later.

However, after Citadel Broadcasting, Haney’s employer at WJOX, filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge David Proctor on Feb. 7 granted a temporary restraining order barring Haney from working for 97.3 The Zone until more evidence could be heard in the case.

A hearing had been scheduled for today but was delayed indefinitely by Proctor on Friday.

The two sides appear to have reached a settlement, but attorneys representing both Citadel and Haney declined to comment on a possible settlement this afternoon.

The breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by Citadel claimed that Haney had a no-compete clause in his contract that prohibited him from working for another radio station in the Birmingham market for a year after leaving WJOX.

Haney’s last contract with Citadel ended Dec. 31, 2010, according to court documents. But Citadel’s lawsuit stated that since that date, under the terms of the old contract, Haney had worked as an at-will employee and all obligations under that contract continued.

Citadel is a subsidiary of Cumulus Media, which purchased Citadel and WJOX after Haney’s contract expired.

Efforts to reach Haney and John Walker, the general manager for Cumulus stations in Birmingham and Huntsville, have been unsuccessful today.

Haney coincidentally left WJOX the same day sports-talk ratings leader Paul Finebaum’s contract with the station expired. Finebaum, who had worked at WJOX for six years, has been off Birmingham radio since Jan. 21.

The Cox Media Group, which owns 97.3 The Zone, has been aggressively pursuing Finebaum since that station came on the air in August 2011.

Cumulus, the new owner of WJOX, has 90 days from the time Finebaum’s contract expired to match any offer from a competing station, and Finebaum is not expected to make a move until those 90 days are up.

Speculation has been that he would join ESPN 97.3 The Zone when he is free to do so.

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

NFL NETWORKMLB Network has announced that Fran Charles has joined its roster of on-air talent as a host and reporter appearing across MLB Network’s studio programming. Charles will make his MLB Network debut on World Baseball Classic Today this Saturday, March 9 with MLB Network’s Dan Plesac following Second Round action of the World Baseball Classic from Tokyo, Japan, which begins live at 5:00 a.m. ET.

Charles most recently served as a studio host for NFL Network, where he contributed to NFL GameDay Final, NFL Total Access and Around the League. Prior to joining NFL Network, Charles hosted PGA Tour Sunday on USA Network and served as the play-by-play announcer for the HBO Sports series Boxing After Dark and KO Nation. While at HBO, Charles contributed to HBO Pay-Per-View Boxing and World Championship Boxing.

Before joining USA Network and HBO Sports, Charles worked as a sports anchor and reporter for NBC Sports and WNBC-TV in New York, New York, WHDH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts and WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio. Charles began his broadcast career in the news department of KSDK-TV in St. Louis, Missouri.

Charles earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications at Stanford University and his Master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.

marc-silvermanMarc Silverman is co-host of WMVP AM’s Waddle and Silvy show which airs weekdays from 9am-1 CDT on ESPN radio 1000. He’s also a regular on WFLD Fox 32′s The Final Word, airing at 10pm central on Sundays. He has one of the biggest Twitter followings among sports media personalities in this market, and you can follow him here. had an exclusive chat with Silvy about all the local teams and the local sports media- enjoy!Paul M. Banks: We’ll start with your beloved Bulls- losing at home to the Cavs? This just fits right in with the Bobcats and Wizards losses. Yet they’ve handled the Heat and Knicks. What do you make of this polarizing team?

Marc Silverman: It’s been frustrating as of late. The record overall is where I expected it to be when I made my prediction in October. I thought they’d finish somewhere in the 45-48 win range. And they’re pretty much on that pace. My thinking was they’d hover around .500 without Derrick Rose and then hit their stride later in the year with Derrick Rose. So that’s the most disappointing part–Rose watch. Bulls.” It also doesn’t sit well with me that Rose could miss two straight postseasons with the same injury and go 18 total month without playing a meaningful game. When was the last time you heard someone miss 18 STRAIGHT months with the same injury. I’m one of Rose’s biggest fans, but this hasn’t sat well with me. Reggie’s comments haven’t helped his cause either.

Yep things are getting a little tense in Deerfield. Sundays are great in that you get the political talking head shows in the morning and the local sports talking head shows at night. What distinguishes The Final Word from the others?

I love the consistency that show has produced. I’ve been doing the Rant and Rave segment for over 10 years now. I think Waddle has been their main analyst for 15 years. Lou Canellis has been the host for several years. John Eskra has produced the show for over a decade as well. How many shows get Brian Urlacher in-studio after every Bears game? It combines the best weekend Chicago sports highlights, the big newsmakers, strong opinions, a debate segment, and lots of laughs. The 35 minute show flies by.

Time for a little background/biography. Tell us your story of how you got to having both a tv and radio show simultaneously. What’s your advice for someone trying to break into the business today?

I still think of myself as a kid from Skokie who just loves talking Chicago sports. It’s really a dream come true. My mom would take me out of school every year for Cubs opening day. My grandfather took me to hundreds of Bulls games at the old Chicago Stadium. So I ALWAYS knew that this is what I was going to do with my life. I went from doing play-by-play of high school boys and girls basketball games in Estherville, Iowa in the winter of 1994 to covering Michael Jordan’s return in 1995 for WGN Radio.

I’ve always believed in the quote “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” And that’s the advice I always give to people who want to do what I do. Work harder than anyone else and the breaks will come. Do, do, do. Get as much hands on experience as possible. My first job in Estherville had me making $900 a month fresh out of SIU. 900 bucks a MONTH! And in order to get back home to cover Chicago sports, I had to take a paycut!

I accepted an internship in 1995 at ‘GN and moved back in with my parents. I was over qualified to be an intern, but it was the only way I’d get my chance. The sports staff back then didn’t have a reporter. So I volunteered to cover Bulls and Hawks games for free and cut up the tape. They appreciated how many hours I put in with no promises for a full time job. My big break came when Michael Jordan was rumored to be returning to the Bulls in March of ’95. I volunteered to stake out the Berto Center. And of course, the day they let me go, MJ did NOT show up. But instead of just turning in my tape recorder–I recorded a parody report with the “Mission impossible” theme in the background. Nobody asked me to do it, I just did it and asked the WGN radio afternoon producer to listen to it. He loved it. They aired it 3 times that afternoon.

A few days later MJ returned and I was in Indy reporting on his “comeback.” A year later I was hired full time. The rest as they say is history. I covered 3 Bulls championships for ‘GN. I Also got to cover the great home run chase of 1998. The day after McGwire hit HR #62, I returned from St Louis to interview for a job at ESPN 1000. I’ve been there for the last 15 years; one of the station’s three original hires that remain on staff today. I take a lot of pride in that.

That’s an amazing story about Jordan and how you got your big break! Wow that’s a break-in story very difficult to match.
You have close to 50K followers on Twitter, when you have a sports journalist’s account- what’s the key to building up such a large following?

I just enjoy the banter. I’ve met so many cool people because Twitter makes it easy to connect. That’s how I came across your blog and we started chatting. I use to drive my friends’ wives crazy by continuously texting them thoughts during Chicago sporting events. When Twitter came along, I didn’t have to text them anymore. I had an audience every night of passionate Chicago sports fans like myself who wanted to hear the thoughts. And I really like hearing theirs.

Yep, our shared Twitter community is a lot of fun. What factors do you think have attributed to the longevity of the Waddle and Silvy show?

We have fun–EVERY DAY. We’re always evolving. I’m an extremely opinionated guy, as is Waddle, but we’re as self deprecating as any show out there. Nobody has all the answers–so I’m not going to tell listeners they’re idiots. I believe the chemistry between Waddle and I is unmatched. Our differences help keep the balance. He’s the closest thing that I have to a big brother. And that’s the way it’s become off the air. He’s one of my closest friends.
There’s no better sound man in radio than Jeff Meller. You won’t find a show with a better guest list. Executive Producer Randy Merkin has a lot to do with that. I’m a diehard Chicago sports fan and Waddle is a former Bear who was a fan favorite because of the way he played. Our listeners can identify with both of us. Hopefully we’re just getting started.

I know the Bears move the needle more than any other team in this market, and the Jay Cutler Show is a huge success for you guys, but it seems like both sports talk stations in this city are just all Bears all the time. There is no off season for Bears talk I guess.

I know that has been a big pet peeve of yours.

We take a lot of pride in the way we cover our beloved Bears. But we also take pride in using our four hours to provide as much variety as possible. We’re talking Hawks streak. We’re talking a lot of Bulls and debating the DRose soap opera. We have three local baseball reporters that check in everyday at spring training with the Cubs and Sox. We’re talking college hoops as we get closer to March Madness.

Did you see Ben Brust hit that half court shot vs Michigan a couple of weeks back? Shot of the year. He made that shot Saturday afternoon and was talking about it on the air with us that next Monday morning. Point is, if it’s hot, we’re talking about it. Yes, it’s a Bears town and we’ll give you plenty of Bears and NFL discussion, but we’ll provide whatever is hot and try to talk about as much as possible.

Since it against the Wolverines, I truly appreciated it. Finally, the just announced deal between Chicagoland Speedway and ESPN 1000 must be very exciting for both parties. We all just experienced some Danica mania when she took the Daytona 500 pole. What would happen if Danica Patrick actually won a Sprint Cup race this year? Imagine if she won at Chicagoland?

Scott Paddock has done some great things in his time as president of the Chicagoland Speedway. A couple of years ago, we did an hour long show with Trevor Bayne the day after he won the Daytona 500. His story was incredible and it was all set up by Paddock and the Chicagoland Speedway. We had Danica Patrick in studio this past summer and we really enjoyed the experience. We heard some stories that she wasn’t the friendliest before the interview, but she could not have been nicer that day. The reason I watched more than half the Daytona 500 this year? Danica. And yes, I can see her winning this year. And hopefully it is in Chicago.

Read more at Chicago Sports Media Watch where this story was originally published.

Sileo out at WQAM

March 4, 2013

Sileo-DanWQAM (560-AM) has fired show host Dan Sileo after 11 controversial months.

WQAM program director Jorge Sedano confirmed that the station had parted ways with the former Miami Hurricanes lineman, who came to the station in April, originally as a drive-home host.

Sileo was moved to the 10 a.m. slot after Sedano took over as program director in September.

Sileo took to Twitter to comment on his firing, saying: “Want to thank the Folks at WQAM for having me…We differ on content…WISH them WELL and GOOD LUCK..I WILL NEVER CHANGE!!!!”

Sileo followed up that tweet with others calling the station “soft” and that “WQAM isn’t for me” because it feared him.

Read more at the Sun-Sentinel where this story was originally published.

Page 154 of 425« First...102030...152153154155156...160170180...Last »