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buffalo bisonsThe Buffalo Bisons are pleased to announce a three-year extension with Entercom Broadcasting of Buffalo to air all Bisons home and road games live on ESPN Buffalo, 1520 AM. The agreement will run through the completion of the Herd’s 2016 season.

Bisons games have aired on 1520 AM’s strong 50,000-watt signal since the 2008 season. In September, the station became ESPN Buffalo, 1520 AM to offer sports fans in Western New York the very best in national sports talk and access to expanded national and local play-by-play sports action.

“We are very pleased to renew this great partnership with Entercom Broadcasting,” said Mike Buczkowski, Vice President/General Manager of the Bisons. “Entercom is a leader in providing sports entertainment to fans throughout Western New York and Southern Ontario and we’re very excited to be a part of the newly-formed ESPN Buffalo 1520 AM format.”

“Bison Baseball is the cornerstone of our commitment on the new ESPN 1520 AM to provide more local play by play and the very best in sports entertainment for the Western New York listener,” said Greg Ried, Vice President/General Manager of Entercom Buffalo LLC.

The partnership will include all 144 regular season Bisons’ games, the broadcast of the annual Triple-A All Star Game (this year’s game is on July 16 in Durham, NC), all Bisons’ post season games and the Triple-A National Baseball Championship Game on Tuesday, September 16.

The Bisons open the 2014 season on Thursday, April 3 against the Rochester Red Wings at Coca-Cola Field (2:05 p.m.).

Read more at the Buffalo Bisons where this story was originally published.

nfl_red_zoneIt’s late in the fourth quarter and Andrew Siciliano is calling out audibles.

“One and four!” he yells, gesticulating and pointing like Peyton Manning on 3rd and long. “Let’s go to six!”

Unlike the Denver Broncos quarterback, the host of DIRECTV’s Red Zone Channel is studying eight defenses at once, particularly the three whose opponents have the ball within 20 yards of the end zone near the end of Week 7’s slate of early NFL games.
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Tafoya-Michele Michele Tafoya has been looking forward to this week since the start of the NFL season. Rarely does the NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter get to spend seven consecutive days at home with her two young children, but next Sunday’s Packers-Vikings game affords her the opportunity to spend the week at her home in Minneapolis. “I’m not a fan of any team, but this is like working a home game — the only one I get,” said Tafoya, who worked two decades ago for Minneapolis-based KFAN-AM as a sideline reporter on Vikings games. “Usually I’m on the road three or four days a week, and to have those days this week with my kids, who are seven and four years old is really significant. It is hard to be away from them every week.”

This is Tafoya’s third season on Sunday Night Football after 11 years at ESPN. Most would consider her at the top of her profession, a reporter who takes the verb “reporting” seriously and demonstrates weekly how a sideline reporter with news instincts can aid a football broadcast. She was sensational during the Ravens-Broncos weather delay on Sept. 5, providing viewers with timely updates as well as a strong post-game interview with Peyton Manning. She has been helped by the fact Sunday Night Football producer (and Deadspin.com favorite) Fred Gaudelli treats the position with gravitas as opposed to a fluffy appendage. (Former SNF sideline reporter Andrea Kremer recently offered thoughts on that topic to SI.com.)
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Portland TImbersWake up.

Print out the teams’ rosters.

Look up scores and re-caps from their last three games.

Review every preview story, then every game day stories.

Research players’ histories. Scores and stats. Line-ups and subs.

Find out anything and everything that a TV viewer might want to know about the upcoming game. Then condense it into something understandable in 10 seconds or fewer.
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Geronimo returns to D.C. radio

October 23, 2013
Courtesy of DCRTV

Geronimo-DonLongtime DC radio veteran Don Geronimo is returning to CBS sports talker WJFK’s lineup with a new show starting Thursday, October 24.

When not pre-empted by Wizards or Capitals games, “The Don Geronimo Show” will air weekday evenings from 7 to 10, Saturday mornings from 9 to noon, and Geronimo will contribute to the station’s Sunday football programming, “Washington Gameday Uncensored.”

Says Geronimo, “I am thrilled to continue my relationship with CBS Radio and return to my roots at 106.7 The Fan. It’s good to be back, it’s good to be home and I can’t wait to be a part of 106.7 The Fan. Radio is my life and I’m elated the next chapter will continue on WJFK in DC.”

Geronimo was half of the top-rated “Don And Mike Show” on WAVA from 1985 to 1991 and WJFK, back when it sported a “guy talk” format, from 1991 to 2008. He hosted a sports talk show at CBS sports talker KHTK in Sacramento from June 2010 to October 2013. Geronimo grew up in Rockville and worked at the old contemporary hit WPGC in the 1980s.

“Don built an incredible following over two decades in Washington, and I’m excited to bring him back home to WJFK,” says 106.7 The Fan Program Director Chris Kinard. “Don is a passionate DC sports fan and will bring a unique perspective and approach to his new show”

Read more at DCRTV where this story was originally published.

Bill Mazer, who was a voice and face of sports coverage in New York for decades, pioneering sports-talk radio and becoming a television fixture while earning the nickname the Amazin’ for his encyclopedic recall of sports facts and figures, died on Wednesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 92.

His son, the actor Arnie Mazer, confirmed the death, at Danbury Hospital. The elder Mr. Mazer had lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., until moving to an assisted-living facility in Danbury two years ago.

When Mr. Mazer retired in 2009, he had spent more than 60 years in broadcasting — 20 of them as a nightly sports anchor and the host of the weekend roundup “Sports Extra” on WNEW-TV, Channel 5. Before then he had been a host of sports-talk radio when the very idea of the format was new.

He ranged beyond sports occasionally in radio interview programs with figures from all walks of life, but sports was his passion and had been since he was growing up in Brooklyn. For a time, while attending a yeshiva, he envisioned becoming a rabbi.

But he also played punchball and made Ebbets Field his second home. Sports won out. As he put it long afterward, unearthing the memory of a Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher of the 1930s with a terrific fastball and a musical name: “I was paying more attention to Van Lingle Mungo than I was to Moses.”

Mr. Mazer had been covering sports at radio and TV stations in Buffalo for 16 years when he was hired by WNBC-AM in March 1964. It was unveiling an innovative talk format.

“Here, Go Nag WNBC!” the station said in a March 1964 advertisement. “Listen to the Newest Sound in New York — your own voice and your neighbor’s — on WNBC Radio, 660 on the dial.”

The station invited listeners to pick up their phones and “talk sports with Bill Mazer from 4:30-6 p.m.”

Mr. Mazer held down the sports call-in spot while others, including Brad Crandall, Long John Nebel and Big Wilson, fielded calls on just about anything else.

After several years at WNBC, Mr. Mazer had a general interview program on WOR-AM and provided color commentary for the CBS television network’s hockey game of the week. He also did commentary for the Knicks, the Nets, the Rangers and the Islanders before moving to WNEW-TV in 1971 and anchoring its nightly sports coverage.

It was the news anchor, John Roland, who proclaimed Mr. Mazer the Amazin’ after Mr. Roland started tossing him arcane sports questions during the broadcasts, the answers to which he almost invariably knew.

Mr. Mazer was also the host of lunchtime interview programs from Mickey Mantle’s restaurant on Central Park South for WFAN for several years after it made its debut as an all-sports station in 1987.

“I never think of it as an interview,” he told Newsday in 1988. “I think of it as a conversation. I expose a part of myself, and I think that helps a guest open up.”

He was born Morris Mazer on Nov. 2, 1920, in what is now Izyaslav, Ukraine, and moved with his family to Brooklyn when he was an infant. His father worked in a kosher poultry market. His mother took the boy and his friends to Ebbets Field to see the Dodgers and occasionally to the Polo Grounds to see the Giants. But his father, like many new immigrants, regarded sports as a time-wasting frivolity.

As Mr. Mazer related it in “Bill Mazer’s Amazin’ Baseball Book” (1990), written with Stan and Shirley Fischler: “When I brought my baseball talk back home, my father invariably reacted as if I were discussing the manufacture of plutonium.”

After attending Yeshiva University High School for Boys in Manhattan, Mr. Mazer graduated from the University of Michigan, where he played freshman basketball and wrote about sports for the student newspaper.

He worked briefly as a staff announcer at a radio station in Grand Rapids, Mich., before becoming an officer in the Army Air Forces transport command in World War II.

The sportscaster Marty Glickman, whom Mr. Mazer met while in military service, recommended him for his first major sports slot, at a Buffalo radio station in 1948.

Mr. Mazer often teamed with John Dockery, the former Jets football player, on WNEW’s “Sports Extra.” As co-hosts, they reviewed sports highlights but also got into debates, in which Mr. Mazer supplied much of the passion.

“He gesticulates, he frowns, he tilts his head, he throws his hands up,” Gerald Eskenazi wrote in the TV Sports column in The New York Times in 1985. “Dockery, on the other hand, is the restrained, respectful pupil, often allowing an incredulous grin to cross his face when Mazer has gone too far.”

Mr. Mazer later had a morning radio show on WEVD for about 10 years, interviewing anyone who fascinated him. His first guest was New York’s governor, Mario M. Cuomo. After WEVD became an ESPN station, he moved on to WVOX Radio in New Rochelle, N.Y., and remained with it until his retirement.

Besides his son, Mr. Mazer is also survived by his daughters Francine Siegel and Beverly Mazer; a sister, Frances Zussman; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Dora, known as Dutch, died in 1996.

Mr. Mazer’s boyhood idol, Van Lingle Mungo, became the title of a song by the singer, pianist and songwriter Dave Frishberg, consisting entirely of old-time ballplayers’ names. Mungo, who died in 1985, won 120 games and lost 115 with the Dodgers and the Giants, and he led the National League in strikeouts with 238 in 1936. It’s a fair guess that the Amazin’ would have known those statistics without having to look them up.

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

Veteran New England-area sportscaster and STAA client John Leahy has written his third book.

Breakaway Wisdom is a compilation of interviews with the head coaches of Hockey East, one of the elite Division I college hockey conferences in the country. Each chapter focuses on a success topic with an individual coach, in which each coach discusses the strategy on a personal and professional level.

The book features a biography and highlights of each coaches career followed by the transcripted interviews and closing thoughts of summation by the author.

Leahy is in his ninth season as the radio hockey broadcaster at Merrimack College. He has spent the past three summers calling baseball for the Lowell Spinners

Leahy’s other two books are still on sale. Details on all his books, including purchase information, can be found online at johnrleahy.com.

2009 - Sage SteeleIn addition to signing a contract extension with ESPN, Sage Steele has accepted the host’s role for the network’s “NBA Countdown” pregame show.

Steele replaces Michael Wilbon, who will focus more on his “Pardon The Interruption” show.

She will work the Friday and Sunday editions on the shown on ESPN and ABC. Returning analysts Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons will be joined by new hire Doug Collins.

Steele will continue to appear on “SportsCenter” and will contribute to ESPN’s on-site NBA coverage during the NBA Finals.

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

A lot of tidbits from Netflix‘s quarterly conference call with analysts — including the fact that the final season of Breaking Bad won’t be available on the service until 2014. But one of the most interesting disclosures is that the execs want to back movies — which they would transmit to living rooms faster than conventional Hollywood productions do. The company is “actively looking at documentaries,” Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says, though he adds that he’ll “keep my mind wide open” for other genres. The company’s intrigued in part because it wouldn’t have to wait for its titles to sell on home video before it can stream them to subscribers. “Even though that window is moving, it isn’t moving aggressively enough,” he says. A more aggressive timetable “would be good for our members.” But he squashed a recent report in The Wall Street Journal that said Netflix might be interested in cutting a deal to offer NFL games. “We’re still not interested in sports,” he says, calling matches “primarily a linear experience.”

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

UTPA_BroncsThe University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Tuesday that Bronc Country will be available throughout most of Texas on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. starting Oct. 30.

Time Warner Cable Sports Channel is available to Time Warner Cable customers on channels 888 (SD) and 1888 (HD) in the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, Golden Triangle and North Texas (Wichita Falls), 888 (SD) and 1509 (HD) in Central Texas, 323 (SD and HD) in San Antonio, 148 (HD) and 185 (SD) in North Texas (Dallas), and 891 (SD) and 1888 (HD) in El Paso.

Bronc Country also airs on channel Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Houston every Friday at 11 a.m., and throughout each week on McAllen Cable Network and Pharr Television.
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