Ponder discusses Sunday NFL Countdown role

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

ESPN management pulled off something impressive regarding the end of the Chris Berman NFL era: They were able to thread the fine line of allowing Berman a celebratory exit as the host of Sunday NFL Countdown and ESPN’s NFL draft coverage while making it clear they were moving in a new direction for his hosting roles.

As the company …

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Brian Jeffries still living the dream with U of A

Courtesy of The Daily Wildcat

Thirteen-year-old Brian Jeffries sat next to the radio listening to Seattle Supersonics games. Jeffries did his best to catch all 82 games and listen to the legendary voice of longtime Supersonics play-by-play man Bob Blackburn.

“It fascinated me that he could be anywhere in the country broadcasting this game and I could close my eyes and I was [transported to] where he was,” Jeffries said. “He was so descriptive of the game. I just had the bug to do that.”

Jeffries tried his hand at radio. At 16, he earned …

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Creighton’s show going national

“PatrickJust seven months after launching a new sports talk radio show in Houston, STAA member Patrick Creighton and his co-host Nate Griffin are going national.

Nate and Creight will launch March 27th on SB Nation Radio, weekdays from 2 to 4 pm ET.

While the show may be unfamiliar to a national audience, Nate and Creight has enjoyed great success locally in Houston. The program currently airs on SB Nation Radio’s flagship station, 1560 KGOW.

“I am very excited to hear Nate and Creight take their show to new heights,” said Craig Larson, COO/PD of SB Nation Radio. “They truly are among the most talented duos in sports radio.”

Patrick Creighton has been a part of the Gow Media family for the last two years. He has previously hosted radio shows in New York and Atlanta.

“I am honored and thrilled for this opportunity,” said Patrick Creighton. “Nate and I are looking forward to being a part of a great lineup and taking our sports and shenanigans to a brand new audience.”

Nate Griffin is a 25 year veteran of radio and television. He is a former Southern Mississippi wide receiver and has been a part of the Rice football radio broadcasts for the last nine seasons.

“This is such a privilege and honor,” said Nate Griffin. “Pat and I will work to make sure everyone enjoys listening to our show as much as we love hosting it.”

“It’s been a joy listening to Nate and Creight,” said David Gow, CEO of Gow Media and SB Nation Radio. “These guys have risen to the top of Houston’s sports radio scene. I expect them to have a similar impact as we expand nationwide.”

Creighton’s path to the opportunity has been a long, long road.

Click here to read more about Patrick’s story

(Visit Patrick’s STAA Talent Page).

ESPN names new NFL studio hosts

With Chris Berman moving into a new role in 2017, a trio of talented ESPN commentators – Suzy Kolber, Samantha Ponder and Trey Wingo – will assume his previous host responsibilities on ESPN’s NFL studio shows.

Kolber, who has co-hosted Monday Night Countdown with Berman since 2015, will now host the entire Monday Night Football pregame show from the site of each week’s game. She will also add the MNF halftime and postgame host role to her responsibilities while continuing to anchor weekday editions of NFL Insiders from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.
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Surprise recommendation leads Smith to Freedom

Spenser Smith(March 23, 2017) From the ashes of one application, Spenser Smith has risen to a new job in independent baseball. An STAA member, Smith has been named the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Florence Freedom.

The Freedom are part of the Frontier League. The opportunity to broadcast for them came when Smith interviewed with another Frontier League team in January.

“After one phone interview, the team moved onto other candidates for the position, but the hiring manager was impressed with my skillset and very graciously sent my materials to the Freedom, who had an unpublished opening,” Smith smiles.

“I followed up with the Freedom immediately and had a great phone conversation with the general manager, Josh Anderson, who offered me the position later that same week.”

Baseball broadcasting has kept Smith mostly on the west coast. His experience includes calling games for the Walla Walla Sweets, the California Winter League, and most recently, the Portland Pickles.

“This is my first lead broadcasting job in professional baseball. It’s a terrific opportunity because it allows me to step up and run the media department in a way that not only pushes me to learn and grow as a broadcaster, but also that allows me to help the organization at large by exploring ways to engage the team’s fan base.”

Hitting the job market during the offseason reminded Smith of the benefit in maintaining industry relationships. Smith also understands that bringing value to potential employers means developing non-broadcasting abilities.

“I committed myself to learning new skills during the offseason, including audio and video editing, keeping in mind that throughout the minor leagues, employers typically place greater value on media relations and other skills than on broadcasting.”

Smith values his STAA membership in two important areas of career development.

“In an industry full of constant ups and downs, sportscasters at all levels of experience must seek constant improvement while simultaneously keeping a positive mindset. The various resources that Jon Chelesnik provides through STAA have helped me tremendously in both areas. My STAA membership has undoubtedly been a driving force behind my career success thus far.”

(Visit Spenser’s STAA Talent Page).

CSN Bay Area rebranding as NBC Sports Bay area

NBC Sports Regional Networks will rename CSN Bay Area and CSN California to NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California, respectively, on April 2, in conjunction with the start of the San Francisco Giants’ 2017 MLB season. The announcement was made today by David Preschlack, President, NBC Sports Regional Networks and NBC Sports Group Platform and Content Strategy.

The re-branded RSNs will utilize new logos and graphics, most of which already include the NBC Peacock and other NBC-related branding. Starting Monday, March 27, NBC Sports Bay Area and California will tease the re-brand through on-air promos, graphics and social media content.

The two Northern California-based networks will be the first of NBC Sports Group’s nine regional networks to incorporate the “NBC Sports” brand. A re-brand for the remaining RSNs is currently in exploration, given the unique partnerships with team partners across the RSN markets.

ESPN Chicago rearranges schedule

Courtesy of Chicago Radio and Media

WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000 is making a big change with its weekday lineup effective next month. The late morning/midday show with Carmen DeFalco and John “Jurko” Jurkovic will be trading places with midday show “Kap & Co.” with David Kaplan. This change will begin on April 3rd.

The swapping of shifts will give Kaplan an extra hour each morning, while taking way an hour from Carmen and Jurko. …

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Keeley returning to Honkers

Courtesy of Rochester Post-Bulletin

Play-by-play radio broadcaster Michael Keeley is returning to call Rochester Honkers games again for the 2017 season.

Keeley will be entering his second season with the Honkers. He did the broadcasts for all 72 games of the 2016 season.

Keeley has also been the broadcaster for the Austin Bruins NAHL hockey team since 2015. He’s been working in the NAHL since 2014 when he began his career with the Keystone Ice Miners (Pa.). …

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Iconic sportscaster Worrell has seen it all

Courtesy of Houstonia

As Bill Worrell makes his way through Toyota Center on game day, his progress is…slow. There are fist bumps with James Harden, hugs with Patrick Ewing, bows to doormen, selfies with Andre Ware. When he finally starts to walk up the stairs to his broadcast perch at club level, a fan shouts his name. “How you doing, man?” he calls back.

In this world, Worrell is royalty: an elder statesman of Houston sports broadcasting, all the more revered after the retirement of his contemporaries Gene Peterson, Milo Hamilton and Bill Brown.

Now 72 and in his 32nd season as the play-by-play voice of the Houston Rockets, Worrell is …

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Doug Gottlieb leaving CBS Sports Radio for FSR

Doug Gottlieb is leaving CBS Sports Radio for Fox Sports Radio and FS1, according to Phil Mushnick of the New York Post.

Taking over for Gottlieb in the 3 to 6 pm (EDT) time slot on CBS Sports Radio is Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney.

A replacement has not yet been named for the 6 pm slot being vacated by Amendolara.