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Under The Radar – April 24, 2017

There’s never a slow week in sports media, and the past week was no exception. Here’s a look at a few news items which you might not be aware of. As always, if you have a news tip, press release or station promotion to share, you can pass it along via email to JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.

Sources tell BSM that an internal change is taking place inside the ESPN Radio network. VP of ESPN Audio Dave Roberts, who also oversees production for First Take, is turning his focus towards more of ESPN’s television programming. With Roberts shifting to television, Marcia Keegan, ESPN’s VP of Production since 2007 is expected to assume a larger role inside the ESPN Audio division.

The good times keep on rolling for 101 ESPN in St. Louis. The station finished the winter book in 3rd place among Men 25-54 M-F 6a-7p. Their afternoon show The Fast Lane led its time slot, finishing 1st. The Bernie Miklasz Show registered a 3rd place finish in mornings, and in middays, The Kevin Wheeler Show was 4th and The Turn with Anthony Stalter and Chris Duncan came in 5th. A very impressive showing by St. Louis’ dominant sports radio brand.

Congrats to both 98.5 The Sports Hub and WEEI on a strong performance in the Boston winter ratings book. The Hub finished ahead in the key three dayparts (morning, middays and afternoons) but WEEI has closed the gap significantly. The station is up year to year by 14% while the Hub has dropped 15% during that time. With the Red Sox back on the field and both station’s shows firing on all cylinders it’ll be interesting to see how the competition between these two elite sports radio brands develops during the next quarter.

Following its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, the much anticipated television premiere of the Mike and the Mad Dog 30 for 30 will debut on Thursday July 13th. The documentary is scheduled to air that night at 8pm ET on ESPN.

After learning last week that his longtime on-air partner Terry Foster was retiring, 97.1 The Ticket host Mike Valenti announced that he has no desire to fill the seat which Foster has occupied for over a decade. Valenti said that doing so would feel wrong and disrespectful, and if or when it makes sense to add a co-host to the show, those intentions will be announced. For now he plans to host the afternoon show solo on the Detroit sports radio station.

With Andy Gresh now in Providence hosting evenings for WPRO, his former radio home WTIC in Hartford has decided to go in a different direction in afternoons. As a result, Gresh’s partner Joe D’Ambrosio will no longer host a daily show on the radio station. D’Ambrosio will continue to be hear on the station as the play-by-play voice of UConn football and men’s basketball, and he’ll step in from time to time as a fill in talk show host.

Chris LoPresti has announced that he’s stepping down as WFAN‘s New York Jets reporter, a position he held for the past four seasons. The search for his replacement is already in progress.

Congrats to Rick Camp who enjoyed his maiden voyage hosting on 670 The Score in Chicago this past weekend. The longtime producer was given an opportunity by program director Mitch Rosen to host Sunday morning from 7am-9am CT. Camp is hopeful of gaining additional chances to grace the windy city airwaves in the future.

Westwood One has agreed to distribute the new eSports program, Checkpoint Radio, which is a product of Rick Scott and Associates, and Kevin Graham‘s Ripple Content. The show is hosted by Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Joe Sloan and Norris Howard and runs two-hour in length. For more information about the show click here.

Richard Deitsch shared a great sports media story which is worthy of being re-told. During an on-air interview with Darren McFarland on 102.5 The Game in Nashville, NHL play-by-play man Doc Emrick shared his email address over the airwaves, encouraging young broadcasters to contact him if they wanted his feedback on their work. A classy gesture from the NHL’s top broadcaster.

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