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Under The Radar – January 17, 2018



They may not steal the headlines in the sports media world but news is news. Here are a couple of smaller items you might have missed. A reminder, if you have news to share and would like to have it included in a future column please pass it along via email to Now here’s the latest.

Michelle Smallmon has announced her exit from ESPN Radio. Her final day at the network was Friday where she helped produce Will Cain‘s afternoon show. During her past few years in Bristol, Smallmon produced Ryen Russillo, Danny Kanell, Jorge Sedano, Cain, and a slew of others. All the best to her as she prepares to write the next chapter of her career.

Speaking of ESPN, former producer Jason Romano has added the title “author” to his resume. Romano’s brand new book Live To Forgive went on sale this week. To pick up your copy and support a member of the sports media fraternity click here.

All the best to 98.5 The Sports Hub‘s Marc Bertrand. The midday host was involved in an accident on Saturday which resulted in his vehicle being totaled and a trip to the hospital. Bertrand says he sustained injuries but has been sent home from the hospital. The police and fire departments in Norwood, MA arrived on the scene of the accident quickly and used the jaws of life to free him from his vehicle.

Barstool Sports‘ kicked off the launch of their 24-hour channel on SiriusXM by welcoming an industry icon to the airwaves. Former WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa appeared on Barstool Breakfast with Julie Stewart-Binks, Willie Colon and Francis. Francesa acknowledged during the interview that not being behind the microphone in January when the NFL Playoffs take center stage has felt strange. To hear some of the interview click here.

After parting ways with Eric Davis, ESPN LA 710 has confirmed they’re returning their afternoon show to a two-man program. Marcellus Wiley and Sean Farnham will work together in afternoon drive going forward.

Congratulations to Adam Gold of 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh. The Triangle Sports Talk Host is celebrating a milestone of 20 years in sports radio this month. Gold was initially hired by 850 The Buzz, and has been installed in afternoons on The Fan with co-host Joe Ovies since 2010.

Ric Bucher has teamed up with Atlanta producer Shaine Freeman to launch the United We Cast Network. The new platform will include a collection of shows from established names in various parts of the sports and entertainment industry. Among them are comedian/movie actor Gary Owen (GetSome Podcast), actor Isaiah Washington (Isaiah Washington Speaks…Again) and former NBA center Ryan Hollins who will co-host a program (The SwRL) with Bucher. All three podcasts will delve into issues of race and race relations in different areas of the entertainment industry. The network’s goal is to create discussion and share personal experiences on issues and topics which may be considered too risky for other mediums. To learn more click here.

In other podcasting news, San Diego afternoon host Scott Kaplan has launched a solo podcast. The Mighty 1090 personality’s latest episode includes a no holds barred conversation with Kaplan’s former radio partner Sid Rosenberg who now hosts middays on WABC in New York City. One particularly interesting part of the episode includes a detailed discussion between the two men over the way their former show in the big apple was set up for failure. To take a listen click here.

FOX Sports 97.5 FM/1260 AM in Indianapolis has canceled its local morning show which was added to the weekday schedule one year ago. The radio station has dropped “The Flagrant Foul” featuring Don Stuck and Dave “Gunner” Gunn. Taking over the morning time slot is FOX Sports Radio‘s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis“.

If you missed it, Dino Costa has resurfaced. The controversial talk show host who was dropped by 750/102.9 The Game in Portland in August has joined AM 970 The Answer in New York City. Costa now hosts the overnight shift from Midnight to 3am ET.

And in play by play news, Elijah Gonzalez has been hired by the Fort Myers Miracle as the team’s #2 broadcaster.

Sports Radio News

710 ESPN LA To Host Live Awards Show During Super Bowl Week

The evening includes dinner and show, cocktails with a cash bar, and presentation of the 710 Mandy Awards as voted on by 710 ESPN listeners.



ESPN 710 in Los Angeles is hosting its first ever award show during “Superweek” on February 6th.

The 710 Mandy Awards will take place at Quiet Cannon in Montebello, California. Some of the awards that will be up for grabs will be host of the year, show of the year, producer of the year, and more. The host of the event will be former 710 ESPN LA co-host Keyshawn Johnson, who is now with ESPN Radio’s Keyshawn, JWill, and Max.

Here is a sneak peak of some of what the ESPN Los Angeles team has in store for the inaugural event.

The evening includes dinner and show, cocktails with a cash bar, and presentation of the 710 Mandy Awards as voted on by 710 ESPN listeners.

A live version of “Family Feud” will also be played featuring the 710 hosts and for the first time ever, “Ask Sli” where a live audience can ask host of the Travis and Sliwa show Allen Sliwa anything they want.

Tickets can be purchased for only $25 with the dinner included for the event in what makes for a very fun and enjoyable event for a fraction of what it would normally cost to go to an event of this magnitude.

Live coverage of the event will be across 710 ESPN Los Angeles’s social media platforms.

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Sports Radio News

Michael Irvin Tells Parkins & Spiegel How He Learned What Guacamole Was

“Irvin prefaced the story by saying that he has loved avocados since he was a kid.”



NFL Network analyst and First Take fighter Michael Irvin was the guest of Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel on Tuesday. 670 The Score’s afternoon hosts asked The Playmaker what his favorite fruit was. It led to a story from Irvin about a recruiting trip that ended in a Mexican restaurant.

Irvin prefaced the story by saying that he has loved avocados since he was a kid. His mother used to clean houses and one of her clients would often send her home with a few avocados. That is how he was first exposed to them.

Fast forward to Michael Irvin’s high school years when he was being recruited to play college football. He was taken to a Mexican restaurant where he saw guacamole.

Irvin told Parkins & Spiegel that he told the waiter “whatever you do, do not put that green, it looks like bird doo doo, on my plate. I can’t even take it. I can’t even stand looking at it.”

Later in the meal, he saw the same waiter walk by with avocado and he asked if he could have some. The waiter said that Michael Irvin had said earlier that he didn’t want it.

“I didn’t say that,” Irvin said. “I said I don’t want that bird doo doo.”

He says that is when one of the people he was dining with spoke up and said “Michael, the bird doo doo is avocado.”

“We asked you for you’re favorite fruit and you had a fruit story. That is why you are one of one,” Danny Parkins responded. “You are Michael Irvin and you are the best man.”

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Sports Radio News

Bobby Valentine Tells Boomer & Gio Donald Trump Photo Sunk Him

“Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the Stamford mayoral race.”



Courtesy: WFAN

Former MLB manager and ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine joined WFAN’s Boomer and Gio this week to discuss his mayoral campaign in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the race. He claims that a decades-old picture with him and former President Donald Trump sunk his chances.

“We had a photo taken together in 2000 for the World Series and so the last day of the campaign all around the neighborhoods, a picture of Donald and Bobby with the quote ‘only poor people and dumb people pay taxes,’” Valentine told Boomer and Gio about the photo that circulated around the town on Election Day.

“That really helped with the minority vote in my town,” Valentine said sarcastically.

It wasn’t all bad news for Valentine, who was enamored with the campaign-building process, among other things.

“Built it [the campaign] from scratch, which was a wonderful experience” Valentine explained. “Figuring out how to get volunteers together, and money together, and office, and headquarters together. We actually ran a six-month—perfectly clean—campaign. Not one negative word mentioned the entire time. Got 14,000 votes, more than any non-Democrat ever got in our city, and almost won that thing.

“I’m glad that I was the candidate, and I’m also glad that I’m not the mayor because it’s really a tough job. I got four years of my life back when the votes came in.”

Valentine worked at ESPN for a few years in the early part of the 2010s before re-entering the managing circuit with the Boston Red Sox. He famously managed the Mets to one of their two World Series appearances this century in 2000.

“It’s a little bit of the seven-year itch,” Valentine said when asked why he’s always looking for the next obstacle. “I did seven years in Texas; seven years in New York; seven years in Japan; seven months in Boston. Then I did seven years at Sacred Heart. So, yeah, it’s all about the sevens.”

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