Saturday, January 18, 2020

A "Sign" Of Radio Things To Come

The past week might be best remembered for the number of major shocking stories and how the sports media was a part of them.

Several major sports radio shows were lost (with at least one brought back as of press time) due to corporate decisions instead of ratings or on-air controversy. The major cutbacks by iHeart Radio will negatively impact a lot for the over the air radio audience, which could prove devastating in the long run. Their stations in many key markets were forced to cut back, hurting their chances to try to regain audiences who have already taken to alternative sources as it is.

Sports fans in Louisville were hit hard with the sudden and immediate cancellation of Paul Rogers from the WHAS 820 morning show. Rogers had been a part of the morning show for most of his 47 years with the station. He does, however, continue as play-by-play voice for the University of Louisville. In fact, Rogers was out of town to call a game when he got the news. Also hard it in Louisville was WKRD 790, which airs the U. of Louisville games along with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Des Moines listeners raised enough of a protest after the announced firing of The Sports Fanatics with Ross Peterson and Chris Williams that the station brought them back within the week. The pair will return on Tuesday (1/21) to KXNO. This was based on what management termed "thousands of listeners expressing their support". In addition, although it is really to cut back programming costs for a sister station, KXNO-AM will now be simulcast on the more powerful 106.3 FM.

With these major cutbacks, much more than sports programming was effected around the country. Thus, even more FM and AM stations continue to provide listeners with even more reasons to listen less and less to conventional radio stations as we knew them.


Meanwhile, the aftermath of the Astros and the sign stealing penalties also took their toll in the media. Few fans knew before this past week that ESPN's Jessica Mendoza also worked for the N.Y. Mets. It became quite obvious when Mendoza appeared on three different ESPN TV and radio shows on the same day to try and defend Carlos Beltran before he and the Mets parted ways.

Mendoza is, understandably, receiving heavy criticism for her stand, leading to speculation that ESPN could or should remove her from her Sunday Night Baseball role. Perhaps ESPN deserves the criticism instead, for having her make the same comments on three different shows. Obviously trying to stir the pot, which may have backfired for all concerned.


Rich Eisen of the NFL Network may be changing affiliation for his separate weekday radio show. This is due to The Audience Network on DirecTV being removed (in favor of a different channel), which would also end the current simulcast on Fox Sports Radio Network. At the same time of this announcement, Eisen claims that he is lining up a different broadcast partner with plans to continue his weekday show.


BOSTON: The Red Sox radio broadcast team on WEEI-FM will continue its rotation of broadcasters for the coming season like it did last season. Joe Castiglione returns as the primary play-by-play voice for his 38th season. In addition, Will Fleming, the play-by-play voice of the Pawtucket Red Sox, will call some games again in 2020.

In addition, Sean McDonough will call some games for the 2nd season, while Lou Merloni, co-host of WEEI-FM's afternoon drive talk show, will also be in the booth on occasion. Just to add more to the mix, Jon "Boog" Sciambi and Dave O'Brien will also take the call for what is termed "select" games.

Monday, January 6, 2020

NFL Playoffs Benefit From Social Media

The amazing NFL Playoff game on Saturday (1/4) between Houston and Buffalo finished with strong ratings as a larger than expected audience watched the exciting conclusion. This telecast proved to be the highest rated Wild Card game ever on ESPN/ABC, and was up 14% over last year when the Texans played Indianapolis, another small market team.

As impressive as this is, the feeling is that these ratings would not have happened if the same game was 20 years ago. This all shows the power of social media. It was the ratings during the late 4th quarter and overtime which were the strongest during the time period. That shows that more fans tuned in for the outcome.

How did they know? Without social media, as well as group texts, many of the fans who tuned in would not have been alerted 20 years ago. Those watching would not have been able to individually call numerous friends and family members to ask them to tune in. Now, with social media posts and group texts, the opportunity is there to instantly increase an audience.

One other interesting find from these ratings. On the individual markets list, the highest market rating for this game for a market without a local NFL team was Norfolk. While we can understand this Virginia market scoring high ratings for the Redskins (and division rival Cowboys) telecasts, two distant AFC teams would not figure to attract major interest. 



Afternoon drive competition is heating up the winter for the major east coast market sports stations as we begin the new year.

In Philadelphia, WPEN 97.5 Sports Fanatic's afternoon show, led by Mike Missanelli (along with Tyrone Johnson and Natalie Egenolf) has just taken the lead over WIP-FM's Marks & Reese. The significance is that WIP-FM is ahead of Sports Fanatic during the other times of the day and night. This December ratings boost comes after WIP-FM led in this time slot for the earlier three quarters of 2019.

Both afternoon shows actually increased their overall ratings by at least 20% over 2018. Missanelli and crew have another advantage, since their show is simulcast over NBC Sports Philadelphia. Those viewership ratings do not count toward the Sports Fanatic audience.

Mornings are a different story in Philly. WIP-FM's Angelo Cataldi, Rhea Hughes, and Al Morganti remain solidly ahead of Marc Farzetta and Tra Thomas on WPEN.

The NYC afternoon battle will be more interesting for the first part of 2020. We begin the year with WEPN's Michael Kay Show leading the way  in afternoons, while WFAN begins its revised weekday lineup. Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts officially begin this week as the afternoon team (2 to 6 PM), moving from the midday slot.

They replace Mike Francesa, who remains with WFAN only for his new 6:00 to 6:30 PM show. The first quarter of 2020 will be critical to the afternoon drive battle going into baseball season. While WFAN is the flagship for the Yankees games, Michael Kay, as the play-by-play voice for most Yankees telecasts, has significant access to Yankees content for his show as well.

By the way, WFAN has confirmed that John Sterling will return for Yankees radio play-by-play this year at the age of 81. For the 16th season, he will be joined by Suzyn Waldman on the broadcasts.

In Boston, both WBZ-FM Sports Hub and WEEI-FM dropped overall during the final ratings period of 2019, with Sports Hub holding a one-half ratings point overall lead. Both stations showed higher audiences since September, yet both dropped from the previous ratings period.

With the Patriots losing on Saturday (1/4), and opinions across the board on the future of Tom Brady, look for an increase in audience for both stations. It will be interesting to see if the Sports Hub gains more as the flagship station of the Patriots and its expanded coverage.


CHICAGO: Normally being just over six weeks from the start of MLB Spring Training games is not big news, but the new year continues a most curious scenario for Chicago area baseball viewers. The Cubs are scheduled to begin their new RSN, Marquee "sometime" during February. As of press time, only AT&T and its subsidiaries are the only providers to be signed up to air Marquee. Yet, there has been no indication as to cost to viewers, or if this channel will be "forced" to all appropriate subscribers or become an additional fee option.

Comcast is the largest provider serving the Chicago area, and has not signed up to carry this network. NBC Sports Chicago, which aired the majority of Cubs telecasts through last season, and is now planning to air every available White Sox telecast, is owned in part by Comcast, while the White Sox maintain a partial ownership interest.

It is no coincidence that NBC Sports Chicago programming has been flooded with Comcast's "anti-AT&T" commercials over the past few weeks. Across town, the White Sox have made several major personnel moves to improve the team, while the Cubs have done little with their roster in comparison.

One crucial difference from the Dodgers' TV situation in Los Angeles is that AT&T's service does not have geographic restrictions. In L.A., only about 30% of area residents can get Dodgers telecasts on their channel. If things stay as they are in the Chicago area, the majority of residents would be able to switch or add AT&T (or a subsidiary) to be able to watch the Cubs.

Of course, if the White Sox show improvement, and their telecasts are far more easily accessed, NBC Sports Chicago would do well with advertisers and possibly be lax to add Marquee. The battle for subscribers early in the season could go a long way toward determining an outcome of the upstart network.



Finally, we go back to December 29th when Kevin Harlan was calling the conclusion of the Chiefs' win during Week 17 with the #2 seed in the AFC playoff race at stake. With New England losing during their game's final few minutes, fans watching the Chiefs telecast were more interested in the Patriots result than their own (at the time, since the Chiefs were well ahead).

To his credit, Harlan had the Patriots game on his monitor and was literally calling the play-by-play of the "other" game to viewers while the Chiefs game remained on the screen. Some people were critical of Harlan, thinking he should "stick to the game he is there to call". The Broadcast Booth could not disagree more. What Harlan did was nothing short of brilliant broadcasting.

Harlan was, as a play-by-play professional is supposed to do, telling the fans exactly what they wanted to know at the time. Thanks to him, fans were able to stay up to the second on the Patriots game, while being able to see the Chiefs game at the same time. The crew didn't have to wait and do the "Let's go back to New York" bit after the facts.

Handling two games at the same time is a difficult task. Harlan handled it with ease and did the viewers a great service. We need more like him.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

NFL Football Times Seven

This coming weekend is the one weekend of the season when NFL fans are able to watch a total of seven complete NFL games over the three day period. Having this be the Saturday (12/21) when the NFL Network exclusively televises a live triple header adds the three games to the mix.

At press time, it was not certain whether or not Rich Eisen would still do play-by-play of the Houston vs. Tampa Saturday 1 PM ET telecast. We were sorry to learn of the passing this week of Eisen's father. Fans do benefit from NFL Network's ability to "borrow" announcing teams from the networks. Nice to have Mike Torico calling the Buffalo vs. New England game, while the Fox team of Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis calls the Rams vs. 49ers game on Saturday night.

For Sunday, Fox Sports got a break when NBC surprised and kept its Kansas City at Chicago telecast in place. The NFL had given NBC the ability to flex the game until Monday 12/16, leaving many to think it would switch and flex the New Orleans vs. Tennessee game. By not doing so, Fox gets this as its primary early game telecast. (The Bears were eliminated this past Sunday.)

NBA fans also benefit because the end of Thursday night NFL opens the door for TNT to begin its Thursday night NBA doubleheaders most weeks.


 

For those of us looking toward the warmer weather and the return of baseball, ESPN announced a portion of its 2020 regular season telecast schedule. The network plans 14 telecasts in the first 11 days of the season, including three on Opening Day March 26. In a total head shaking move, ESPN is planning a live quadruple header on Monday March 30th.

Its first telecast that day, which again is a Monday afternoon, is scheduled to be Kansas City at Detroit. Based on the 2019 standings, this does not figure to be a key matchup. Perhaps it is because ESPN needs to put every MLB team on at least once throughout the season. Since this telecast would not be a ratings grabber at that time no matter who is playing, the network probably figures it can get these teams out of the way early.

Sunday Night Baseball will again have the usual participants as often as possible. Already four (of a maximum of six) appearances for the Yankees and Cubs have been announced. ESPN is, however, hoping that Mother Nature is a baseball fan. Not sure that scheduling mid-April night telecasts (with no alternate game available) from Chicago and New York City is the best idea.

 

NEW YORK: As the Michael Kay Show on WEPN-FM takes over as the afternoon drive sports leader in the market, WFAN prepares to begin 2020 with its "new" afternoon drive team in place. Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts have been chosen to replace the majority of the time slot held by Mike Francesa. Benigno and Evans will air from 2 to 6 PM weekdays.

Francesa will remain on the WFAN schedule, but only from 6:00 to 6:30 PM on weekdays. According to Francesa, his half hour gig may also include some political talk instead of or in addition to sports. Not sure that some political talk will be helpful in trying to take the number one afternoon sports talk spot back from Michael Kay.


Finally, let's wish all of you a great holiday season! The Broadcast Booth will be back for 2020 starting the week of Jan. 6th, and should be back to its earlier more frequent schedule. Thanks for your support over the years!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Why Aren't Viewers Jumping Through Hoops?

It's only just over one month in to the NBA regular season, but league officials are most likely to be very concerned about the drop in ratings at both the national and local levels. Circumstances such as the decline of the Warriors and rough starts by New York (Knicks) and Chicago are likely contributors at the national ratings level. Not having Steph Curry and the dominating Warriors on the national game seemingly every week does hurt.

However, it is also possible that the decision to move up the start of the regular season competing with the first two nights of the World Series also contributed. The rumors about possible major adjustments to the regular season schedule moving forward, while only speculation, might have made some casual fans think twice about how closely to follow early regular season games.

One consideration which should be noted is that the NBA no longer has its "permanent" time for a national showcase. Having a full season Thursday night NFL package, along with the NCAA tournament in March, has combined to destroy the consistency which TNT enjoyed for years of Thursday nights being for NBA telecasts. ESPN features college games and is not consistent with doubleheaders on Wednesday and Friday like they used to be.

It is still too soon for the ABC package of Saturday night and Sunday afternoon games to kick in, although their Sunday package has become inconsistent over the past couple of seasons as well. Not having a consistent or regular day and time for national games is more important than the networks realize. Let's keep an eye on how the ratings go as the season develops.







Speaking of ratings, the local NFL telecast ratings for the NYC market for this coming Sunday (12/8) could be very interesting for the early game. CBS airs the Jets vs. Dolphins locally. To be nice, this is not the most meaningful football game available. Fox will be airing the San Francisco vs. New Orleans battle of two of the NFC powerhouses at the same time. The NFL should be pleased that an "out of town" game figures to be the bigger draw.



On the MLB side, fans holding out hope for more 'over the air' telecasts face still another struggle after the announcement that teams can now control their own live streaming rights. (This had been controlled by MLB until now.) Although the stipulation is that only "in market" streaming falls under this policy, it allows for teams to make deals with tech companies beyond the regional sports network. Whether or not this happens depends upon the terms of the current contract between local teams and their regional networks.

One example could very well be Amazon, which earlier this year purchased 15% of YES Network. This situation could lead to more such opportunities for the larger market teams that have a larger metro audience to serve.




NEW YORK: As of press time, still no definite announcement on how WFAN will replace its afternoon show now that Mike Francesa has left as full-time host. Although Francesa could remain as a contributor on the station, it appears that whoever the host will be will not start until the week of January 6th. Evan Roberts is expected to be a part of the new afternoon show, which will begin against increasingly strong competition from The Michael Kay Show on WEPN.



SAN FRANCISCO: The KNBR 680 broadcast of the big 49ers game against New Orleans on Sunday will be without long time analyst Tim Ryan. The team suspended Ryan for (at least) this week's broadcast following racially insensitive remarks Ryan made while appearing on the station's Murph & Mac morning show while discussing Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. 



KANSAS CITY: The Chiefs will have a new flagship radio station starting with the 2020 season, which will be WDAF-FM 106.5 The Wolf. Mitch Holthus will be back as play-by-play voice, making 2020 his 27th season of calling the games. Sister station KCSP Sports Radio 610 will air the surrounding programming, including the coach and QB shows and weekly press conference
s.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Jumping Through Hoops For TV Choices

The major pro sports leagues are generally not directly tied in with what goes on in the media, but this week provides a solid example of why they should be. They all make a large percentage of their revenue from the television rights. Rights fees which are ultimately passed along to sports fans, and millions of non-sports fans, via the increased costs for cable/satellite providers so we can watch.

From a logistical standpoint, it's easy to understand the NBA deciding to begin the regular season a week sooner than in the past. This allows them to spread out the schedule a bit more and get an earlier start on the playoffs.

However, from an intelligence standpoint, there are plenty of reasons to question the timing. The game nights for the 2019 World Series were announced months before the NBA regular season schedule came out. What this means is that the NBA knowingly put its two opening nights (one for a couple of spotlight games, the second for the majority of the teams) up against Games 1 and 2 of the MLB World Series.

Some will defend this by arguing that the demographics that watch the NBA are not as excited about watching the World Series as they used to be. While that is a reasonable argument, the point is that it forced many fans into making a choice. Under the previous opening games for the NBA season, they may or may not fall up against Game 6 and/or 7 of the WS. At least they have the chance of being unopposed. This week, however, only inclement weather would have put the NBA openers on unopposed.

Before arguing that the ratings have been less than stellar (to put it diplomatically) for the first two Astros vs. Nationals matchups, this is not appropriate for this discussion. The Nationals simply do not have the fan base outside of D.C., nor the tradition of generation after generation. There was a large possibility that the Dodgers or Cardinals, two teams with large fan bases, could have been playing on Tuesday and Wednesday. They would have also gone on against the NBA doubleheaders.

Granted, the prime time sports landscape is more limited for the NBA than in the past. There were many years when the NBA did not have to worry about NFL games on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays taking up three nights of prime time.

Fans of more than one sport shouldn't have to jump through hoops (pun intended) given the increased cost to watch them on TV or devices.

Meanwhile, it was quite the coincidence that both ESPN and Fox Sports lost MLB analysts within hours of each other. The official announcements that Joe Girardi was being hired as Phillies manager and David Ross as Cubs manager came at almost the same time. Girardi leaves his analyst role with Fox Sports (as well as MLB Network), while Ross was providing studio and game analysis for ESPN for the past couple of seasons.


CHICAGO: Regional network NBC Sports Chicago, which now is making a big promotional splash about being the exclusive local home for Blackhawks and Bulls telecasts this season, needs to stand behind their coverage. Specifically when it comes to their streaming of the games.

On Oct. 18th, the Blackhawks game against Columbus was going into overtime, and I received their text alert to that effect on my phone. Not being near a TV, I went to their app to watch. All I got in two attempts was the opening of their pre-game show introducing the telecast, and not the live stream of overtime.

Then, on Oct. 23rd, while using their phone app to watch (or try to watch) the final few minutes of the Bulls regular season opener against Charlotte, their stream was working. However, the stream contains different commercials than the actual telecast, and adds more of them. Because of this, an entire scoring play out of a time out was missed on the stream with about 90 seconds remaining.

The game went down to the last few seconds. A time out was called with a few seconds remaining. The stream feed ran an extra batch of commercials. Sure enough, when it returned to the stream, we got the final score as part of their sign off, since they failed to show the last few seconds which decided the game.

Fans are paying increased fees to be able to view the games via cable/satellite and on their devices. It is not a privilege. If they must oversell the advertising, let the advertisers pay our fees and give us what is promised.

INDIANAPOLIS: Scott Pollard and Charlie Clifford served as Noon to 3 PM co-hosts on WFNI The Fan 1070 all week, but only as a replacement. Dan Dakich was off, but for the purpose of serving a five day suspension by station management. No public reason was given for the suspension, with the only announcement being that "a failure last year on Dan's part to adhere to journalistic principles".

Have to wonder if the infraction happened all those months ago why a suspension was not invoked until this week.

Dakich has been with WFNI for more than nine years.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Sinclair Deal Doesn't Get Carried Away

A boost for Sinclair Broadcast Group with the news this week that the Group signed a multi-year deal with AT&T, U-Verse, and DirecTV to have its regional sports networks continue to be carried. Unlike when AT&T and U-verse pulled NFL Network earlier this year over a carry dispute, Sinclair was smart to allow their networks to continue to be carried while these now successful negotiations continued.

In addition to what were the Fox Regional Networks, this extension also includes The Tennis Channel (national) and the YES Network, of which Sinclair became a partner following its purchase from Fox.

Significantly, this new deal also includes Chicago area customers being able to receive Marquee, which is the new Chicago Cubs channel which debuts in February. Marquee will be the exclusive home to Cubs telecasts since no over-the-air deals are being made as of this time. This makes U-verse and DirecTV the first local carriers to commit to airing the network.

As of press time, no word as to the cost structure for consumers, such as if all subscribers will be "forced" into paying more or if the channel will be offered as a separate option. The only other Chicago area carrier to take Marquee prior to this announcement was Charter Communications, which has a slice of the market. Comcast (Xfinity) is the area's largest carrier, but owns a portion of NBC Sports Chicago, which airs the White Sox games, along with the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls.

Now it becomes interesting to see how aggressive Comcast will be toward adding Marquee to its system, and at what cost to its customer base if and when it does. The fact that most Cubs fans subscribed to Xfinity will have an option to switch away should make for interesting negotiations.

Many have been wondering if the Chicago Cubs channel would go the way of YES in New York, getting plenty of coverage, or the way of the Dodgers in L.A. with most of the market holding off due to the financial implications for customers.

SAN FRANCISCO: KNBR AM-FM has added former Warriors great Chris Mullin to its coverage of the team, with the regular season getting under way next week. To start, Mullin will not have a specific air shift, serving as an on air contributor throughout the various local programs.

HOUSTON: It's a rare case of air talent "winning out", but that's what just happened for Rick Kamla. Kamla joined KILT 610 as afternoon drive co-host less than three months ago, coming over from WZGC-FM The Game in Atlanta (as well as working on NBA TV). Kamla's show replaced "Lord & Penergast" and lost even more in the ratings over the couple of months. (Sean Pendergast continues in his morning drive role with Seth Payne, while Rich Lord was not renewed.)

Kamla managed to get hired by SiriusXM Radio for its NBA Channel starting in time for the new season. As of press time, no word on a replacement from KILT.

MIAMI: Greg Likens is out at 790 The Ticket, announcing his decision to leave at the end of his October 6th show, and following more than 10 years in the market. Likens also was part of The Joe Rose Show mornings on WQAM along with hosting Dolphins content for the team.

MILWAUKEE: 105.7 The Fan has dropped its sports headlines updates after 10 AM which had been running twice per hour, stating that doing so allows more time for their hosts. Other sports stations in other markets also owned by Entercom have also begun this trend in recent months.

What this means is that their sports stations are making it more difficult to get the sports "news" of the day at a scheduled time. They act as though sports fans would rather hear some fan commenting about his favorite team's offensive line than hear about an injury which could impact a fantasy pick or a favorite team's status for the next game.

The "argument" is that fans get the injury and transaction news on their phone and various other sources. Although that is true, station management overlooks that fans can also get fan opinions on every social media outlet and hundreds of podcasts on demand, without having to listen to the local sports station which is now delivering less of what they want.

PORTLAND: With the NBA regular season starting next week, the Blazers radio broadcast is perhaps the most significant of changes from last season. It won't be the same without Brian Wheeler, who is no longer calling play-by-play, as he did for the previous 21 seasons. Wheeler was not retained, most likely due to health issues which caused him to miss parts of the past few seasons.

Travis Demers will call the game on 620 AM, with Michael Holton as the new analyst (in addition to his TV studio work surrounding home games).

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Bulls Broadcasts To Be In A Funk One More Season

Another week, another announcement in sports media about disputes between sports networks and cable/satellite providers. There was actually a news release over this past weekend to let people know that Fox Sports, as well as local Fox over the air stations, were "restored" to Dish Network.

In the early years of cable, providers were required to be approved by each local municipality because of their service to the community. In recent years, the paying subscribers have zero say in whether or not certain channels are renewed or dropped, regardless of their impact on the monthly costs.

Sports fans suffer enough with increased costs to watch games on TV and/or devices without having to watch the news to find out whether or not they can enjoy certain sports events and programs on their intended provider. There ought to be a regulation saying that when it happens that providers and networks/channels don't agree, everything stays the same.

One thing that won't stay the same will be the TV voice heard by Chicago Bulls fans after the new NBA season. After 43 seasons of calling NBA games, Neil Funk has announced that this will be his final season. Funk joined the Bulls for the 1991-92 season, which was right after the franchise's very first championship with Michael Jordan. Like last season, Neil will be doing a reduced work load, calling all available home games (not on national TV) and roughly half of the road schedule. No word yet on a replacement, but the word is that radio voice Chuck Swirsky will shift over to the TV side starting next season.

 

CHICAGO: It remains to be heard whether or not WMVP ESPN 1000 will be able to increase its overall audience and more favorably compete with WSCR The Score 670, but the effort is coming from the new management ESPN has brought in. The group brought in Mike Thomas to be Market Manager for Chicago. Thomas comes from WBZ-FM Sports Hub in Boston, one of the nation's most successful sports stations over the past 10 years. Thomas plans to remain with WBZ-FM in a consulting role to help transition to his eventual replacement.

WMVP faces the challenge of not having any significant local play-by-play. The Cubs and Bulls air on WSCR 670, the Bears on WBBM 780, and the Blackhawks and White Sox on WGN 720. 



CINCINNATI: It won't be easy to have a new radio voice of the Reds starting next season after 46 years of Marty Brennaman doing the honors. In a surprisingly low key announcement, the Reds made it official that Tommy Thrall will take over the lead role, continuing to work with Jeff Brantley. Thrall has already been a part of the Reds broadcasts, thus making for an easier transition. 



SAN FRANCISCO: KTCT-AM 1050 has become the flagship station for University of San Francisco basketball starting with the coming season. Pat Olson has been named play-by-play voice.



PITTSBURGH: AT&T SportsNet has extended its agreement to show every Pirates game it can (at least 150 per year) as part of its multi-year extension. No replacement has been named (as of press time) for Steve Blass, who retired from the booth after this season, and after 60 years in the Pirates organization. Maybe that is fitting. It's hard to think that anyone could replace Blass and all he did for the team. Of course, there will be a new member added to the broadcast team at some point during this off season.



DENVER: Former Broncos tackle Tyler Polumbus has joined the afternoon show on KKFN The Fan 104.3. Polumbus will work with Darren McKee and Nick Ferguson, replacing Tom Nalen, who is no longer with the station.