For as much as I comment about the constant overemphasis of fan opinions on sports talk stations, they got me with this one.
When the caller is actually a Major League Manager, I can accept that!
This past Monday night (5/1), that's what happened on the Blue Jays post-game call-in show on 590 AM in Toronto, which had just aired the Jays' 7 - 1 win over the Yankees. It was clear that Manager John Gibbons was happy with the rare win.
Gibbons actually called in to the radio post-game show and had the producer alert host Mike Wilner to take the call. The caller began talking about Jays pitcher Marco Estrada and poked fun at Wilner, who was reportedly critical of Gibbons' pre-game decision about which catcher had started the game.
During the call, Wilner did not tell the listeners that it was Gibbons, instead using "John in the Bronx" to identify this caller. Gibbons added to the goof by asking for free tickets in return for calling in.
A fun moment, and a bit of a lesson for sports talk hosts to keep in mind that you never know who might be listening in.
Stronger first round series helped viewership for the NBA Playoffs all around. Average viewership for the entire first round was up roughly 12% over last season and is the highest since 2014. And that was the year in which five of the opening series all went to 7th games.
ESPN/ABC announced that analyst Mark Jackson has been signed to a new multi-year deal to continue in that role. Ironic timing, coming just days after the same network let go of roughly 100 of its people across the country.
LOS ANGELES: We got our answer to last week's question about local media coverage of the Chargers now that they have moved in. Powerful KFI 640 AM rejoins the world of sports by becoming the new flagship station for the team.
Sister station KLAC will air several hours of Chargers programming throughout the week, but could not air the games due to Dodgers conflicts. (Keep in mind that the Dodgers own 49% of KLAC, so it's not as though the Chargers would have had any kind of priority for game broadcasts.) KLAC will also air some of the surrounding game day coverage when there are no Dodgers conflicts, airing part of what will be a 10-hour game day broadcast each week.
No word, as of press time, regarding the broadcast teams.
KFWB 980, now a Spanish station, will air the Chargers games in Spanish, also starting with the upcoming season. On the TV side, KABC-TV Channel 7 will air the team's pre-season games not shown on national TV.
KABC-TV will also air Saturday shows specific to the Chargers during the regular season.
HOUSTON: Recently retired Astros broadcaster Bill Brown has returned to the Astros booth for this week, but it's not exactly a happy homecoming. Brown is filling in for Todd Kalas due to the passing of his mother, the former wife of the late Harry Kalas (the former NFL films and Phillies play-by-play voice). Our thoughts and prayers to the Kalas family.
DETROIT: While WDFN 1130 continues to struggle to attract a sports talk audience against 97.1 The Ticket, they have dismissed long time morning host Matt Shepard as of this week. This is actually the second time Shepard has been let go from WDFN. He had joined them in 2001 and was let go in 2007, only to be rehired in 2009.
Shepard is expected to continue as the play-by-play voice of University of Michigan basketball along with Eastern Michigan football, as well as reporting duties for Fox Sports Detroit.
VANCOUVER: The purchase of CISL 650 by Rogers Media means significant changes for local sports fan. The station is being converted to Sportsnet 650 and will carry the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition, the station will become the flagship station for the Canucks, which have been airing on CKST Team 1040 through this past season.
PHOENIX: As you know, it is very rare that we post a link on The Broadcast Booth, but this story is a worthwhile read. It's the "final" column of Paola Boivin as it appeared in the (Phoenix) Arizona Republic this past Sunday, and details several challenges sent her way during her career: