Tag Archives: Radio

is a sad salvation

Sam Huff is off Redskins radio, Herzog thinks he was fired

Sam Huff is out of the Washington Redskins radio booth, leaving Sonny Jurgensen as the lone member of the Sonny, Sam & Frank glory days of Redskins radio. (After nearly 50 years as a player, coach, and broadcaster, Sam Huff retires from Washington Redskins) For a generation Washingtonians watched the game with “the sound turned down and the radio” to hear Huff and Sonny Jurgensen add commentary to Frank Herzog’s play-by-play. The trio was broken up in 2004 when Herzog was dumped for V.P. of branding or some other B.S. title, Larry Michael.

Herzog went on WTOP radio this weekend and suggested that Huff was fired - Hall of Famer Huff retires, Herzog questions move. It seems Herzog’s claims were based on his intiution that Huff would never give up and not any actual conversations. Perhaps Herzog was just trying to get some attention, but it is worth considering.

Huff had a reduced schedule last season, a concession to age. Barry Svrluga, described it in
Sam Huff won’t broadcast Redskins opener for first time since 1974:

Linebackers, over time, lose a step. The proof shows up on game film: Tackles are missed, yards are gained, games are lost. Radio announcers, too, wear down, and the proof is right there for fans to hear. Such inevitable drop-offs are almost imperceptible from game to game or even season to season. Yet at a certain point, they are undeniable.

Huff will still join Jurgensen and Michael in the booth for the Redskins’ eight home games as well as two on the road, against the rival Giants and Cowboys, but his curtailed schedule is an acknowledgment, in a roundabout way, that he has lost a step in recent years. “Everything ends in sports,” he said recently, and lowered his voice. “Everything ends in sports.”

That doesn’t mean he’s at peace with the decision. “I don’t understand it all,” he said one July day, not long after the Redskins’ flagship radio station, ESPN 980, announced his reduced schedule.

Huff’s departure from the booth is shocking only in that it took so long for it to happen. Dave McKenna wrote about Huff’s decline for years in the CityPaper. From November 2007: The Final Countdown? The decline of Sam Huff and Redskins radio

This Hall of Famer has spent most Sunday afternoons this fall appearing befuddled by the simplest on-field action. It’s impossible to ignore all the accusations that the game he once mastered has passed him by, and even diehard Skins fans have stopped defending his flawed performances. Many hope he goes away before he puts a permanent hurt on his local legacy.

In September 2010, McKenna wrote about Huff again Sam Huff: From “The Violent World” to His Own World

…has seemed wobbly in the booth for a while.

But by now that wobbliness has reached a level of consistency that makes the audience stay tuned so as not to miss whatever wackiness will come next.

He’s thrown so much crazy stuff out there this year, partners Larry Michael and Sonny Jurgensen have to be on clean-up alert whenever their beloved cohort’s microphone is on. During an exhibition game against Baltimore, for example, the refs dropped a penalty flag as the Ravens offense was approaching the line of scrimmage.

“Its gotta be holding!” said Huff. Michael and Jurgensen pointed out the ball hadn’t been snapped.

So, the end of Huff’s tenure has been a long time coming, but it is reasonable to say that his status as a Redskins icon kept him around longer than merit as a broadcaster and analyst.

NOW WHAT?

I don’t know how long Jurgensen is going to keep going and Michael is probably here forever unless he parks in Dan Snyder’s special parking space or something similar. Back in 2010, I suggested that John Riggins and Joe Theismann would make a great Redskins radio team. That seems highly unlikely though, because I don’t see Riggins coming aboard. Riggins has shown a great deal of antipathy for Snyder, but also seems to have removed himself from football completely (John Riggins on Alfred Morris: “Never Heard of Him…I Don’t Watch Football” – Hogs Haven) in favor of his outdoors show, Riggo on the Range. Theismann, who had national announcing jobs for years, might be willing to move into Redskins radio booth if offered. Rick “Doc” Walker has worked the sidelines for a while and could make his way up to the booth as well.

SONNY & SAM, MORE THAN TEAMMATES

The Redskins produced a long documentary on Huff and Jurgensen, who arrived in 1964 from the New York Football Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. They’ve been best friends since those trades.

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CarTalk Trotskyists retiring

Dewey Cheetham & Howe, CarTalk Plaza
I’m bummed out that long-running (and most popular) NPR program CarTalk is ending original broadcasts in the fall.

‘Car Talk’ Guys Are Retiring, But Their Best Stuff Will Be RebroadcastNPR

June 8, 2012; Our Fair City – Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, the comedian mechanics who host NPR’s Car Talk, will tell their listeners this afternoon that as of this fall, they’ll no longer record new programs. But their weekly call-in series will continue to be distributed by NPR drawing on material from their 25 years of show archives.

“My brother has always been ‘work-averse,’ ” says Ray, 63. “Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him!”

“It’s brutal!” adds Tom, 74.

Time to Get Even Lazier – Staff Blog, CarTalk

I wonder how long it would have taken listeners to notice that old episodes were airing again.

The *real* story is NPR simply can’t handle any more letters from people complaining about “those Trotskyists on CarTalk.” Or at least, that’s how Bob Garfield of On the Media referred to them few weeks ago at the Bart Richards Award. I’m still trying to get video or a transcript.

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RIP Pat Boland

Longtime radio broadcaster Pat Boland diesCDT
Pat Boland, a name and voice familiar to the Penn State and State College communities succumbed to brain cancer. He was 42. I remember Boland mostly for his radio work with Phil Grosz of Blue White Illustrated and pre- and post-game of Nittany Lions games.

h/t @scrappled

UPDATED 07.06.2011

Radio reporter Boland loses cancer battleCDT

Local radio host passes awayThe Collegian

JEFF RICE: Goodbye to a friendCDT

Broadcaster Boland Remembered for Unfailing Fairness, Sharp HumorStateCollege.com

Longtime Centre County Broadcaster Loses Battle With CancerWJAC

Boland’s blog

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What Ken Beatrice has been up to

There are apparently sports talk radio warz going on (visit DC Sports Bog if you really want to find out more) which has me thinking one thing — I miss Ken Beatrice!

For the uninitiated, Beatrice was a long-time host of a sports call-in show on WMAL (back when it was a real local radio station) and later WTEM. He patiently took callers questions (including mine) night after night, but also in his office before the show. With an enthusiastic and thick Boston accent Beatrice was an oft-imitated voice in the D.C. area. I listened to his show regularly, whether coming home from football or basketball practice or going to sleep (when Ron Weber and the Washington Capitals weren’t on). Beatrice was easily parodied (Mike O’Meara had the best), but never outworked and his bond with listeners was strong, even after a mean-spirited Tony Kornheiser article that exposed Beatrice exaggerating his resume. The definitive biography of Beatrice described in this 2000 CityPaper farewell column by Dave McKenna. Nobody who has come since on DC sports talk has come close to matching what Beatrice did.

Earlier today, my brother forwarded me an article from the Arlington Catholic Herald about Beatrice, who is now a lector during Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Warrenton. it is good to hear Beatrice is doing well and is getting to express his faith and I wish him well. I have to admit that if I was listening to him, I’d probably wonder when he was going say YOU’RE NEXT! “I never touch the curly fries” and of course, “BYE NOW!”

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Nats radio likely headed to 106.7 FM, staying on 1500 AM

Good news — The Washington Nationals Radio Network is apparently moving to FM. Nats Insider reports today that 106.7 WJFK aka “The Fan” will start carrying the Nats. Incumbent station, WFED 1500 AM will continue carrying the team as well, even though it is owned by Bonneville (for now) and WJFK is owned by CBS.

While, I agree with former Post columnist Marc Fisher that baseball is great on AM that’s the case only if the signal can be picked up! 1500 AM is an odd signal, probably D.C.’s best, but oriented in a SW-NE direction. People in New England can hear it, people in Centreville or say my condo in Alexandria’s West End can’t. 106.7 FM comes in though, so I’m happy to have the option of either band. I will still get the MLB audio package though, because it ensures I can listen to the Nats and every other baseball team anywhere I have a computer with speakers. It might be the best $20 I spend annually.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Nats radio ratings. Though I do not keep track of them too closely, I know they are not very high. The apparent advantage of being promoted by the #1 station in the market, WTOP (WFED’s sister station, remains. Being on a sports station may be help out some as well. Who knows maybe some of the shows on the station will actually do something other than suck up to Dan Snyder and not ask a meaningful question when he’s in studio talk about something other than the Redskins now.

The best news of all is that Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler are returning once again as the voices of the Nats. Their might be some new support staff though, we’ll have to see if the Jack of All Things sticks around and/or if some former staff might be back in the mix.

UPDATE: DC Sports Bog notes that the Nats weekday afternoon games will not be broadcast by WJFK. They’d rather run aloof Mike Wise and Lavar Arrington (sorry, dude but your sucking up to Dan Snyder cost your credibility) and Chad “If he’s the conscience of D.C. sports we deserve the championship drought” Dukes.

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Hey Nats, grant Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler tenure already!

At Baseball on the Barn on Friday night, the word around the campfire was that the Washington Nationals have not signed radio duo Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler to a contract for next season and beyond. This is the kind of thing that the Nats have a terrible tendency to do — turn simple things into long, drawn out ordeals for all involved. The two have been together since the Nats second season (Slowes was there for the first season) and have become the voices of summer in D.C. Their play-by-play and analysis is solid and their chemistry is excellent. They make the games worth listening to even when the Nats are losing. They also are exceeded by no one in their ability to banter about pancakes.

Retaining Charlie and Dave is a no-brainer, so just make it happen Nats.

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Mike O’Meara to 105.9 The Edge mornings

Mike O’Meara, off the air since CBS radio canned him last summer, is returning to Washington D.C. airways this Wednesday. He’ll be half of a new 105.9 FM The Edge morning show with Kirk McEwen, currently in afternoon drive, but best known as part of the old Kirk, Mark & Lopez show at Baltimore’s 98 Rock. The press release (PDF) quotes O’Meara as saying “For the first time in my career, my favorite music will be on the same station with my favorite personality, me.”

It’ll be good to have O’Meara back on the radio and if it means less time playing the same 4 Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd songs, that’s a bonus. The Edge is in my presets and likely to get more attention from me in the morning now after I get my traffic reports from WTOP.

O’Meara will continue his daily podcast with Don & Mike Show regulars Buzz Burbank and Robb Spiewak as well. Former partnet Don Geronimo is now heard in Sacramento.

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Caps: Ron Weber gets Hockey Hall of Fame honor

I am pleased that Ron Weber, original radio voice of the Washington Capitals, won the 2010 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award (press release via WashingtonCaps.com). He’ll get it at the Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend in November.

While I was not a huge hockey fan growing up, I used to listen to Weber regularly in addition to attending one Caps game a year. At the time, I was a regular listener of Ken Beatrice‘s SportsCall on WMAL 630 AM which was also the Caps station, so I would get a Caps game a few nights a week. Weber’s play-by-play seemed effortless, he was always on top of the action. He also worked the games by himself.

Weber was let go before the 1997 season for reasons never explained. Up until that point, he had broadcast all 1,936 Caps games. He wants everybody to know that he has enjoyed his retirement.

DC Sports Bog has a good story on Weber.

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Don Geronimo to return on air in…Sacramento?

The long awaited return to radio by Don Geronimo on June 21 will be in Sacramento, often a target of the Don and Mike Show‘s ire. He is excited about the deal and will probably be syndicated eventually. If he shows up here, I’ll probably listen.

Meanwhile, his ex-partner Mike O’Meara continues to produce a one-hour podcast. He was recently on Baltimore’s 98 Rock Mickey, Amelia & Spiegelmorning show.

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A Mike O’Meara Show profile in The Post

With this Web radio gig, who needs FM?The Post
Now about 2.5 months into his podcast, Mike O’Meara has recouped his original investment through sponsorships and donation and looking to expand into video. The podcast has about 15,000 listeners, 40% from the D.C. area.

I have not listen to the podcast much because I’m stuck in y2k when it comes to technology — no iPod jack on my car stereo and no iPod for that matter. Had I those two things, I’d probably listen fairly frequently. Also, I have to think that O’Meara wouldn’t mind an afternoon or morning drive gig in local radio.

PREVIOUSLY

Mike O’Meara Show returning as a podcast today at 1 p.m. 12.07.2009

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