Cowherd Loses Hour, SVP & Gottlieb Cleared In LA

UPDATE (2:40p ET): ESPN VP of PR Josh Krulewitz in response to my report on ESPN Radio changes: “An announcement with details on future ESPN radio plans is upcoming.

Los Angeles radio industry sources confirmed to me this week that the daily radio shows of ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Doug Gottlieb will soon be heard on the Angels-owned KLAA-AM (830am). KLAA, which was purchased by Arte Moreno to serve as the flagship radio outlet for the Angels, has a powerful daytime signal into Los Angeles.

Colin Cowherd radio show to lose one hour. Scott Van Pelt Doug Gottlieb radio shows going live in L.A.

As of now the changes, which have been in the works for months, are set to take effect in early April. The move also comes despite there already being an ESPN-owned station in the L.A. marketplace, KSPN-AM (710am).

As part of the change on the national ESPN radio front, Colin Cowherd’s morning show is being cut by one hour, from 7-10a PT. Van Pelt’s show is likely to increase to three hours, with it airing live in L.A. from 10a-1p PT and Gottlieb’s show remaining from 1p-4p PT.

Cowherd’s full show will continue to be broadcast weekdays on KSPN from 7a-10a PT. KSPN currently airs local programming from 11a-3p PT (LA Sports Live with Mychal Thompson & Andrew Siciliano) and 3p-7p PT (Steve Mason & John Ireland).

So why is ESPN launching its national radio shows into a market where it already airs local L.A. ESPN radio programming via KSPN?

Read more…

Did Yao Throw Artest Under The Bus To Bucher?

There’s been a palpable euphoria here in Los Angeles since the Lakers locked down free agent Ron Artest last week. Purple (& Gold) Kool-aiders of course love the deal, but Wednesday ESPN NBA reporter Ric Bucher quietly made a serious claim about Artest on middle-of-the-night national radio that might delight the Laker haters among you.

Yao Ming Ric Bucher

(Co-Author of Yao biography says Rockets covered up Artest’s bad behavior)

While talking to late-night, White Castle drive-thru companion and ESPN Radio host Jason Smith, Bucher said that Artest has not cleaned up his act as a person.

So why don’t we all know that Artest hasn’t (apparently) changed his volatile, oft-erratic ways off the court? According to Bucher, the Rockets were exceptional at covering up Artest’s alleged indiscretions.

Hmmm. Now where do you think Bucher would get that kind of information?

Read more…

Week In Review: Philadelphia Sports Full Of Boobs

• Philly sports: Where there’s boobs at courtside & boobs in the front office.

Mary Carey Sixers LARGE

• Was Tonya Harding’s hit on Nancy Kerrigan somehow financed by George Steinbrenner?

• Would you like to carry ESPN Radio shows? That will be $100,000, please. And don’t try to offset the funds with a softcore porn bracket contest.

• Maybe women’s college basketball should acknowledge the lesbian fanbase. Otherwise, why even bother playing anymore?

• These lovely lady lumberjacks are a cut above other beauty pageant gals.

Read more…

Laettner’s Not Likeable; No NFL For ‘Sex Offender’

Grant Hill reveals that Christian Laettner is a big jerk. In other news, sky is blue, water is wet, Duke is overrated.

Grant Hill Christian Laettner

• A former U of Minnesota running back can’t leave the state to attend an NFL tryout - just because he’s an “untreated sex offender“.

• There’s nothing like a buzzer-beater to punch your ticket to the Big Dance.

• The Yankees hope to have the healthiest ballpark in the league.

• Delaware seems determined to take a gamble on sports betting.

Read more…

ESPN Affiliate Beat Down For Da Nudie Womans

A couple weeks ago I got a perplexing email from a rep at Philadelpia’s ESPN Radio affiliate, WPEN-AM. The rep asked me if I was interested in a participating in an online promotion the station was doing with a softcore porn site called girlsofphilly.com (NSFW link).

ESPN 950 Nudie Site Promo Struck Down By ESPN Corporate

(Biggest boobs in Phillies gear since Greg Luzinski (or was it Kruk?))

Of course, I wasn’t interested in the idea, and I was somewhat surprised that an ESPN-branded station was involved in such a venture. And according to Dan Gross of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, I wasn’t alone. Read more…

ESPN Radio Wants $100,000 From Local Affiliates

ESPN is one of the great American business success stories of our generation. The company has gone from a small public access outfit in rural Connecticut to Disney’s most consistently profitable subsidiary. And it’s no coincidence.

Mike and MIke

(20,000 five-dollar-footlongs … or this? Umm, can you hold the mayo?)

At virtually every turn, ESPN/Diz execs have slowly built out the brand into a sports media monopoly.

And based on what I heard today, they’re not done. Not even close.  Read more…

SVP Takes Shots At Selig, Is Suspended By ESPN

More discord out in Bristol today, as fan favorite Scott Van Pelt has been suspended from his ESPN radio show. His crime? A swear word? Several swear words? Going Bobby Knight and dropping effenheimers all over the place? No, according to DEADSPIN, who’s breaking yet another ESPN story, it was a biting rant on Bud Selig and his $18.5 million salary that raised the ire of ESPN execs.


(This is a rather unfortunate picture, in retrospect.)

Nobody seems to have audio of the segment in question (yet), but evidently it was personal enough to warrant a measure of discipline from ESPN.

Is Bud Selig’s $18.5M salary over the top?

View Results

Now, we can’t help but notice that ESPN and MLB just so happen to be rather pleasant business partners, so that sliding scale of professionalism might be a little different for baseball commentary than with, say, hockey, which ESPN has conveniently forgotten about since dropping their TV deal with the NHL. Said Deadspin:

Selig does have close relationships with many of ESPN’s top execs ( they are currently locked in an 8-year, $2.4 billion broadcast deal from 2005 for Sunday Night Baseball and have other contracts with MLB) and the initial story was that Selig himself heard the remarks and was personally offended by them, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

But while a suspension from the radio show seems harsh, it’s actually little more than a slap on the wrist.

Read more…

ESPN Ready To Take A Chance On Pat O’Brien?

Last week I saw Pat O’Brien at a Lakers game at Staples Center and I got to wondering how he is salvaging the smoldering wreckage that is his media career.

Pat O'Brien under consideration for job at ESPN Radio?

I grew up watching O’Brien on CBS, hosting tennis broadcasts and various studio shows. Back then, I used to think he brought a certain panache to sports broadcasts. Then again, I was about seven at the time, so it’s safe to say my sense of style wasn’t yet fully developed.

With his celeb gossip career in ashes, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that O’Brien might now look to get back into sports. And from what I recently learned, my hunch could be correct. Read more…

CC’s Cutbacks To Spell End Of LA Sports Station?

Dark day in sports radio today in the aftermath of an astonishing 1,850 job-cut by radio behemoth Clear Channel. Caught in the massive undertow were on-air personalities across the nation, including former Detroit PM drive stalwarts Stoney & Wojo of WDFN-AM in Detroit.

SbB Girls Radio Montage

(Good news! SbB Girls survived today’s sports radio bloodbath)

WDFN, which broadcasts Pistons games, whacked all of its local hosts, and will instead run Fox Sports Radio programming 24/7. The FLORIDA TIMES-UNION also reports severe cuts at WFXJ sports radio in Jacksonville. Where local personalities have been slashed.

There will be much more fallout in the next couple days, as job cuts become public market-by-market. Worst-hit will be sales staffs and local market personalities, who can be replaced by syndicated programming from ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio. (But I’ve also confirmed some layoffs at CC-operated Fox Sports Radio.)

Not yet known is the effect the layoffs will have on L.A.-sports station KLAC-AM, which recently lost the Lakers broadcast rights to local competitor KSPN-AM. That said, I’ve been hearing rumors for months about the demise of KLAC’s sports format.

Read more…

Brog: Now I Can Stop Stealing The Neighbor’s WiFi

Lots going on behind the scenes for the good ship SbB the past month or so. So here’s a State of SbB address of sorts…

Brooks Broadcasting in Los Angeles

(I’m back on ESPN 710AM in Los Angeles tomorrow at 3:25 PT)

I’m about to dive into dishing sports celebrity gossip via regular radio appearances. Tomorrow, I’ll kick it off by appearing on two flame-throwing sports radio stations - in Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

Mason & Ireland ESPN Radio 710am

At 3:25 PT I’ll appear in L.A. on KSPN-AM’s (710) “Mason & Ireland Show,” with Steve Mason and John Ireland.

Drew Olson 540 AM ESPN Milwaukee The D-List

And at 9:05 AM PT I’ll be on 540 AM ESPN Radio in Milwaukee, appearing on Drew Olson’s show, “The D-List.”

Whenever I’m doing radio live, I’ll have a front page link to the audio (when available) - and the show’s web page. And we’ll have a special radio page linked in the Brooks box that will detail all the stations I’ll be appearing on regularly. I’ll have more details on the additional shows and stations that we have lined up for appearances shortly. Probably get that page up tonight.

We’re not screwing around, we’re going on with the top personalities and stations in North America. Can hardly wait to get it rolling. If you want me on your show, or have a suggestion on where I should appear, email me at Brooks@SPORTSbyBROOKS.com.

From the SbB BizDev Dept.: We’ve signed a deal to join the Yardbarker.com network.

Yardbarker.com Logo

As you may know, Yardbarker is a sports blog network of over 600 sites (including SbB favorites AA and EDSBS), and hosts the official blogs of athletes like Baron Davis and Greg Oden, Donovan McNabb and Darren McFadden. The network is undergoing scary growth, roughly doubling its audience in the past couple months.

Yardbarker Nude Girl

(Yardbarker.com deal for SbB will help our bottom line. And our financials too.)

In case you’re wondering, the deal will not change the content or look of SbB one iota. I’m excited about the partnership as it should really help us grow SbB in more ways than one.

I’m also proud to present Barry’s Tickets and MyBoyBarry.com as the official ticket supplier of SPORTSbyBROOKS.com.

MyBoyBarry.com 888 820 8499 Buys And Sells Tickets Concerts Sports Theater

(Yeah, I know it’s an ad. And your point is?)

Like other countless Southern Californians, I’ve bought tickets on my own from Barry Rudin for years, many that I used for SbB events. So it’s pretty damn exciting to have him sponsoring the site.

Barry’s Tickets is the biggest ticket broker on the west coast, so you can count on him giving you the absolute best deal (and service) on tix to sporting events, concerts and theatre shows. And he’ll also buy your tickets. Just hit him at MyBoyBarry.com or 888 820 8499 (put that # in your phone, you WILL need it someday, trust me).

MyBoyBarry.com 888 288-9338 Buys And Sells Tickets Concerts Sports Theater

Again, I’ve been doing business with Barry’s Tickets for years now. He was my go-to well before I met him, and started doing business with him. Over the next 12 months, I will be attending some of the biggest sports events (and concerts) thanks to tickets from Barry - many times with the SbB Girls in tow (not a bad cargo, thank you very much).

In the case of the sporting events, I will live blog from the venue (like we did from the Final Four and the MLB All Star Game), and of course get plenty of pix for SbB posts. (Uh yeah, Barry rocks.) Read more…