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Finally Some Good Local Radio

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For all my nationally based Ranterz, I apologize for the local theme of this particular post. But I am going to have to rep the home town team for this post. Mainly because I have spent a blog posts touching on not only coverage of local teams like the Albany Legends, but also I aired some of my grievances particularly about local media’s “coverage” of locally based sports teams.

Last Friday in the Capital Region 104.5 the Team ESPN Radio did something I feel was long overdue. They made a change, pushing “Soundoff with Sinkoff” off the airwaves. Now I certainly am not a proponent of anyone losing a paying gig in this economy, but regardless I felt the show morphed into something that I found rather arrogant, grandstanding and unintelligent.

Kudos to 104.5 for listening to the numerous complaints about the show and taking action. I do think Brian Sinkoff is a talented on-air personality and someone with an intelligent mind for sports, but Sinkoff allowed his show to go a direction that didn’t seem to sit well with many listeners. When posed with these complaints it seemed Sinkoff ignored them instead of making minor adjustments. Needless to say the show is off the air and I am confident Brian Sinkoff won’t be out of a job for very long.

Upon the announcement that 104.5 was moving in a different direction came the announcement that “Soundoff with Sinkoff” was being replaced by Bruce Jacobs and his brand new show “Game On”.

Jacobs has spent the last nine years at Clear Channel.  More recently he was a host for Premiere’s FOX Sports Radio, often teaming up with Lincoln Kennedy and Chris Myers.  Prior to FOX Sports Radio, Bruce spent 6 years as the morning host on Clear Channel’s powerhouse Phoenix talk station KFYI.

I’m trying to give the show a chance, because deep down I really want local radio to do something not only good, but special. Terrestrial radio has failed to embrace and utilize the internet and social media properly and is at time reluctant to address it. Most stations are simply stuck in their ways. So I hope with drastic changes such as this, we see more broad changes to improve the station as a whole. Only time will tell.

Now first off, as a diehard Dolphins fan it’s hard for me to stomach a pure Dolphins hater (as opposed to Brian Noe, host of “The Noe Show” who is a Dolphins fan), but I do like Dolphins talk on my radio, regardless of the opinions.

After a few days of listening I found Jacobs show to be a little more suited to what I like listening to. More sports talk, less arrogance, no condescending tone with callers and praise the lord no hacky elementary comedy shtick!

I felt the talk was more sports intelligent but something in particular jumped out at me yesterday that made me smile while listening to 104.5, something I haven’t been able to do for years.

On Monday Daily Gazette Sports Blogger Ken Schott posted a rather critical blog post about Bruce Jacobs and his show “Game On”. (You can read the article here). Here is an excerpt of the article:

I’m not going to like Jacobs and his “Game On” show, not after he dissed my hometown of Philadelphia shortly after the Yankees-Twins game ended Monday afternoon, saying he hates everything about it.

Care to explain why you don’t like Philadelphia, other than the fact you are a Long Island native? What did my city do to you? What, are you upset that Cliff Lee (Phillies) and Nnamdi Asomugha (Eagles) spurned New York teams, especially your beloved Jets?

Jacobs comes off as arrogant. That may work in bigger markets like Phoenix, where Jacobs once worked, or on a national stage like his FOX Sports Radio gig. But Capital Region listeners aren’t going to put up with it.

In fact that’s about 90% of the article right there. While I commend Schott for airing his opinion, uncensored and all, I tip my cap even more to Bruce Jacobs for speaking about it at length on air.

Jacobs didn’t just comment on it, he ripped the “article” and Schott apart for the comments.

That made me a fan of Bruce Jacobs. Let’s not just address the hate, let’s go right back on the attack. It has realism, honestly and despite your opinion of the show it took some balls. Who can’t respect that?

Bruce Jacobs of 104.5 ESPN Radio

In my opinion the article by Schott seems more like a Facebook Wall comment than an actual article and herein lies the issue. Schott speaking on what Capital Region fans will like or dislike is rather idiotic, especially acting as the collective voice.

Now I am not a huge fan of local newspapers simply because they are stuck in the prehistoric times much like terrestrial radio shows. But the Daily Gazette is the last media source that should be making such bold statements.

In particular because overall, the Gazette has been light years behind papers like the Times Union who not only embrace online but have done a good job transitioning their newspaper to a thriving online news content website (but please, stay away from SEO). They are even behind smaller circulation papers like the Troy Record.

On top of that, in the down economy, the Gazette charges people to read some of their online content. That point in itself tells you all you need to know about the Gazette, far behind the times and greedy.

But let me touch on Mr.Schott for a second. Now I am all for voicing your opinion, especially if you have a soap box as big as a local media source. I’m particularly a fan of someone who is a fan of out of state teams.

But do NOT pick apart other media when you fail to do a decent job of “sports reporting” yourself. Sure voice your displeasure, you’re entitled, but if you’re going to rip into Jacobs as a host as opposed to ripping into his content you better have a damn good setup for your own sports talk. And you fail miserably.

I did some research on Mr.Schott’s articles. You probably can read most of them under 45 seconds, they are that short. More box score summaries broken down in 5-6 short paragraphs at most. This is “reporting”? This is what the Capital Region fans want Mr.Schott?

On top of that you work for the Daily Gazette. A newspaper that in my opinion has failed miserably in becoming a media source. To become a media source you have to do a good job streaming content online and have a rather decent website.

Your website is a mess, your menu tabs are screwy, it looks like something a low-cost designer put together in a few hours and clearly is run by someone who has little idea about how to execute online media presentation.

Where people are going for sports talk...more and more

I wish you guys were more open to doing the things that are needed to catch up and surpass your competition, because with Schenectady‘s rebirth and your long-standing presence in the area there is no excuse to be this subpar. I’d love to help you guys but it seems you’re close minded, it took you forever to install a blogger system on your site and may take you longer to understand Social Media and SEO.

So Mr.Schott let me tell you what THIS Capital Region listener wants.

1. I want an actual reporter talking sports on such a big forum. Not someone who only has time to type in 2-3 sentences filled with statistical ramblings and calls it an “article”

This is Schott’s “coverage” of the Mayweather-Ortiz fight, one of the biggest stories of the weekend (bare with me it’s long):

If you didn’t catch Floyd Mayweather’s victory over Victor Ortiz in Saturday’s welterweight bout on pay-per-view, HBO will show it this Saturday at 9:45 p.m.

Mayweather ended the bout with a stunning fourth-round knockout.

That’s it, no really. That’s the entire article. This is What the Capital Region wants?

2. I want a media source that actually values the community connection.

You know who i see at every major event, the Times Union. I even see the Troy Record, YNN and Spotlight News out in Schenectady than the Gazette. If you’re there we don’t see you.

Learn how to connect with your community properly instead of taking a stance of knowing what we want.

3. Stop charging to read online content

This goes without saying, stop ripping people off. Especially in this economy. You can report on the economic struggles of our community but aren’t above taking advantage of us by charging stupid fees?

4. A local paper that does online and does it well

Seriously, get with the times. I’ve had contact and conversations with local media about sharing local sports topics on SportsRantz.com (for free, gasp!) so my national and local audience can be exposed to it.

Some do it but almost all of these reporters were kind enough to respond and communicate with me. To get an understanding of what it’s all about.

Aside from my website I don’t see you present on any other local website. But I see plenty of the TU, plenty of Spotlight News, YNN and the Troy Record.

And that is all folks. All it takes me to get engaged in online content. Make is sharable, make it accessible and make it interactive. Not hard folks. And please, don’t call having a Facebook Fan page your “Social Media efforts”, People have fan pages for dogs, do something special.

To Bruce Jacobs, the next few weeks are vital. So far I like the format of your show, the content; To be determined. But let’s see if you guys do anything innovative. Get more engaged online. We get emails & comments here at SportsRantz about your station (a lot since the change) so people DO care. Take the ball and run with it.

The Noe Show is solid, but unless both of your shows do something different and unique, then the King of Local Sports Talk Radio will remain Rodger Wyland’s “Big Board Sports” and it won’t be close.

By the way, Mr.Schott you may want to buy Jacobs some lunch or send him a thank you bottle of wine. Without him mentioning your short paragraphed “article” on air I wouldn’t have known you even wrote about sports or that the Daily Gazette had a blog for sports. He just gave your horrendous articles a major spotlight. You owe that man dinner.

A always, if you Capital Region fans want to engage in sports talk, free (take notes Gazette), seriously come check us out, create a profile and jump in the convo!
http://SportsRantz.com/register

And since I mentioned SEO and Social Media, here is a plug for our sponsor
EliteRankMarketing.com (SEO Company)

 

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Stephen

    September 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Shows how good of a researcher you are…
    1) That is his blog… where he can state his opinion… it is not his newspaper articles
    2) Ken is mainly there to cover the local college hockey and that is when his articles are long and researched… So before bashing someone do some actual research

  2. Anthony DiMoro

    September 24, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Stephen,

    Although I see your point (and the validity it may have) you also emphasize other issues I pointed out in my blog post. Mind you, throughout the article I took a stance of “in my opinion” and never claimed to be correct in all my assertions.

    In an age where more and more people are accessing information online, the Gazette fails to grasp the online concept that has now become culture. Here is some research; watch the two minute or so long video at the bottom of this page – http://www.eliterankmarketing.com/

    So I went to do some further research. In doing so, I went to the source that I, like most people today, usually do and i went online. By doing a basic search in Gazette’s own search box I find this result:
    http://dailygazette.com/search/?q=ken+schott&from=&to=&all=on

    I clicked on the first article:
    http://dailygazette.com/news/2011/mar/24/0324_videos/

    A Short paragraph “preview” and to read more I have to pay for a subscription to their paper. So i went further down the list and a few pages deep. I do agree that there are longer articles, but a good number of his posts are short blurbs.

    And to be honest in no place in my article did I rip Schott as a print journalist or deny his credibility in that field in any way. My entire tone and reference of the article was referring to the online industry.

    When I click on most of his accessible articles (i do not have a subscription to any paper) a rather large portion is short sentences. So in my opinion thats poor. Especially in an article where you are ripping into someone. Hate my view or love it I took time into composing the article. His online article was only a few short paragraphs. If his articles are longer in the print, than why not post the entire thing online?

    Furthermore I don’t really think Schott comes off very well portraying “the voice” of the Capital Region sports fans. If you have an opinion, speak for yourself. He could have at least speculated that people would agree. So I disagreed with that, in my defense I took my own stance.

    To further address your comment that “So before bashing someone do some actual research”, let’s put this in perspective. You have no issue calling me out for my lack of what you believe to be “thorough investigating”, but in Schott’s own article he says (and I quote):

    “It took not even 30 seconds for me to make up my mind about Bruce Jacobs, who is replacing the fired Brian Sinkoff from 3-7 p.m. on WTMM-FM (104.5).”

    Thirty seconds of “research” adequate for you?

    I put close to 2 hours into this article. So according to that logic I did 240 times the research Mr. Schott did.

    Stephen whether we agree or not this is how sports fans, especially in a local forum should talk sports. You disagree, I disagree but we both made our points. I didn’t just point to the Gazette either in my article, I did point at local sports talk radio stations for being slow to engage listeners.

    We are all online, on our smartphones and interactive so why can’t our sports information be that way too? We here at SportsRantz.com have an online sports fan community which isn’t perfect & is still in “toddler stages”. But it’s all about discussions/debates such as this one. So regardless of your view on this article, my comments or my work, thanks for commenting.

    Speaking from the stance of someone who consumes all his information online, I believe local media for the most part is slow to join the party. In no way am I inferring that “this here is the answer” , but I have enough faith in the theory that online isn’t a “fad” but more culture and a big part of it.

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Boxing

25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23

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Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.

“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”

Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.

Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”

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Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl

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It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.

A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic ,  As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.

The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.

In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”.  Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?

I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.

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