One of my favorite WSCR-AM/670 The Score hosts is someone who isn’t even with the station full-time. Barry Rozner, columnist at the Daily Herald, co-hosts “Hit & Run” each Sunday and regularly fills in for various shows on the Score. Rozner is highly intelligent and able to convey his vast amount of insight and opinions without the added pompousness or hostility commonplace in talk radio these days.
While Rozner has been paired with several Score hosts, my favorite pairing is when he’s with Matt Spiegel. Together, the two hosted “Hit & Run” each Sunday morning the last several years during baseball season. Unfortunately, Spiegel opted not to host the Sunday morning show this season due to increased family obligations (Spiegel’s day job is co-hosting the Score’s midday show with Dan McNeil).
I was reminded how good Rozner and Spiegel sound together when the two worked a Memorial Day shift earlier this week (Rozner was filling in for McNeil). Their individual personalities differ enough to separate them, but not enough to where they awkwardly clash. Their pairing blends the prim and proper Rozner with the more loose-fitting Spiegel. It’s almost like a check-and-balance system. It just works.
Ideally, the two would have a regular weekday show on the Score — assuming Rozner is able to or would want to add full-time radio to his plate.
Just for fun, below is the lineup I would like to see implemented at the Score:
- 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley
- 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Barry Rozner and Matt Spiegel
- 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Dan McNeil (more on this further below)
- 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein
The current pairing of McNeil and Spiegel is not bad, but it isn’t my favorite. Simply put, the two are just too much alike — in personality and delivery. Ideally, McNeil would be paired with someone with a bit more contrast.
If the Score were to implement a Rozner and Spiegel show, an alternative partner for McNeil might be Ben Finfer, who currently is the show’s producer and a regular fill-in host for Spiegel. Perhaps, another possibility may be John Jurkovic — current co-host of WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000’s midday show and former afternoon co-host with McNeil — whose contract at his current station is believed to be expiring this summer.
The rest of my proposed line-up shuffle trims an hour from each existing WSCR show, while also pushing the start of McNeil’s show to 11 a.m., instead of his current 9 a.m start. I still can’t get used to listening to Mac in mid-mornings, after many years of listening to him in afternoons.
From a business perspective, there is hardly any reason for the Score to consider amending their current lineup — ratings wise, the station is dominating against ESPN 1000. I get that the bottom line is the main consideration for programming, but in this case, I wish Mitch Rosen, the Score’s program director, could make a proactive move for the sake of enhancing the station’s lineup.
It’s a case of taking something that is already good, and making it better. Such a concept is rarely executed in radio these days. Too many program directors and corporate owners are content at playing it safe.