Media Bits & Bytes (12/18/14)

Dave JudayDave Juday anchors final ESPN 1000 SportsCenter… I was surprised and saddened to learn that Dave Juday will no longer be anchoring SportsCenter updates on WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000. Juday announced the news Monday morning on Facebook, thanking current and former station colleagues, while conveying how his time there had meant so much to him.

As a listener of the old “AM 1000” (pre ESPN 1000 days), I remember when Juday was new to the station, anchoring nightly sports updates during “Sports Line,” which was originally hosted by Steve Olken and Dave Wills. In the near 20 years I’ve heard Juday on the air, he’s always come across as a class act who truly loved his job. I wish him the best as he embarks on a new chapter in his life.

You can hear Juday’s final SportsCenter update, which he posted on SoundCloud.

Alex QuigleyAlex Quigley out at WGN… Another Chicago radio veteran took to Facebook on Monday to announce that he too will soon be out of work. Quigley noted that his operations director position at WGN-AM 720 was eliminated. Quigley will continue to co-host his midday show on WGWG-LP/88.7 The Game until the end of the year, when the low-powered station ceases operations.

The news was hard to take in, considering that the job of Jimmy de Castro, WGN’s president, likely goes unscathed, despite being the one who led in the destruction of the station. Seriously, how can de Castro have the gall to inform anyone they will be out of a job when he is the person who most of all deserves to lose his job?

Ed Sherman follows-up with Ben Finfer after epic rant... Ben Finfer, Alex Quigley’s co-host on The Game,  was profiled in a Chicago Tribune piece by Ed Sherman yesterday. It was Finfer’s epic rant against Tribune Media bosses last month that went viral last month after having just found out during the middle of his on air shift of his station’s demise — and that he likely would be out of a job. In the Sherman piece, Finfer stated that while he knew moving to the up-start station was risky, he doesn’t regret it since it did has help solidify his confidence as a daily talk show host. He hopes to find new work as a talk show host, preferably in Chicago, come 2015.

I am a huge fan of Finfer. I had always hoped that he would end up working on air with Dan McNeil, who he produced for at both WSCR-AM/670 The Score and ESPN 1000. I hope that one of the two Chicago sports stations somehow find a spot for him.

ABC 7 News goes primetime… With WGN-TV Ch. 9’s success of expanding its newscasts into uncharted daytime hours, WLS-TV/ABC 7 felt compelled to launch a bold move of their own. Beginning January 12, ABC 7 will produce a new 7 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday newscast that airs on WCIU-TV Ch. 26. It’s an interesting idea that could turn out to be a real win-win for both ABC 7 and WCIU. The primetime newscast will be anchored by Hosea Sanders and Linda Yu, while weather will be given by the newly hired Cheryl Scott.

Roe Conn keeping mostly quiet… When Roe Conn’s website was replaced last month with an “under construction, new website coming soon” message, included was a countdown to the start of December. Since then, the countdown has been at zero with nothing new on the website. Conn has also been largely quiet on social media. My guess is we won’t hear anything new concerning Conn until the start of the new year, at the earliest. By then, I would assume that his previous contract with his former station, WLS-AM 890, will be fully expired (previous reports mentioned his contract with WLS went until year’s end). While recent speculation concerning Conn has been quiet, many expect him to still resurface on WGN-AM 720 sometime in 2015. That still would seem to make the most sense.

Podcast reach versus AM/FM… Seth Stevenson wrote a great piece at Slate about the reach of AM and FM compared to podcasts. Stevenson also explains how streaming or downloading a podcast is a lot like placing a collect call.

Fox NFL theme music during golf… Fox made its PGA broadcast debut on Saturday with the Franklin Templeton Shootout. Voiced by Joe Buck, another familiar Fox component used on the broadcast was its iconic “NFL on Fox” theme music. Not much of a surprise, since Fox has been using their NFL theme music for all sporting broadcasts since 2010, but to use it on a golf broadcast should just further demonstrate the ridiculousness of it.

Ken Fang wrote more about Fox’s golf broadcast debut at Awful Announcing.

John Feinstein/CBS Sports RadioSports Business Daily reported last month that a few changes were coming to CBS Sports Radio, including the ousting of late morning host John Feinstein. While I have not listened to much of Feinstein’s show since debuting almost two years ago, I have heard plenty of his “CBS Sports Minute” commentaries, which frequently air in Chicago on 670 The Score. Even after Feinstein is done with his regular show, he is expected to continue with the Sport Minute commentaries.

I wish CBS would have taken the opposite approach on Feinstein. Allow him to keep the show, which I never listen to, and can him from the “CBS Sports Minute.” Actually, I wish CBS would just discontinue all of the Sports Minute commentaries altogether. Feinstein, a well-respected sports writer known for his long-form story writing, often attempts to take a specific story or angle and crunch it into a one-minute musing. It doesn’t work. Boomer Esiason, another “CBS Sports Minute” contributor, is equally guilty.

The only contributor who pulls off the concept well is Jim Rome. He has a fresh take on a hot topic and is able to construct his words into a powerful meaning in just one minute. It’ an art. Rome does it well. Feinstein and Esiason do not.

States with the most holiday cheer… AccuRadio has compiled a list of states ranked based on the amount of hours each streams holiday music. Illinois ranked 26th, while Washington D.C. was number one. Thanks to Tate Handy for submitting.

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