Steel Dreams: Pittsburgh's "93.7 The Fan" Opens Airshift Up To The Listeners

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pittsburgh's "93.7 The Fan" will be holding public auditions for future air talent at various Steel City locations. The winner will be selected on the air on June 27. The process is similar to New York sister sports station WFAN's "Fantasy Phenom" contest, which current WFAN host John Jastremski (shown with Mike Francesa) won in 2011.

Pittsburgh’s “93.7 The Fan” will be holding public auditions for future air talent at various Steel City locations. The winner will be selected on the air on June 27. The process is similar to New York sister sports station WFAN’s “Fantasy Phenom” contest, which current WFAN host John Jastremski (shown with Mike Francesa) won in 2011.

Pittsburgh’s three-year-old FM sports talker, KDKA-FM/”93.7 The Fan,” is seeking an actual fan to host a weekly show.

The station has organized a contest, “The Next Fan Host,” which invites residents of the area, aged 18 or older, to show up at any of five designated locations, starting with Beer And Pop 4 Less this Saturday afternoon, or any of four other taverns, eateries or wireless phone stores over four nights between May 29 and June 18.

All they’re required to do is give opinions on the hot sports topics of the day (you know, kinda like what we do here at SportsRants).

The ten best entrants from these open auditions will be selected to compete in a semifinal round, with the top four advancing to a live final during Andrew Fillipponi’s nighttime show on Thursday, June 27.

If this process sounds familiar, it’s because KDKA-FM’s parent company, CBS Radio, has been implementing this concept at the original “Fan” of sports radio, New York’s 660 AM/101.9 FM WFAN. Dubbed “Fantasy Phenom,” the grand prize is the same as that of Pittsburgh’s “Next Fan Host” contest: a position on the iconic sports radio station for a year.

And it appears that all three “Phenom” winners are still with WFAN in some capacity. The first winner, Gregg Sussman, is still listed on WFAN’s website, as he occasionally can be heard doing weekend and swing duties; he’s still overseeing sports talk programming on a college radio station in Maryland, according to his LinkedIn page.

The second “Phenom” champion, John Jastremski, is the most visible of the contest’s three winners by far. He’s heard regularly on overnights, usually on weekends, and has also been heard nationwide on the CBS Sports Radio Network. And here’s a scary thought: just last week, he celebrated his 25th birthday – which makes the radio station he works for slightly one year older than him. But when you listen to “JJ After Dark,” with the energy in and on the air, you forget that you’re listening to a 26-year-old radio station – one that’s been an AM station for most of its existence (and CBS Radio is looking to fix that, in due time).

The announcement of last year’s “Phenom” champ, Joe Giglio, was about as low-key as his current association with WFAN, where his presence is mostly through a weekly column on the station’s website. But for the lead baseball writer of Bleacher Report, that’s fine with him.

There’s no plans currently available for a “Fantasy Phenom 4” contest, which would be the first one held during WFAN’s history on FM, but you can expect them to be unveiled sometime next month.

As for who will decide “The Next Fan Host” in Pittsburgh, I can’t help but wonder if “93.7 The Fan” morning co-host Gregg Giannotti – an alumnus of WFAN who has been with KDKA-FM since its inception in February 2010 – will somehow have a say in it.

Details on the contest, as well as the official rules, can be found here.

A Funny Thing Happened To Danny Rouhier On The Way To ESPN's "Outside The Lines"

 

 

 

 

 

 

After being turned down to appear on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" to discuss a possible name change for the Redskins, 106.7 The Fan's Danny Rouhier argued that the issue is media driven, and anyone opposed to a new name is "a racist" and "defends racism."

After being turned down to appear on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” to discuss a possible name change for the Redskins, 106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier argued that the issue is media driven, and anyone opposed to a new name is “a racist” and “defends racism.”

Danny Rouhier refers to himself as “a humorous DC sports fan.” While he’s one half of the midday show on Washington’s WJFK-FM/”106.7 The Fan,” he’s also been on the stand-up comedy circuit for quite some time. In fact, his Twitter handle is @FunnyDanny.

At the start of his Friday show, Rouhier informed listeners that he would be appearing on a panel on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” airing that afternoon, to talk about the possibility of the Washington Redskins adopting a new team name.

Halfway through the radio show, Rouhier revealed that he received an e-mail from ESPN telling him that they were canceling his appearance on the show, citing an abundance of participants on the panel; however, Rouhier claims that his replacement on the panel was a Redskins blogger.

Yet after finding himself on the “Outside” looking in, “Funny Danny” was singing a new tune about the Redskins name debate and it was no laughing matter.

“Is it a media driven debate? After my experience today, I now think 100 percent, unequivocally, yes it is,” Rouhier said. “They wanted me to be fodder and they were barking up the wrong tree.

“They are trying to create a situation where they can drive up all the support, all the members of the media can congratulate themselves on how enlightened they are, and how ‘We’re so forward thinking, we’re beating this white, stocky radio dumb idiot bully. We’re browbeating him into a corner. Look at how tough we are. We’re great. And when the evil billionaire won’t change the name, we’ll have righteousness on our side.’ That’s what they’re trying to create.”

Rouhier’s co-host – which is normally Holden Kushner but he was on vacation that week – sided with him.

“Whenever this thing airs, watch how it is portrayed,” the substitute co-host said. “These guys are not going on there to hold up the honor of the Washington Redskins franchise… They’re on there, so guys like Dave Zirin can yell at them… so they can be made out to be these guys that don’t get it.”

All bets are off on there being “a legitimate discussion” about this issue on “OTL.” But “it’s near impossible now,” Rouhier argued, “because of the shrill screamers that are dropping the ‘R’ word – and not the Redskins, I’m talking about ‘racism’ – on the rest of us, and feeling very empowered.

“I’m a Redskins fan, I like [the name], but can I understand the need to change it? Absolutely,” Rouhier added. “It’s a reasonable position. There are reasonable positions on both sides. The side that’s screaming the loudest now will tell you there is no possible argument… What’s happening right now… is, if you’re on the opposite side from us, you’re a racist, and you defend racism. Very, very convenient position to have.”

This all but guaranteed you’ll be seeing Rouhier on the Worldwide Leader anytime soon.

“People are capitalizing on this,” Rouhier said. “And I’m not ripping [OTL moderator] Bob Ley… I actually think he’s got integrity. His producers don’t… And if this means I’m never going on there, that’s what it means.”

Funny how that works – isn’t it, Danny?

Here’s more audio from Friday’s radio show discussing ESPN revoking Rouhier’s invite to appear on “Outside The Lines” – including how fellow 106.7 The Fan talent Chad Dukes reveals that he, too, was asked about appearing on ESPN.