Monday, July 31, 2006

Jim Williams: The sounds of Redskins training camp signal start of season
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 31, 2006 5:00 AM (3 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 1 of 3,746 articles

WASHINGTON - Are you ready?

It’s here. Football season really begins today as the Redskins begin their season’s journey in Ashburn with the start of training camp.

What’s that? You can’t spend each day at Redskins Park evaluating rookies or breaking down Jason Campbell? Well, you can keep up just fine with a radio (or computer, for that matter).

Triple X ESPN Radio (94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and 730 AM) will have a front row seat from its Redskins Park studio. Each day from noon-1 p.m., it’s “Redskins Lunch” with Larry Michael and Bram Weinstein, featuring the latest camp news.

On your way home, it’s “The John Riggins Show” from 4-7 p.m. and more coverage from inside camp. It should be interesting because Dan Snyder-owned Triple X ESPN has promised unprecedented access. You can also go to for live camp news.

Meanwhile, Sports Talk 980-AM starts things at 9 a.m. with “The Sports Reporters.” Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban will be talking Redskins and Jerry Coleman will be filing reports from Redskins Park. “The Brian Mitchell Show” from noon-3 p.m. will keep the Redskins talk moving with plenty of guests and lots of burgundy and gold talk.

“The John Thompson Show” from 3-7 p.m. with Doc Walker and Al Koken will be talking all things Redskins from now through the Super Bowl.

This is when Doc shines.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Alfonso Soriano Could Remain with the Nats
By: Jim Williams
The Examiner

When Nationals President Stan Kasten and General Manager Jim Bowden said that the team would trade Alfonso Soriano only if they got the “right deal,” they really meant it.

There is no doubt that Soriano is the prize of this years “trading season,” but this weekend the Nationals want teams interested to know when they say the right deal they mean the right deal.

Otherwise they will do all they can to sign their star to a long term deal.

Sources within Major League Baseball and national media insiders tell me that this weekend the Nationals have been working on a parallel plan. Bowden has been working the phones doing his best to get at least two tops prospects for Soriano and the Angels and Tigers continue to be the hottest suitors with at least five other teams having expressed great interest.

Meanwhile, the team representatives are working with Alfonso Soriano’s agents to hammer out a long term deal that could keep him with the team for years to come. The goal is to have the deal in place ready to be signed by as soon as possible.

What happens before Monday at 4p.m one way or another will be a big moment in the new history of the new Nationals.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jim Williams: Johnson ready for gridiron tour
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 29, 2006 5:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 3,011 articles

WASHINGTON - Kelli Johnson is a self-professed jock.

She comes from a family of coaches and played sports all the way through college. So she has more than a passing interest in football.

This is her third year as Comcast SportsNet’s Redskins beat reporter and she gets better each year. Few reporters have the rapport with the players and coaches she does. But most of all, even fewer ask the tough questions that she does week after week.

With training camp less than 48 hours away, Kelli and I talked Redskins football and she had some interesting insights.

On the key storylines: “It all starts with Mark Brunell. Can he stay healthy and lead this team? Then we go to Jason Campbell, where the question is: Is he ready in case something happens to Mark?

We have the great storyline with Joe Gibbs turning the offense over to new coach Al Saunders. We have plenty of new weapons on offense to talk about in Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd. On defense, coach Greg Williams is always working and we will see what he has in store in the post LaVar era.”

On the team’s prospects: “The NFC East is back as the dominant division in the NFL. The Giants, the Cowboys and the Eagles are all good and the Redskins have a great chance of winning the division. This season the Redskins are not going to be able to sneak up on anyone. The league knows that they can be a Super Bowl-caliber team so every week will be a battle.”

Kelli’s reports begin on Sunday on CSN’s SportsNite shows. She will of course be part of the CSN Redskins Pre and Post Game live shows all season long.

Redskins telecasts

» The Redskins preseason games will again be seen locally on CBS 9 and CSN. Mike Patrick and John Riggins will handle the booth duties.

» Speaking of Patrick, as part of his new ESPN contract he got a spot to compete in thee World Series of Poker. So the network staked him and he has been competing in Las Vegas. Patrick gets to keep his winnings, so let’s hope he cashes in lots of chips.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jim Williams: Baltimore native Harris is living out his boyhood dream
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 27, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 7 mins ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 4,416 articles

BALTIMORE - When Brent Harris of Comcast SportsNet was growing up in Towson, he was a diehard Colts and Orioles fan. Like all kids he dreamed of one day playing for the home team.

Well, in the case of Harris he is happy with his CSN job as the man who follows the O’s and the Ravens for the network. This season, Harris leaves the anchor desk in Bethesda and will be the beat reporter for the Ravens, starting this weekend as training camp opens in Westminster.

I spoke to Harris about this season’s Ravens team and what the best storylines are.

The quarterback situation: “Steve McNair is an All-Pro with Super Bowl and Pro Bowl experience and 12 years in the league. He commands respect and will be able to run the Ravens offense better than possibly any quarterback the team has ever had. But he will also make Kyle Boller better. It will take the pressure off Boller and allow him to grow as a leader. I think that McNair and Boller will work well together, and when Kyle needs to step in for Steve, he will be ready.

On the defense: “Ray Lewis has said that if the team had a big impact lineman in front of the talented linebackers and defensive backs, it would keep opposing teams honest. It would also allow the Ravens’ defense to play its aggressive style with a top run stopper on the line. Well, No. 1 draft choice Haloti Ngata is that guy, and when he gets signed — and I do feel that it will happen soon, he will be just what the Ravens’ defense needs to keep it dominate.

On the AFC North: “This is the best division in the AFC and might be the best in all of the NFL. You have the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, which made the playoffs last season and might have been better than the Steelers had Carson Palmer not been injured. You also have a very improved and young Cleveland team. The Ravens have their work cut out for them, but if they can stay healthy, this is a legitimate playoff team.”

So, the Baltimore boy, Brent Harris, a Towson University grad, is living his dream and doing a great job for CSN and for Ravens fans. His reports can be seen every night on CSN SportsNite starting this weekend.

Other notes

The Fox network broadcast team of Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston will be joined by former Raven DT Tony Siragusa for the preseason telecasts. We should know by next week if the games will also air on CSN as they have in the past.

* * *

Last week I told you that D.C. United and Real Madrid wanted to play a “friendly” Aug. 9 at Camden Yards. Well, the two teams will play, but the game will be in Seattle, not Baltimore. United does hope it can play a game in Baltimore next season, so soccer fans hang in there.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can e-mail Jim at
Jim Williams: Weinstein excited about upheaval
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 27, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 3 mins ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 4,416 articles

WASHINGTON - A doctor once told me two of the most stressful things a person can do is get married and change jobs.

Well, Bram Weinstein did both in the same month.

Bram left SportsTalk 980 WTEM and headed to Triple X ESPN just after returning from his honeymoon. Not exactly what the doctor ordered.

I spoke to Bram this week and am glad to report he is happy with both married life and his new job as Larry Michael’s partner on “Redskins Lunch,” weekdays from noon till 1 p.m. on Triple X ESPN (94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and 730 AM). Bram shared his thoughts on his new tact.

» On his new job: “First of all, leaving WTEM was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have many friends over there and they were very, very good to me. But the opportunity that Triple X ESPN gives me career wise was just something I could not pass up. Working with many of the people I know who came here from WTEM helps and then doing a show with Larry Michael has been great fun. He has been very helpful and generous and I really think that we are on our way to making a very good team.”

» On access to the Redskins: “That is our advantage over all the other radio, TV stations and newspapers in the market. We have unprecedented access to the team, the players and the front office. But that also means as a reporter I must be good enough at my job to use this access to break stories and to be out front with the information. Good or bad.”

» On his objectivity: “Much has been said — I feel unfairly — about Triple X ESPN and how we will cover the Redskins. Bennett Zier told me he wanted me to be the same type of reporter that I was when I was with WTEM. I plan on asking tough questions and sometimes I am sure that I will criticize the team. But I have no reason to feel that I will in any way be edited by the Triple X ESPN management.”

Bram will also be part of the Redskins pregame show and details will be announced here soon.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sports European Vacation Ends Sunday...

Jim Williams: Summer’s European vacation nears an end
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 22, 2006 5:00 AM (7 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 3,966 articles

WASHINGTON - This weekend marks the end of the major European events with the Tour de France and the British Open serving as the caboose to a TV sports summer across the pond.

OLN will have the Tour de France and if you have not yet watched their coverage you really should.

The Tour is part sporting event and part travelogue. The scenes of the French countryside are stunning and the men riding the bikes are true athletes.

I spoke to Phil Liggett, who does a great job covering the event for OLN.

“As far as who is going to win, this has become the most wide open race in over 15 years,” Liggett said. “Ten or more men could win it and it go all the way the final day in Paris.”

TNT and ABC will have wall-to-wall coverage of the British Open this week and the early morning hours will be filled with great golf. XM has the radio coverage for those headed to the beach or pool.

Arbitration good for Nats TV

The Nationals are getting closer to being on TV in Washington. The FCC ruling last week that ordered Comcast and MASN to seek federal arbitration is likely to have a timeline put on it this week.

In the meantime, representatives of both sides are working out a deal with the hopes it can be resolved prior to going before a judge.

The arbitration process works like it does in a baseball case. Each side would put before a judge a figure they think is fair as a monthly cost per subscriber fee. They argue for their figure and then the judge decides if MASN or Comcast is the winner. Either way it speeds up the process of getting Nationals games on the air in the Washington area. We now are down to a “when” not an “if” and that is a good thing for fans.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Baltimore Soccer Star

Jim Williams: Quaranta is looking for some hometown fans
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 20, 2006 5:00 AM (1 hr 2 mins ago)
Current rank: # 14 of 5,269 articles

BALTIMORE - Santino Quaranta makes the drive every day from his Baltimore home to RFK Stadium in Washington where he plays for D.C. United.

He was a Baltimore soccer star at Archbishop Curley High School before D.C. United drafted him at age 16 and then sent him to the I.M.G. Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he trained to become a professional player.

The talented 21-year-old is passionate about soccer and this has been a tough year for him due to injuries.

We talked about soccer, Baltimore and some of his accomplishments.

Jim Williams: How tough has this year been for you?

Santino Quaranta: “Very, tough. I had a great run with the U.S. National team and played in a number of qualifying games. Had it not been a bad hamstring injury, I might have been able to make the World Cup team. But now I just want to get really match fit to help United make it to another MLS Championship.”

JW: You played high school soccer in Baltimore. Is the area a good soccer area?

SQ: “Baltimore is one of the best soccer area’s in the country. There is an abundance of talent and there are some wonderful fans. I know they follow the Blast but I don’t know why we have not been able to get more of the fans down to our games. I have a friend who is not even a sports fan from Baltimore and I brought him to a few games and now he is hooked. I really would love to see more Baltimore fans come down and watch us play.”

JW: What are the biggest accomplishments you have had thus far in soccer?

SQ: “First of all, being part of the best organization in American professional soccer with D.C. United as we won last year’s MLS Cup Championship. It was fantastic, playing for the United States National team under Bruce Arena was very special and then in 2001 for the U.S. U-17’s I started in 11 of the 12 full international matches, getting two goals and seven assists.”

It will be interesting to see if Quaranta can make it into the starting lineup for United as they head into the second half of the season. Right now they have a commanding 20-point lead over New England.

Pro soccer coming to town?

We should know this week if D.C. United will make a trip to Baltimore to face Real Madrid in a “friendly” that would be played at Oriole Park at Camden Yard.

The date the two teams are hoping for is Aug. 9 as both parties continue to work through the details.

United thought that it would be a great chance to market the team in Baltimore and so after meeting with The Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission, part of the Maryland Stadium Authority, it was decided that IF and that is a huge IF they could workout the details then the two soccer powerhouses would play the game at Camden Yards.

Real Madrid features world-class superstars Ronaldo, of Brazil, David Beckham, of England, and Zinedine Zidane, of France, who was the story of the 2006 World Cup.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can e-mail Jim at

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Jim Williams: ESPN exec happy to run with Redskins
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 19, 2006 5:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 1 of 6,751 articles

WASHINGTON - Bruce Gilbert is ESPN Radio’s general manager and it was his decision to make the change from WTEM to Red Zebra and the new “Triple X ESPN Radio Washington.”

I spoke to Gilbert about the change and how it could affect sports radio in this area.

On why ESPN made the move: “It was a very tough decision for us. WTEM had been our partner from the start and they had done a wonderful job for us. But after talking with Bennett (Zier) and Dan (Snyder) about their plans to create a group of stations throughout the mid-atlantic area that would all be sports talk. We felt that putting the Washington Redskins — the No. 1 franchise in Washington — together with ESPN — the biggest brand name in sports — on one group of stations was too good a thing to pass up. This is about the future and we see the future with Red Zebra to be very, very bright.”

On the network’s support: “We will give Bennett whatever support that he needs. He was the man who brought us to Washington when he was at WTEM and no one knows the market better than he does. So he has the full support of ESPN behind him for whatever they need.”

On what D.C. listeners can expect: “Washington listeners know our talent well. We expect to have Mike and Mike as well as Colin Cowherd doing shows from Washington in the fall. We know that it may take time for people to find us. However, while some people may see being on three stations in the same market as a negative, we see it as a positive. It gives the listener three different places to find our programming. Also, we see this as a good chance to re-introduce Colin Cowherd to the market and we think people will love his show from 10 a.m. till noon.”

Washington’s sports-talk radio fans will need to set their car radio preset buttons for all three stations — FM-94.3 (WWXT), FM-92.7 (WWXX) and AM-730 (WXTR). Your reception is based on where you are. Tuesday’s debut also revealed a different talent ensemble than originally projected. Gary Braun and Kevin Sheehan have surfaced as John Riggins’ on-air partners. Bram Weinstein, originally thought to be Riggins’ partner, joins Larry Michael for “Redskins Lunch” at noon weekdays.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006



Bram Weinstein will join Larry Michael on Redskins Lunch Show. Bram will also anchor the pre game show.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Zebra Gets Its Stripes Tuesday

Jim Williams: Red Zebra sounds like 800-pound gorilla
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 17, 2006 5:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 1 of 5,531 articles

WASHINGTON - Red Zebra Radio hits the air tomorrow at 6 a.m. and Washington-area radio will forever be changed.

Professional sports team owners and those who follow broadcasting trends will review the launch as a possible future template for teams wishing to maintain their own radio stations.

Never before in a market of Washington’s size have three stations broadcast the same programming simultaneously with such a strong program lineup.

You’ll hear Red Zebra on 730 AM; in the western suburbs tune to 94.3 FM; east of the city it will be 92.7 FM. At home or at work, you can access its audio streaming service via or

Now the details.

Contrary to speculation, the only place to hear Redskins broadcasts — beginning with the Aug. 13 preseason game in Cincinnati — will be on Red Zebra or its network of affiliates throughout the Mid-Atlantic area.

In speaking to Bennett Zeir, Red Zebra’s co-founder and CEO, you could feel his enthusiasm to finally get this operation on the air.

Jim Williams: Does the perception the Red Zebra stations have a weak signal concern you?

Bennett Zeir: I think that the coverage matter has been exaggerated. We know that our fans will be well served by our three local stations. We will have a better coverage area than WJFK-FM or WTEM-AM. I have no doubt that area listeners will be able to find our stations no matter where they are in the greater Washington area. We will also continue to improve our signal as all stations do as we grow.

JW: What was your biggest challenge?

BZ: Getting the right team in place. We have hired the best people available from a number of different broadcast companies. I am pleased to say we have some the best and most talented people in all broadcasting on our staff. They all have a wealth of knowledge and talent that will serve Red Zebra from day one and for years to come.

JW: What do you see as Red Zebra’s strengths?

BZ: We have the No. 1 sports franchise in the Washington area in the Redskins, with access that no other broadcast outlet has ever had or could possibly offer. Then we have the total cooperation of ESPN, the top brand name in sports broadcasting, as a partner, giving our listeners the best local and national mix of sports possible from day one. We have studios in Silver Spring, Redskins Park, FedEx Field and Redskins stores throughout the area, allowing us to not only broadcast from where things are happening but also to connect with our listeners in a very unique and special way.

JW: The Nationals, Caps and some major area colleges are looking for new radio homes. How aggressive will Red Zebra be in getting other professional and college product on your air?

BZ: It is all about relationships and I have been very fortunate to work with all the area owners at one time or another over my 14 years in the market. I think that we have plenty to offer other sports teams that want to be part of Red Zebra and we will be very aggressive about securing rights. We are an all-sports radio station and we have some of the best on-air talent in the country. The key point is that we are all about serving and entertaining our audience. Our hosts can and will talk about all sports and yes, adding more teams and talking sports other than football is a big part of our plans starting Tuesday.

JW: What do you want the listeners to know about Red Zebra?

BZ: We are a company that owns and operates radio stations that will broadcast programming that will be fun, entertaining and interactive. We will introduce access to the Redskins that has never before been heard anywhere in this market. This is a Washington-area station and we want to serve our fans and earn their trust. Also, Red Zebra will continue build up our reach and acquire area radio properties when the time is right just like any other major broadcaster would do.

Red Zebra’s launch will be a big plus for the Washington sports fans because it will force WTEM, WMAL and WTWP to work extra hard to please listeners.

The company may boast a Zebra for a logo. But it will be an 800-pound gorilla in this market and a force to be reckoned with in broadcasting.

Zebra sounds

The final details of Red Zebra’s program schedule will become official late this afternoon but here is the likely lineup:

6-10 a.m.: Mike and Mike in the Morning

10 a.m.-noon: The Herd with Colin Cowherd

Noon-1 p.m.: Larry Michael live from Redskins Park

1-4 p.m.: The Dan Patrick Show

4-7 p.m.: The John Riggins Show with Bram Weinstein

7-11 p.m.: ESPN Game Night

11 p.m.-6 a.m.: ESPN Up All Night with Jason Smith

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Soccer Coverage on Radio is alive and well..

Jim Williams: Satellite radio maintains soccer presence
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 15, 2006 5:00 AM (6 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 1 of 5,572 articles

WASHINGTON - After award-winning coverage of World Cup 2006, XM Satellite Radio soccer channel 147 continues to cover soccer in Spanish with the legendary Andres Cantor talking all things soccer as well as baseball, boxing and a number of other sports. XM Deportivo is all Spanish sports talk 24/365.

Meanwhile, XM 148 has gone dark for now. However, XM officials told me they are aggressively working on plans to keep soccer a part on their network, which is great news.

In the meantime, SIRIUS is ready to welcome soccer fans to its service, which features three hours of live interactive soccer shows Monday through Friday.

SIRIUS is also home to the Barclays Premiership games starting next month. You can hear a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday plus weekday matches. The announcers are the home broadcasters so you really get a true British soccer feel for the games, right down to knowing what songs to sing.

SIRIUS soccer talk line starts with “The 2 G’s,” heard Monday through Friday from noon-1p.m.

Gazza Richards, a former pro player, and Graham Bell, a former FA referee, bring a true London ‘barrow boy’ (Google it) approach to this fast-paced talk show centered on the world of English and American soccer.

“We are really a fan driven show and we love to talk all levels of soccer with our callers,” Bell said. “This is a true labor of love for us and our callers are just as passionate about the sport as we are.”

“World Soccer Daily” airs weekdays from 1-3 p.m.

The original radio hooligans, Steven Cohen and Nick Geber, first hit the airwaves on Fox Sports Radio in Los Angeles. “World Soccer Daily” has fast become the nation’s most talked about and respected soccer show and it routinely has the biggest names in the game worldwide. Nick and Steven also host “Fox Football Friday” every Friday at 9 p.m. on the Fox Soccer Channel.

“We are always looking to expand our following and we have a number of ways for fans to get involved beyond the calls, which we love,” Cohen said. “Our listeners have access to message boards and we encourage lively debate. We have a show that gives soccer fans real in depth information in a fun and entertaining way.”

Lax approach

It may not be the World Cup, but to lacrosse fans it is still a big deal. CSTV will carry the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships beginning this weekend from Ontario, Canada. CSTV also offers a free, live video streaming feed via

» Saturday: Canada vs. Iroquois, 1:30 p.m.

» Sunday: Canada vs. USA, 4 p.m.

» July 22: Championship, 3:30 p.m.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Baltimore Radio

Jim Williams: There’s a little station that can in ‘Charm City’
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 13, 2006 5:00 AM (8 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 4,418 articles

BALTIMORE - There is a battle going on in Baltimore for the all-sports audience and, according to the latest edition of Radio and Records, WJFK-AM is holding a slight lead over WTEM-AM (Washington) and WNST-AM.

All three are fighting for the ears of Baltimore sports fans and it is a true day-to-day war.

The little local who is battling among the broadcast giants is WNST-AM 1570.

I must say that these guys do a great job of covering Baltimore sports and they do it with real “Charm City” style.

I spoke to the station owner Nestor Aparicio and, besides his wife, he has three big passions in life.

First, he loves his hometown of Baltimore, second he loves sports, and third he loves the people who work for him at WNST, the station he bought in 1999. It also was the first all-sports radio station in the area.

The station reflects Aparicio’s passion, it is a real Baltimore station, and about 90 percent of the on-air personalities are from the area. The majority of them started at the station as an intern or a part-time person, then worked their way up the ranks.

Terry Ford and Drew Forrester handle the morning drive from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m Monday through Friday. They keep things moving and are respectful to the callers and at the same time they are free and open with their opinions.

Bob Haynie has been with the station from day one. He is smooth, knowledgeable and he holds down the 10 a.m to 2 p.m shift. Haynie loves talking Orioles and Ravens with a sense of history that seems to be rare in local sports.

Rob Long has the 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. drive-time shift and if you are a Baltimore sports fan, then you should be listening to this show every day when you are heading home.

Long started at WNST as an intern who did everything, and worked his way up through the ranks as a radio talk show host. His hard work paid off when he was named as a full-time replacement for Aparicio.

As the only African-American talk show host on the air five days a week in Baltimore, Long has established himself as one of the city’s best drive-time talkers. He moves from NFL to NBA conversations with ease and a wealth of knowledge. Make no mistake about it: he is a star on the rise and he is the best sports personality in drive time, by far.

Jeremy Conn is on from 6 p.m to 8 p.m and is a solid, young voice who is growing as a talk show host. His show is fun. Night-time callers cover a lot of area and Conn keeps up with them very adeptly.

Ray Bachman is the station’s executive producer and, according to Aparicio, he is the station MVP.

What about ratings and rankings for WNST?

“We are a real mom and pop local organization. Our main competitors, WJFK, is owned by CBS, and WBAL is owned by Hearst Radio, so both stations have all the vast resources needed for developing a large sales staff along with a massive promotional budget to support their on-air talent. We have never gotten caught up in ratings; WNST has a very loyal fan base that continues to grow, and our regional advertisers Comcast and Budweiser, along with the literally hundreds of local sponsors, support our station because we are a Baltimore-based business and we deliver for them. I am a local guy, who loves sports and his city, so as long as I am fortunate enough to own this station we will continue to be committed to serving Baltimore; it is as simple as that,” stated Aparicio.

If you are a sports talk show fan then try WNST-AM 1570. Their hosts are entertaining, they have interesting local as well as national guests and they give their callers a chance to talk.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can e-mail Jim at

Monday, July 10, 2006

Czabe and FSR come home to DC

Jim Williams: Czabe anchors FSR’s D.C. comeback
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 10, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 56 mins ago)
Current rank: # 1 of 13,987 articles

WASHINGTON - Beginning today at 6 a.m., WTEM SportsTalk 980 officially becomes a FOX Sports Radio station when “First Team on FOX” makes its debut. If the show sounds familiar, there is good reason.

It is hosted by WTEM mainstay Steve Czaban and he is joined by the usual suspects: WTEM staffers Scott Linn, Al Galdi and producer Jay Cottrell. For more than two years, they have started off the day for FSR’s national lineup.

As ESPN heads across the Potomac River to Red Zebra Broadcasting, WTEM gets a new and improved FSR, which was once heard on WWRC-AM 1260.

“First Team on FOX” begins WTEM’s 13-hour lineup of local programming Monday through Friday.

“I can’t wait to see Steve Czaban’s face at 6:06 a.m. Monday when he is on the air in his own hometown, that will be special,” said FOX Sports Radio Vice President and General Manager Andrew Ashwood. “We are very happy to be back in Washington and so much has changed with our network. We have evolved, becoming the most interactive network in broadcasting. Listeners can reach our shows via calls, emails and text messaging. We want our listeners to be part of all of our shows and to feel part of our network.”

Local management sounds equally excited with the station’s new direction.

“I’m thrilled to bring Steve Czaban’s morning show to SportsTalk 980,” said SportsTalk 980 Program Director Chris Johnson. “Czabe’s our guy. He’s been a major part of our success over the past few years and I can’t wait for the listeners to hear his unique sports show each morning.”

Local yokels

With WTEM’s programming switch from ESPN to FOX, the station now features 13 hours of local content Monday-Friday.

» 6-9 a.m. First Team on Fox with Steve Czaban

» 9 a.m.-noon Sports Reporters

» Noon- 3 p.m. Brian Mitchell Show

» 3-7 p.m. John Thompson Show

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

ABC and XM Ready for the Finals....

Jim Williams: O’Brien, Balboa shine together at Cup

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 8, 2006 5:00 AM (3 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 12,114 articles

WASHINGTON - When ESPN/ABC named Dave O’Brien their lead announcer for World Cup 2006, most soccer fans said, “Dave who?”

But after a full month of calling games with partner Marcelo Balboa, more fans are now commenting on their quality and style.
O’Brien has been solid, never overselling games but keeping the drama and energy level high while Balboa has been clear and honest.

Instead of guys trying to be BBC commentators, we have a duo soccer fans — more importantly, regular fans — can understand. The result has been good ratings for ESPN/ABC and the emergence of a top-notch broadcasting team.
I have been in contact over the past month by phone and e-mail with O’Brien and here are some observations from his first World Cup.

“It became clear to me as we were getting ready for the opening that this was the biggest telecast of my career,” O’Brien said. “To the right was Boris Becker doing the German feed, then looking to the left we saw Diego Maradona doing TV for Argentina. It was really the first time that I felt the real gravity of the event.”
O’Brien also commented on working with the ‘world feed’; there is only one production crew working the game and it’s a German one with over 40 HD cameras. But everyone around the world is at least seeing the same thing.
“This is the first time I’ve ever worked with a ‘host feed,’ which is just a little less challenging than steering a car downhill on an icy road,” O’Brien said. “We have no idea which replays are coming next. ... This truly is an awesome event and one I will never forget.”

The World Cup final can be seen Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ABC 7, Univision and XM Radio.

Dave Calls the final…

Dave Johnson of WTOP and Comcast SportsNet will call the World Cup final for XM this is a big deal. It is the first time that a broadcaster will do the game live in both the United States and Canada for an American radio broadcaster.
We are indeed very happy for Dave who has done an brilliant job of play-by-play for XM for the entire month of soccer establishing himself as one of the best in the business.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Nats Talking to Red Zebra; XM Ponders Soccer Channel's Future

Jim Williams: Nats opt out, XM nears soccer limbo
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 7, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 35 mins ago)
Current rank: # 8 of 14,818 articles

WASHINGTON - Whether you are a Nationals die-hard or soccer fanatic, your listening choices could be in line for a shakeup.

The Nationals have opted out of their deal with WTWP. D.C.-based XM Radio, having created a long-needed outlet for soccer fans, is unsure what is going to happen to its increases soccer programming after Sunday’s World Cup Final.

Let’s take the Nationals first

They had an out in their contract with WTWP that allows them to shop around for a better deal starting in 2007. The Nationals will be on WTWP for the rest of this season. Next year is anyone’s guess.

Nationals President Stan Kasten told me several weeks ago he wanted to improve the team’s radio deal. He felt the Nationals could get more money, a larger network and year-round baseball talk. Kasten will now talk with everyone, including but not limited to WTEM-AM, WMAL-AM, WTWP-AM, WJFK-FM and Red Zebra.

Word has it Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra would love to snag the Nationals to boast Washington’s two highest-profile franchises. Also, you could see a creative marketing plan that would allow for Nationals tickets and merchandise to be sold in Redskins stores throughout the area.

Let me put this way: No one in Washington can offer the Nationals a better deal money-wise, marketing-wise or network-wise than Red Zebra. Does that mean the Nationals will wear stripes? No, but it puts Red Zebra in the driver’s seat.

As for XM …

For more than a month, soccer fans have kept the lights flashing and phone lines burning at XM from 6 a.m. — when “World Cup This Morning” with Bill McDermott and Judah Cooks begin the day’s soccer talk — until 11 p.m., when Dave Ungrady and the “World Cup Tonight” crew take the final call of the night.

The bottom line is XM has done such a wonderful job that soccer fans do not want these channels to go away when the World Cup ends.

Let’s hope that XM keeps the soccer channels alive.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Soccer needs to stay on XM

Jim Williams: What happens to XM after
World Cup?
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 6, 2006 5:00 AM (2 hrs 17 mins ago)
So the big question that I keep getting asked is, “What happens to XM World Cup Channel’s 148 on
the English side and 147 on the Spanish side on July 10, the day after the World Cup?
At this point no one knows.
For more than one glorious month, soccer fans have kept the lights flashing and the phone lines
burning from 6 a.m. (World Cup This Morning with Bill McDermott and Judah Cooks) until 11p.m.
(Dave Ungrady and World Cup Tonight).
All day long there has been the gang in Germany — Dave Johnson, Manny Lagos, Sean Wheelock,
Phil Schoen, Jeff Agoos and Christopher Sullivan — not only doing a wonderful job of calling
every World Cup game and but also doing pre- and post-game shows with callers from all over the
United States and Canada.
Thousands of calls went through XM and the soccer nation connected with the hosts.
The bottom line is that XM has done such a wonderful job that soccer fans and the people who have
recently become fans of the game do not want the channel to go away.
Now is not the time to shut it down.
The best plan is to sign a long-term deal with the MLS to carry their games, also add some games
from the Spanish, Italian and German leagues in a partnership with Gol TV and maybe the Fox
Soccer Channel.
Don’t forget that many of the callers have been from Maryland, and fans of the indoor game the
league champion Baltimore Blast. So airing the indoor game would add more fans and create mor
There is also college soccer, and since you have deals with the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-10, that’s a
very good start.
The point is, you created a wonderful bilingual soccer monster. Do not be foolish and let it go away.
If XM doesn’t, others will.
SIRIUS owns the Premiership games and air them on the weekends. Plus they do a daily soccer
show on their networks and their reprsentatives told me they will welcome the audience that XM
The soccer nation is out there. The real question is will XM build on their success or allow SIRUS to
take the audience away from them?
take the audience away from them?
Soccer fans can let their feelings be known at
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can email
Jim at

Monday, July 03, 2006

Jim Williams: Riggo to sport Red Zebra stripes
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 3, 2006 5:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 1 of 12,284 articles
WASHINGTON - Legendary Redskin and Hall-of-Famer John Riggins will be the first big name to join Red Zebra Broadcasting, Dan Snyder’s impending foray into the sports radio business.
Red Zebra is set to launch sometime within the next two weeks on WBZS 94.3 FM, WBPS 92.7 FM, WKDL 730 AM and Richmond-based WXGI 950 AM. Also, expect to hear the network on both its own Web site and, most likely,
What is not yet clear is if Red Zebra will show up on a more powerful D.C.-based station. It may employ less powerful stations and place Redskins games on an outlet with a stronger signal not owned by Snyder. Whatever the choice, Red Zebra is poised to make a big splash in the D.C. market and the signing of Riggins is emblematic of that.
Riggins will be heard daily from 4-7 p.m., Monday through Friday. His likely partner will be former WTEM personality Bram Weinstein. The duo makes for a formidable afternoon drive team and that will go head-to-head with WTEM’s “John Thompson Show.”
Riggins gave up two high profile jobs to be Red Zebra’s main man. He left SIRIUS NFL Radio’s successful “Afternoon Blitz” and also gave up the Sunday Night Football color analyst job on CBS/Westwood One radio.
Redskins Radio voice Larry Michael will also be part of the Red Zebra radio team and will handle the 10 a.m.-1 p.m. slot. Look for Michael to feature exclusive Redskins player and coach interviews just like he does now on daily Web casts.
Expect ESPN to do all it can to help Red Zebra. That means regular appearances from top analysts and hosts.
I also expect Red Zebra will battle area stations for both pro and college sports programming. Yes, it has taken some time, but Red Zebra’s launch will drastically alter the Washington radio scene.
Jim’s predicted lineup
Here is what I think the Red Zebra lineup will be when it signs on in about two weeks:
» Mike and Mike in the Morning, 6-10 a.m.
» Larry Michael, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
» The Dan Patrick Show, 1-4 p.m.
» John Riggins and Bram Weinstein, 4-7 p.m.
» ESPN Game Night will handle primetime and ESPN All Night with Jason Smith covers the late night.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday's Best Bets...

The best stuff Sunday might just be the 36 hole finish of the US Women's Open starting on ESPN and finishing on NBC.

Since this is a light sports Sunday the women have a chance to steal the spotlight.

No World Cup but you always have XM 148 to talk soccer all day and checkout the Fox Soccer Channel and Gol Tv plenty of World Cup stuff and good soccer programs if you need the fix.

Wimbledon is on ESPN2 and NBC all day today.

Nats on MASN for the few who get it..

Listen to Charlie and Dave on WTWP @ 1PM

O's Fans you have the game on WTEM @ 1:30PM and Ch.50


Best of Saturday goes to Dave and Cello for their call of the England loss...

Very good stuff..

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Jim Williams: Former United coach Ray Hudson weighs in on World Cup
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 1, 2006 5:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Former D.C. United coach Ray Hudson has taken his expansive knowledge of soccer and quick wit to Gol TV.
For the past two years, Ray Hudson has done color commentary for European league matches and is co-host of “American Soccer.”
Hudson is now in Germany covering the 2006 FIFA World Cup; he is the co-host for the English-language segment of the nightly “Gol TV in Germany” wrap-up show. The show can be seen nightly at 8 with plenty of replays during the evening and early morning if you miss the early show.
Hudson spoke on the World Cup from the International Broadcast Center in Munich.
Jim Williams: What has impressed you most at World Cup 2006?
Ray Hudson: I have been impressed with the passion that has been shown here in Germany. The people have been great and everywhere you go they are talking soccer. The games have been well staged, well attended and seeing fans from all over the world get together and celebrate soccer has been a wonderful thing.
JW: Has the officiating been as bad as it has been made out to be?
RH: In a way I feel bad for the officials. They were told by FIFA to call the games close and not to allow any diving, hard tackles or shirt pulling. FIFA wanted the rules to be upheld to the letter of the law and then when the officials did that, FIFA executives threw them under the train. The officials have made some bad calls but certainly not as many as has been reported.
JW: United States Coach Bruce Arena is taking the heat for the team’s early exit from the World Cup. Is it fair to blame Bruce?
RH: Bruce certainly has to get some of the blame but so does the team. I mean they simply did not show up here in Germany. Players like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley let the team down by hiding from the action. So, yes, you can blame Bruce but you can’t forget the players in this World Cup. They were on the largest stage in sports and showed up like deer looking in the headlights.
Ray is always informative and entertaining to be sure. Check him out on Gol TV.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Ray Hudson PLUS +

Ray was very excited about the fans in the US and their following of WC. He felt that they really wanted to know and understand the sport.

"These are the people at Publix, they stop and talk about the games and who is good and bad. They care about what is next for the US team and that is a very good sign for the growth of soccer in this country."

Ray said the be patient with the US team "It is a big learning curve that the US has to battle. They have come a long way but to become a member of the top teams in Europe or South America will take time. Kids in Europe and South Amnerica pick the game up and play it in the streets and they play from morning to night without coaches around, it becomes fun and they learn most of all to be creative. Until that begins to happen here in this country we will have to be content to a good but not great soccer country."

He also said that "Gol TV has been a very good place for him and that he thinks that once the WC is over that they ahave a place to follow the top players. Gol TV has the best players in the best leagues around the world and after WC we hope to showcase them on a weekly basis. It is a good thing for soccer fans to have the outlet and Gol TV provides it..."

Your weekend TV Day Planner..

OLN - Tour de France Saturday and Sunday Morning's - 8:30am

ESPN2 and SIRIUS Radio - Wimbledon - 8am

ABC, Univision and XM Radio - World Cup - ENGLAND vs.PORTUGAL- 11am

NBC and SIRIUS Radio - Wimbledon - Noon

FOX and XM Radio - Mets - Yankeees - 1pm

ESPN, Univision and XM Radio - World Cup - Brazil vs. France - 2:55pm

ABC and XM Radio - PGA Buick Open - 3pm

NBC - Women's US Open - 3pm

ESPN2 and SIRIUS Radio - Wimbledon - 3pm

ESPN2 - MLS New York @ New England - 6pm

Speed and XM Radio - Daytona Pepsi 400 Pre Race Show - 6:30pm

MASN and WTWP - Tampa Bay vs. The Nationals - 7pm

Ch. 50/TBS and WTEM Baltimore vs. Atlanta - 7pm

CSN - CFL Football - Edmonton @ Winnipeg - 7pm

FOX and XM Radio - The Pepsi 400 - 7:30pm