Tag Archives: Sports Media

Hookers, Media Feuds, and the Ego that Binds Them

Long before Mitch Levy allegedly plunked $160 in cash upon a bedside table in anticipation of a good old fashioned happy ending, The Seattle Times had already determined they’d be severing a long-standing association with Levy’s employer, Sports Radio 950 KJR.

The newspaper and the radio station had no real reason to be on the outs were it not for Frank Blethen, the publisher and CEO of Seattle’s paper of record. Blethen, who has been at the Times’ helm since 1985, was done with the relationship for various reasons – chief among those being a certain level of frustration over KJR’s criticism of the Times’ controversial stance on two different Seattle arena proposals, as well as perceived criticism of the paper itself. As a result, Blethen chose to enforce a moratorium on Times writers appearing on both Sports Radio 950 KJR, as well as “competing media” in the local Seattle area. The Times would later clarify its stance, singling out KJR as the sole outlet from which writers were explicitly forbidden, while also adding that some semblance of managerial permission would be required for employees to appear on-air with other local entities. Previously, this lack of autonomy had not existed.

By now we know that the Times cited “off-color” and “sexist” remarks from KJR radio personalities as the reasoning behind their imposed operational changes. However, that language didn’t emerge in an official statement until Thursday, August 31st, which might not mean much if it weren’t for Levy and his fateful blunder nearly a week earlier.

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Update: The Seattle Times Bans Sportswriters from Local Radio, TV

*Updated 8/31/17

In what is sure to be hailed as a brilliant public relations maneuver by absolutely no one, The Seattle Times has decided to prohibit their entire sports writing staff from appearing on local radio and television for the foreseeable future.

Beginning September 5th, Times sportswriters will be barred from the Seattle airwaves at the behest of management, preventing reporters and columnists from fulfilling previous commitments to local sports radio stations and television outlets. Once imposed, the ban will primarily have an impact on entities like Sports Radio 950 KJR and 710 ESPN Seattle, where many of the Times’ stable of writers would often appear.

Citing “competing forms of media” as the reason behind the embargo, the Times seems willing to sacrifice much-needed exposure for… ego, perhaps? Because make no mistake about it, this decree comes straight from the top and is a direct result of hurt feelings and a bruised manhood.

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Athletic Supporters Send Jerry Brewer to Bullets

shvxAs the owner, general manager, and sometimes point guard of a rec team of increasingly unathletic amateur basketball players, I’m here today to formally announce the sad news of the departure of a fellow Athletic Supporter teammate of mine.

Jerry Brewer, who supplemented his time as a power shooting center by moonlighting as a columnist for The Seattle Times, has been dealt to the Washington (D.C.) Bullets, ending his tenure with the Supporters. The move will subsequently necessitate a career change for Brewer, who will be leaving the Times for a similar position at The Washington Post.

In his time with the Supporters, Brewer emerged as a favorite of the team’s five or six fans. Recognized for his matching green warmup suits, as well as his inability to corral wayward behind-the-back passes from guard Ryan Divish, Brewer etched himself into rec league lore by successfully bringing back the spectacle sport strap, not seen since Kurt Rambis last played in the NBA.

Brewer may best be remembered in Seattle for his time spent off the court, however.

Occasionally penning stories that geriatrics loved to forward via “the internet mail” to their grandkids, Brew established himself as one of the most respected voices of the sports fan in the Pacific Northwest.

When he wasn’t waxing poetic about athletics for the Times, Brewer seized the opportunity to start a family, seducing a woman, marrying her, spawning a son, and even adopting a kitten. He also made time for his buddies, often showing up to local watering holes in crisp sport coats while everyone else donned tattered t-shirts and worn jeans.

For this scribe, at least, Brewer will be remembered as a friend and confidant who helped foster an ability to piece words together in a captivating way. While anyone can write, Brew would devote entire afternoons to sitting at a bar, discussing life, and inspiring the ideas that materialized into print for a twenty-something lazy-ass. That he once triumphantly captained a mission to get that same lazy-ass to 1,000 followers on Twitter will never be forgotten, either.

As our pal departs for the other Washington, we remember karaoke renditions of Gin and Juice, a knack for incorrectly spelling words that describe acts of human nature, and that one time a whiny kid on an opposing team threw a basketball at Brewer for reasons unknown.

Jerry, no matter what all the internet haters say, we don’t think you’re weird at all. In fact, we’ll miss you. And we wish you well as you depart your adoptive home for a new adventure.

In exchange for Brewer, the Bullets will send 48-year-old forward/center Pervis Ellison, who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in the 1991-1992 season, to Seattle.

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The Greatest Thing You’ve Never Heard

I’ll tell you what it is first, then I’ll give you the back story. It is a weekly podcast featuring myself, producer extraordinaire Josh Sabrowsky, traffic diva Ashley Ryan, and the Tacoma News-Tribune’s Ryan Divish, hosted by Sports Radio 950 KJR, published through 950KJR.com and SeattleSportsnet.com, and available through iTunes.

There you have it.

So how did this come to fruition?

Very simply, it started with a karate emergency. And for the record, “Karate Emergency” is now my new favorite quote. Because nothing says “emergency” quite like karate.

Josh and I were headed to play some pickup basketball with my brother at the Northgate Community Center on Thursday evening. We go every Thursday for open runs. We play ball with high school kids who talk a lot and make us feel better about our fading game and aging bodies.

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Top 11: Best Local TV Sportscasters

Brad Adam, aka "Bradam"

Because we don’t watch enough of the news anymore. And these 11 folks need our attention. They demand it. They crave it. It’s why they’re on TV.

11. Andrea Nakano, KING 5 News

Andrea is the newest kid on the block when it comes to the local TV sportscaster scene. She’s been tasked with filling the shoes of the now-departed Lisa Gangel (Kerney), which is akin to handing David Pauley a baseball and asking him to take over for Cliff Lee.

To say that Andrea has a lot of pressure on her shoulders would be an understatement at this point. However, she seems to be fitting into the role nicely so far and has yet to run off and marry one of our local professional athletes. Good for her.

10. Jen Mueller, Fox Sports Northwest

Jen Mueller spent nearly two years living in the shadow of Nicole Zaloumis’s cleavage. As soon as Nicole and her funbags left town, it was time for Jen to shine.

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FSN: Home of the Epic Fail

FSN. Like an itch on your balls that you just can’t scratch because you’re talking face-to-face with a girl who is clearly better looking than you and you do not want to ruin this, they pretty much annoy the hell out of you.

On the plus side, they provide a service that many of us can’t live without: sports, live, on television, for our enjoyment.

On the other hand, they suck at providing that service. And so we have a catch-22.

Last week, we fanned the flames of war by first posting a critique of the embattled sports network, followed shortly thereafter by a mock interview with an FSN employee.

Surprisingly, we managed to score a reaction from FSN with the airing of our dirty laundry. They sent one of their plebes to handle us through email, and wouldn’t you know it, they screwed that up, too.

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