Wednesday, May 23, 2018
TV and Media

Times writers Tom Jones, Rick Stroud to host WDAE-AM 620 morning sports talk show

Tampa Bay Times sports writers Tom Jones and Rick Stroud will host a new weekday morning show for sports radio station WDAE-AM 620, sparking a closer alliance between the newspaper and station owner Clear Channel Radio.

The pair begin hosting their three-hour show at 6 a.m. today, taking the time slot once held by Dan Sileo, a former professional and college football player who was fired March 13 after calling three black football players "monkeys" in a passing reference.

"I think there's a need for a show where you can bring the insights of a working journalist," said Stroud, noting Clear Channel contacted him and Jones separately not long after Sileo left the job.

"A lot of people do commentary and a lot of people get animated," he added. "As far as providing insight and accurate information … that's something there's a need for and we can do very well."

As an opinion columnist covering sports media, Jones has a bit more freedom than Stroud, who must avoid bias while covering the Buccaneers.

"I wouldn't say anything on the radio that I wouldn't write for the newspaper," said Jones, who will stop covering local sports radio in his columns to avoid conflicts of interest. "We talk to the coaches, we know the general managers. I would use the same standards on radio as in print."

If discussions started in March, why did it take so long to finalize a deal?

"It was the first opening in our main lineup for eight years; we wanted to make sure we looked at everything," said Steve Versnick, program director at WDAE who initially called Jones and Stroud. "It's our hope we'll go at least another eight years before we have to make another lineup change."

Another reason for the delay: The newspaper's ethical standards required executives at Clear Channel and the Tampa Bay Times to agree on a special policy for handling on-air endorsements.

Such promotional announcements, a routine feature for radio personalities who aren't journalists, draw a premium fee from advertisers.

But traditional journalists rarely directly endorse commercial products to avoid the perception that their credibility can be bought.

So although Jones and Stroud will draw a salary from WDAE, they will donate their portion of proceeds from any endorsements to charities selected by the Times. They will also read a disclaimer announcing the arrangement at the end of each show.

Times editor Neil Brown acknowledged the charity arrangement was new ground for the newspaper, keeping Jones and Stroud from directly profiting by endorsements, though businesses still will be paying for their on-air recommendations.

"I was looking to create a bridge between the world of radio and the newspaper world," said Brown, who retains final approval over each endorsement. "I wanted to inoculate them so their journalism is not compromised."

The Times and Clear Channel will promote the radio show in the paper and on the air, but the show also led the two organizations to work out a significant promotional advertising trade agreement, said Bruce Faulmann, the Times' vice president for sales and marketing.

Both Jones and Stroud have some previous broadcast experience; Stroud has appeared on numerous local radio stations as well as ESPN as an expert analyst, while Jones, who has covered the Lightning as a beat reporter, hosted a show on Bright House Networks' sports channel.

But the biggest challenge, Jones admitted, might be getting up at 4 a.m. every weekday.

"I know that part will be tough," he said, laughing. "But it's what I've always wanted to do."

Comments
Sports on TV/radio Tuesday, May 22

Sports on TV/radio Tuesday, May 22

TODAYBaseballRed Sox at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMIndians at Cubs7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Mets7 p.m.FSFRockies at Dodgers10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, conference tourneysSEC: Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt10:30 a.m.SECACC: Pitt vs. Georgia Tech11 a.m.Fox SunSEC:...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a new ‘Bachelorette’ contestant from St. Petersburg

There’s a new ‘Bachelorette’ contestant from St. Petersburg

When ABC’s reality dating competition The Bachelorette returns next week, the pool of 28 contestants vying for love and roses from Becca Kufrin will include a fitness trainer who lives in St. Petersburg. Here’s what we know about 25-year...
Published: 05/21/18
Here are some of Harry and Meghan’s official wedding photos

Here are some of Harry and Meghan’s official wedding photos

LONDON — Kensington Palace has released three official wedding photographs taken of Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle shortly after their wedding.Alexi Lubomirski's images include a family portrait of the couple with Queen Elizabeth II,...
Published: 05/21/18
Yes, Harry Styles (that Harry Styles) will executive produce a sitcom on CBS this fall

Yes, Harry Styles (that Harry Styles) will executive produce a sitcom on CBS this fall

Washington PostThe most unusual executive producer on a new fall show for CBS? Harry Styles.Yes, that Harry Styles. The 24-year-old pop artist, the breakout star of boy band One Direction. Anyway, the sitcom is called Happy Together. It stars Damon W...
Published: 05/21/18
Have your favorite shows been canceled? Here’s a breakdown by network

Have your favorite shows been canceled? Here’s a breakdown by network

Last week brought the up-front presentations, when broadcast networks show off their new fall series to advertisers and, less ceremoniously, dump dozens of others. This year the bloodletting included beloved sitcoms and high-concept dramas, and the ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/21/18
Summer TV preview: For your viewing pleasure, a look at the lineup

Summer TV preview: For your viewing pleasure, a look at the lineup

Get ready for another hot summer of sensational TV. We want crazy thrillers. We want exaggerated plot lines. But don’t count out prestigious and gut-wrenching dramas. The summer TV season begins earlier each year. We’re only halfway thro...
Published: 05/17/18
Today’s sports on TV/radio

Today’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballCardinals at Twins1 p.m.MLBRays at Royals2 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMBrewers at Diamondbacks (in progress)4 p.m.MLBDodgers at Marlins7 p.m.FSFYankees at Nationals7 p.m.ESPNAstros at Angels (in progress)10 p.m.MLBCyclingTour of California, Stage...
Published: 05/15/18
Pauley Perrette claims she endured ‘multiple physical attacks’ on ‘NCIS’: ‘Nothing is worth your safety’

Pauley Perrette claims she endured ‘multiple physical attacks’ on ‘NCIS’: ‘Nothing is worth your safety’

Pauley Perrette left the long-running CBS forensic show NCIS after 15 seasons last week under what was originally presented as a professional decision. On Twitter, however, she told a different story."I refused to go low, that’s why I’ve never told p...
Published: 05/15/18
14 classic movies to see at Tampa Theatre this summer

14 classic movies to see at Tampa Theatre this summer

Tampa Theatre revealed today the lineup of movies for this year’s Summer Classics series. Among the more notable screenings are 2009’s The Blind Side, featuring a question and answer session with actor Quinton “Big Mike” Aaro...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18
8 TV shows to watch with your mom for Mother’s Day

8 TV shows to watch with your mom for Mother’s Day

Mom should spend Mother's Day however she wants. And if she doesn't want to go anywhere, suggest a heartwarming TV show to binge together. My mother and I have always shared a love for television, and I remember proudly declaring to my fifth-grade cl...
Published: 05/10/18