Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Morning, Folks! May I Have Your Attention...


It is indeed a new and beautiful day in sports radioland.

I'm back.

After an 8 month hiatus from the nationally syndicated sports radio airwaves, I am back. And the boys are coming with me. Scotty, Solly, and the dearly departed Al are all back from the radio dead.

See? That wasn't so bad, was it?

Sporting News Radio, as a subsidiary of Mission Media Group of Scottsdale, Arizona, has hired me to host their morning drive shift from 6-9 a.m. from our Washington D.C. area studios.

Oh yeah, football season is going to be fun again kids.

I'd like to say that I just knew it all along. That I was certain this would happen within a year's time, and that the show was just "too good" to not get snapped up by somebody.

But I didn't know that. And I had to assume, that perhaps my run had simply ended.

You guys did have faith, however. Yes faith in me, with perhaps a splash of naivete in how ridiculously stupid the sports radio industry can be sometimes.

As you know, I don't preen at myself in the radio mirror much. I take sports seriously, not myself. I know I am good, but lately I have wondered if "good" really matters any more in our industry.

So when the programming genius at FSR decided 7 years of unmitigated success from me and the guys was all he could handle, I wasn't all that heartbroken. It's the business, what can you do? I did my best. I was proud of the show, and our run lasted a pretty good long while. So truth be told, I was looking for a new lifestyle, and some new opportunities.

Then, I got everybody's emails. That's when things changed.

It wasn't just the sheer volume of emails from you listeners, it was their staggering depth. I am talking about 1500-word-plus emails describing just what it was that made the show so meaningful to them.

You guys remembered a billion more details of segments we did, or moments we had, than I ever could.

The scope of people who wrote to me, was amazing. Age ranges all the way up to 80, and a surprising number of people who claimed they were not even sports fans in the least!

It certainly changed my mind a bit. This wasn't just about me losing a job. Millions of YOU were losing their ride-to-work buddies. It was truly traumatic to many of you.

I was even shocked by some industry calls I got as well. The great Steve Sabol of NFL Films called personally. As I had missed his original call, I returned his call on a break. It rang through to his assistant. I waited on hold. Then, the booming voice of NFL films came bursting through. "Czabe! What the HELL is going on down there!?"

He said he had heard they canceled the show, but just NEEDED to find out directly from the source. I had a chat that bordered on un-seemly manlove because of how much I admire Sabol's work and genius. He concluded the call, by saying matter of factly that I won't be off the air very long. It was very kind.

But I also thought: "Yeah, but what the hell does HE know? I work in this business! He doesn't!"

So as I settled in to being a morning sports radio consumer myself, I quickly began to appreciate how dreadful the national landscape is in that regard. The guy who replaced me is, well, how shall I put this: he's there... for now. And that's all I'm going to say.

And the two other guys on the Disney Sports Channel? Holy regurgitated sports facts, Batman!

I would listen and think: "Do these guys realize, that NOBODY TALKS LIKE THIS when they are talking about sports?"

Which is my only core philosophy about the medium. Good sports radio, is a CONVERSATION. And the more honest, probing, funny, interesting, lively, and no-bullshit you can make that conversation, the better.

That's it. It's that simple.

When I broadcast, I just try to talk to my guys, and talk to the audience, and let the microphones melt away into nothing. Like they aren't even there.

So here we go again. I am so, so, so pumped for this chance. The fellas are equally charged up. They are my faithful engines of creative brilliance. And we're going to do all of what we did before, and then some.

As you may know, Sporting News Radio was once upon a time, One On One Sports Network based out of Chicago.

I got my national radio start there. I remember it like it was yesterday. I rolled into Chicago on August 12, 1994. The day of the F'ING BASEBALL STRIKE that would kill the World Series.

I didn't know a SINGLE PERSON in the city of 6 million. I was rooming temporarily with a friend of a friend I had never before met. My Honda Accord was stuffed to the ceiling with all the crap I owned and could drive in from my parents place in DC.

And it was raining.

Welcome to the big city, kid.

At the time, One On One Sports was the only real "network" doing 24/7 sports programming. ESPN Radio did nights and weekends, but hadn't yet ramped up fully into a round the clock deal.

Over the years, ESPN grew into the beast that it is, and then Fox Sports Radio appeared around 2000. One On One got marginalized a bit, and sold to Sporting News. I think it's fair to say, they became the 3rd horse in the national network race.

Recently, however, long time radio executive Clancy Woods got some investors together to purchase the radio portion of Sporting News. His clarity for the industry, and appreciation for talent is tremendous. I couldn't be luckier to work for a guy like this, because I know he "gets it" like you and I "get it."

This network is going to be a force. You can book that one.

Clancy likes to say that he is "distribution agnostic" about the network and its properties, of which I am now one. By this, he means he'd like to get the longform spoken word product out there in as many ways as possible.

Of course, terrestrial radio affiliates are primary, as is satellite radio, but other distribution channels are here and growing. Things like internet radio and direct audio streaming from websites like, well, www.sportingnewsradio.com.

I can't say for sure, where my show will be heard right away, but suffice to say I will be keeping you posted on all that stuff as I get my facts straight.

On satellite, a bizarre twist remains from the XM/Sirius merger. Apparently - and don't take my word for it, because I may be wrong - if you have an original XM receiver and buy the "Best of Sirius" package, you STILL can't get Sporting News Radio. However, if you have a Sirius package, you CAN get Sporting News Radio on Channel 127.

What does that mean for those of you like me, who have an Acura TL with a WELDED IN XM brand receiver? I don't know, but it doesn't look good right now. Maybe it means I'll have to buy a new car with Sirius installed, and one that doesn't have deer guts all up in its radiator.

I'll have to do more legwork on how and when you could get SNR on an XM unit.

If you have a Sirius receiver and kept it - like I said you should back in January - congrats. We'll see ya'll in September.

In the meantime, we hope to loop back and try to scoop up as many of our excellent market partners we had under the "old" mothership. And I'm talking Richmond, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, et al. We want you back. We're going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

I even hear rumblings that we might add the show in the DC market. It might just be scurrilous rumors, but then again it may be happening. Stay tuned on that one too.

Thanks again for your most genuine letters and thoughts, and bear with us as we get everything ramped up at our new home.

Like Jack Buck said: "Go crazy folks, go crazy!"

91 comments:

  1. I was just thinking this morning that I haven't listened to sports talk in the morning since you left the airwaves...Awesomely good news...Now I just have to get the station.

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  2. "hallelujah, holy shit, where's the tylenol!"

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  3. Congrats! It has been a long and dry radio 'season' without you guys! Even if you don't make it to DC radio, I'm sure most of us can find you guys on our favorite iPhone radio apps.

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  4. Thats great stuff Czabe!! Can't wait!!

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  5. Great news! Now where did I put that damn receiver...

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  6. Awesome...now I just have to find a way to listen down here in Tampa...already emailed XM.

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  7. Congrats Czabe! I am as giddy as a school girl!! Please make sure you get on in Indy...My morning drive just got 100% more bearable.

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  8. I have XM but I think i'll be streaming SNR via the Droid on the way to work now.

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  9. Just in time for football season. Great news!

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  10. Steve,
    Congratulations to you and the boys. Morning radio has been quite different without your show. Hopefully my commute will improve when you are back on the air.

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  11. Czabe:

    great news. how soon do you start? Monday?

    Taha

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  12. Our long national nightmare is over.

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  13. Make sure you podcast so us Mountain and Pacific time zone people can listen to the whole show when we get to work

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  14. I usually get to the soccer channel on my Sirius radio and stop because nothing worthwhile can follow that but I now have a reason to blow past Ch 125/126. I used to wonder what SNR did to "earn" a dial position lower than soccer. Who cares now!
    I know how current XM subscribers feel because I lost XM when I got a new car (Sirius installed). I wasn't able to get Foxsports on "Best of XM" package. Sucks.

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  15. Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid!!

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  16. Outstanding. Best news about sports talk in a long, long time. Congrats Czabe and congrats to all of us loyal listeners. When do you start?

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  17. I'll never understand how some people can miss pure talent...the guy that replaced you on FSR has about as much talent as my right nut. I started listening to your morning show 6 years ago when I was 19, cancelled my XM subscription when they cancelled your show. Long live Czabe's army!

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  18. Awesome news, Czabe! Please give us the specific lowdown on the many ways we can access the program as soon as you know them.

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  19. great news czabe, congrats

    hopefully something on XM gets worked out since mine is also welded in. i switched to it from Sirius because the 3 month trial sold me on your show on FSR, and i couldnt get FSR from the best of XM package.

    either way, even if i have to figure out a way to make it work, it'll be great having you and the fellas back

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  20. Truly great news. Congrats!
    I will say that I truly don't listen to FSR anymore, or any sports radio, I've gone the route of the political talk shows.
    So thanks for bringing fun back into the radio, SNR. Wee hoo!

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  21. I vote for you Czabe... Czabe for President!

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  22. Curse you Honda and your permanently installed XM receiver.....CURSE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  23. More Cowbell !!!! Get on in Chicago !

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  24. Sports. THAT I like. Good luck, Czabe!

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  25. Great News!!

    Please tell me you will bring back the 'Hey Galdi' segment!

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  26. I've seen a lot of stuff in my day, but that...WAS AWESOME!

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  27. FINALLY! So glad to have you back. Congrats!

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  28. It was just Monday that I thought, while driving into the cube farm, "...I haven't listened to any sports radio since Czabe went away..."
    What a great way to usher in football this year!

    Please do a show on transitioning Skins fans into actually rooting for ol' #5

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  29. I'M LUCKY I'M SITTING DOWN, ALL CAPS!

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  30. This is the best news EVER Czabe! Unless you're on XM though I'm afraid that I'm going to be screwed and we won't get you here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (Salisbury).

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  31. That is awesome news! The other "shows" are simply unlistenable. Hopefully the XM issue will work itself out soon so I can catch more of the show during my commute, but I will most certainly be tuning in to the live stream at work! Welcome back!

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  32. This is awesome! Congrats Czabe, Scott, Solly, and Galdi. Can't wait to hear you again nationally in a few weeks.

    In addition to the opportunity to listen online or on Sirius, please do keep us updated on whether the show will also be archived or podcasted.

    In closing...YOU'RE EXCITED? FEEL THESE NIPPLES!

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  33. SNR is on AOL RADIO for the iPhone and iPAD.

    I think my peenie just went Whuump.

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  34. awesome news czabe, can't wait to listen to the old gang again. this makes my football season!!!

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  35. There is a god! As much as I love my local team, I can't take hearing about every detail of them 24/7. I miss the great football guests - Mr Landry and especially Charch (sp?) and his snark!

    Please be on a station with a decent footprint in the northern regions of the 412.

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  36. WOOHOO! Congratulations, Czabe and Crew. We fully appreciate the mention of our Richmond market and look forward to getting you back! 910 is a strong station and they listen to their consumers - "Screamin A" was on the air here less than two WEEKS before local afternoon guy Wes moved in to hold the morning seat warm. We were just talking about you at a cookout on Sunday and I assure you this market is ready for your return. Can't wait.

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  37. Holy shit, Christmas came in August...you. da. man

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  38. please czabe campaign for a replay spot from 11:00 - 2:00 central just like FSR did with you. that would make everything just perfect for ME! after all it is all about ME as a listener right!

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  39. Like Marv Albert Says "YES"! This is epic news...very glad to have something to look forward to on the radio. I have been driven to NPR and AM radio talk rather than Mike and Ass Face.

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  40. Don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but SNR has a pretty small reach on terrestrial radio. They also seem to offer little to nothing on podcasts. For this to work, especially on the west coast, czabe needs to be available in multiple formats, video, podcasts, etc. Follow the Dan Patrick model - put all the content out and make the show web-interactive.

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  41. YES! YES! YES! That is awsome news!!! It seems like it has been forever!! My radio knob is worn out trying to find something to fill the void. I am in Abq. and I know I won't get the show down here, but I really, really, hope I will be able to listen online. Come on Sporting News step up and Podcast the whole show. PLEASE!

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  42. Great news Steve!

    Welcome back.

    Now I have to sell my Saab...

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  43. Simpsons clips are back!

    Football in the groin! Football in the groin!

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  44. GREAT NEWS!!!

    If you have a Blackberry Bold you can download AOL radio that has the Sporting News Radio as a channel. UNFORTUNATELY the AOL Radio app doesn't work on the BB Curve. Wonder if my boss will get me a new phone???

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  45. Does FSR actually think that anybody actually listened to that loud, obnoxious and blatantly racist Stephen A Smith after unceremoniously cancelling The Czabe and the boys? If so, they need to put the crack pipe down. I've not listened to on minute of Smith's crap. It will make your ears bleed.

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  46. Great. No XM station and no NY affiliate. Thanks for the blue balls

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  47. About damn time! Getting sick of local news programs.

    Congrats First Team! Good to have you back.

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  48. That. Is. AWWWWWWWWWWWWsome.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, XM! Open up SNR to us!

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  49. Eff It. I'll just junk both of my xm radios, cancel the service and ramp up the Sirius...
    Because it's worth it.

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  50. That's great news Czabe. Bob-n-Brian was the only place to get my Czabe fix, and I was one of those listening to you and Papa Joe way back on One On One.

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  51. And I JUST got an email from Sirius begging me to come back...for like $20 for the first 5 months (something like that).

    THANKS CZABE, THANKS SNR, THANKS MAGIC RADIO!

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  52. looks like some sweet action! Good times!
    I will have tears on my big pilla

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  53. The Best show is back!!! Michael in the 330 checking in. Hope to see Andy in Indy, Brian and D.C., and Breadman in shittsburgh. :)

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  54. Czabe. You had me at "indeed". ...Jesus Christ people! It's 2010! Get on eBay and buy a damn Sirius receiver. This is Czabe we're talking about here!

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  55. That's some Sweeet Action!
    Haven't turned on the XM since you left. Now I've got to find the damned thing.

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  56. I'm about to "Release the Kracken" on XM customer service!!

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  57. Czabe,

    You and the boys carried me through some dark days of 80 hour weeks and 2 hour morning commutes. My drive time hasn't been the same without Lord Football, Lock it up, and Joey Porter leading us out of the tunnel.

    Mazel, mazel...

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  58. 'Bout damn time. I only wish you had replaced Screamin' Stephen. I can't stand that show and I am stuck in the Midwest with few choices and an XM radio receiver. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get on the XM channel soon.

    Congrats to you and the boys,

    Lonely in Omaha.

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  59. I only got one thing to say...

    THEY SHOT ME IN DENVER!!!!

    YOHOONYYEE

    WHO RIDE? WE RIDE! WHO RIDE? WE RIDE!

    LETS RIDE ON THREE...ONE,TWO,THREE...LETSRIDE!!!!

    Rob in Norfolk

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  60. I've been waiting for this news for eight months!

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  61. Awesome news, Czabe!!! As a fellow Acura TL driver, I hope the XM thing gets straightened out because I cannot take another minute of those two tools on the mothership. What a couple of geeks. Worst schtick of all time. I've actually been listening to music on the way into work lately because the choice of sports shows is so lame.

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  62. You sure better be on here in Phoenix...I only found your show 6 months before the end and I instantly became a everyday hardcore fan..You pump out the most entertaining show ever and I cannot wait for the return...LONG LIVE CZABE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  63. As Seve would say...."Fantastica"

    Now if only that ass clown Favre retires then the universe will be in order

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  64. Congrats, Czabe! Hope we can get you again in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC market! Just made my day!

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  65. AL IS BACK TOO!!! Will we be getting wrestling updates again??

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  66. For the Android phone users, just download Radiotime app, ($2.99 - One time fee), and they have SNR on there. better than paying Sirius or XM 12.99 a month.

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  67. DANCE - BOOGIE WONDERLAAAAAAND!!!

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  68. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! My Czabe is back!!!!!!!!!!

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  69. I am SOOOOOO PUMPED! Already e-mailed XM - need my Czabe!

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  70. Fuck yeah Czabe! I've been a faithful B&B listener who moved to Scottsdale last year (right by the TPC...:D).
    It'll be good to have you back!

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  71. Welcome back, Czabe - back where you belong.

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  72. I just did the Snoopy Happy Dance, nose in the air, in my living room. Welcome back, boys!

    That internet radio I purchased shortly after you left the air (to specifically avoid SAS and Heckle and Jeckle) will be especially handy now.

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  73. listening to the podcast....say it aint so....czaban on twitter?????? NO!!!!

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  75. Best news EVER! You don't know how bad the sports new talk landscape is out there for us listeners. Listeners who crave the fun and craziness with our sports that you provide. I can't wait for you guys to be up and running. Blow the doors off that SAS piece of crap show. Welcome back boys!

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  76. Ok all you idiot asshats...there are TONS of FREE apps for all internet enabled phones that will allow you to get czabe's show. Tune In Radio is one...AOL...get off your asses and do the research. You don't need XM, or a local affilliate!

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  77. When?? September what??? I have been driving in silence to work since you left the air - LITERALLY! BACK, and for football season? About freaking time, seriously.

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  78. Spence is right. GO here now: http://www.tunein-radio.com/

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  79. I'm so pumped. Just downloaded Android App RadioTime and am ready to go. Hoping XM and Sirius will get their act together so I can listen through my car radio on XM.
    Welcome back Czabe, Scotty, Low Def and Al.

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  80. WOOT! While we're bringing back things that kick ass...will Mr. Paul Charchian be coming back for "Fantasy Island"? I could care less about the fantasy stuff, just the interaction between Paul and you guys and the great one liners in those segments had me sitting in my car in the office parking lot, late for work, but laughing my ass off!

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  81. If you want to help get SNR or Czabe on XM, you can try emailing their staff. Brian Hamilton is head of sports programming at Sirius XM, Doug Morton is director of sports programming. Don Wicklin might work too. He's the head of partner programming. Their emails are their full names with a . (IE: Brian.Hamilton), then @siriusxm.com. I'm saying it that way to keep bots out. FSR on Sirius was and still is a lost cause because legal reasons prevent it from broadcasting on Sirius, but as far as I know SNR has no such restrictions.

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  82. Awesome, I have both xm & sirius, amazing how things have switched, I knew there was a reason for having both satellites!

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  83. I got word from Sporting News Radio Czabe will start around September 7th. Nice!!!

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  84. Damn Czabe... Best News Evah!!

    Just heard it on a local affiliate here in Detroit. I am sure they wont replace their lame AM drive show with yours, but I have Sirius! So ch 127 it will be...

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