95.7 FM The Game

95.7 The Game announces Steinmetz-O’Connell replacement, which sounds like cost-cutting move

95.7 FM The GameAnd to think some people thought 95.7 “The Game” was going to make a big splash after it was reported that the 10-to-noon show featuring Matt Steinmetz and Sean O’Connell had been canceled. Not quite.

I just got a press release from Entercom that says Guy Haberman (who used to host during the evenings) is moving to the time slot previously held by Steinmetz and O’Connell. Haberman used to work by himself from 7-to-10 pm; now he’ll get paired with John Middlekauff, a former NFL scout who’s a frequent guest on all KGMZ shows.

The main gist of the email is that Haberman and Middlekauf were old high school classmates and roommates.

“Most new shows take months, even years, to develop on-air chemistry. Guy and John, who have been friends since high school, will have real chemistry on day 1,” said 95.7 The GAME Program Director Jason Barrett. “We couldn’t be more excited about pairing two young, fresh, knowledgeable and exciting talents like Guy and John on-air. Bay Area sports fans will be in for two great hours of sports radio starting January 20th.”

No word at all on what’s going to happen from 7 pm on, so it’s probably safe to assume that 95.7 will fill that time with a rotation of part-time employees or just switch over to ESPN Radio.

40 Comments
40 comments
Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

The commercial for the new show is corny. I just heard it just now.... "The law offices of Haberman and Middlekauff". C'mon now

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

I'm interested to see what Barrett pulls out of his bag of failure for the 7pm-10pm slot. I'm still unsure as to why Barrett just didn't go back to their original clock. If Lund/Papa is as successful as Barrett claims, wouldn't JB want to give it an extra hour and go back to 10am-2pm?


As for the move, I agree that this has to be a cost cutting move. We shall find out next week, I suppose. If 95.7 cuts to syndication early, that seems like a pretty clear sign. Or, I suppose they could go with a rotation of their contest winners since that's obviously peanuts at the bottom of the ledger. Either way, does it make a difference for the 7pm-10 slot. We all know that slot is garbage, for the most, part since you have so much competition between live sports on TV, prime time TV, going out, etc... 


The only reason to be "live and local" after 8pm is to burn time until games are over for post game call-in. But that would require JB to actually have his hosts take calls.


I've admitted several times of not being a fan of Steinmetz or OC. Too many times, it sounded to me like Steinmetz took great pride in being completely unprepared. On occasion, he admitted as much on the air. However, sometimes he would go on a tangent that could be very entertaining. OC was ok, but never particularly engaging or insightful, and when you don't even know how to pronounce words like Vezina, you lose any credibility.


However, I do recognize that Steinmetz knew hoops and seems to have a few Warriors fans in his camp. It seems like the play to make would have been dumping OC for Middlekauf while leaving Haberman at 7pm. But who knows... maybe the rumors are true and Bucher threw down the "Steinmetz or me" gauntlet at Barrett so Steinmetz got thrown under the bus. Based on some of the comments about Barrett from former employees, it's hard not to lend some belief to them.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

As far OC and Steinmetz go, talking basketball is Steinmetz's strong suit, and it was kind of a bad idea for 95.7 to give him his own show. Who knows what happens to Steinmetz from here. I like the idea that someone mentioned, to have him host Warriors postgame with Ray Woodson after Warrior games. They could have a legit Warriors postgame show after games, including weekend games. Not sure if Steinmetz would agree to that, but his next job really should be something that involves the Warriors and/or the NBA.


As far as OC goes, he was ok, but eh. I probably didn't listen to him enough. Who knows where he goes next. Maybe do something with MMA?

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

Haberman does seem like a better fit for this timeslot. It's kind of interesting how 95.7 moved Haberman to this timeslot, after we all have discussed that this would be a better timeslot for him. Maybe they really do read our posts on this site.


Not sure about Middlekauf though. Yes, he's good during football season, but will we be tired of him come baseball season? What analysis will he have of the Giants and the A's? Also, why can't they just have Haberman go solo for 2 hrs.? Does he have to have a co-host? I think Middlekauf is good in a fill-in role talking football.

samy
samy

This was a pretty lame move by 95.7 the game. OC and Steiny had great on air chemistry and it was my favorite show on the station right there with the Wheelhouse. 

bkjolhaug
bkjolhaug

I'd like to see KNBR pick up Steinmetz. If they paired him up with Ray for sportsphone 680 they could really have an awesome 7-10/warriors postgame show. 

steve
steve

Did they pair get to say goodbye on the air

ronnyo2
ronnyo2

I'm bummed for OC because I thought he was great, he's got a sense of humor and he's totally objective with what he covers, it was Steinmetz who was brutal and completely irritating with the way he talks, sounds like he's complaining with everything he said. OC did an unbelievable job considering who he was working with, I hope OC finds another time slot somewhere he deserves it.

JeffFarley
JeffFarley

In some ways, it makes sense that they are getting rid of the 7-10 show, considering that for six (hopefully seven) months out of the year, it's often pre-empted by A's broadcasts


Now that Haberman has an earlier show, I wonder who will do the A's postgame show?  Townsend again?  Tittle?

mvmorales
mvmorales

I'm not fully aware of the current 95.7 situation, but whoever was hosting around 11am today was absolutely horrible.  It sounded right on par with a high school radio station, hell the fictional Tim Riggins hosting the Christian sports talk sounded better.

dubs49ersgiants
dubs49ersgiants

How about Steinmetz team-up with Tolbert over on KNBR? Since Ratto is not fully committed to doing the show with Mr. T and they don't promote him to being a guest host maybe Lee Hammer could look into possibly having Steinmetz and Tolbert together full-time.  Ratto could still be part of the show a few times a week.  In fact Ratto and Steinmetz were great together in CSN Bay Area in a semi non scripted segment called the 'Weekend Riff'.

Delgado
Delgado

Weird that they bring in the NFL guy (Middlekauff) permanently on Jan 20, like a week before the NFL season ends. Meanwhile they shitcan Steinmetz, an NBA/Warriors guy, right before the post-NFL / pre-MLB stretch where the Warriors will be the main story in town. 


I like Middlekauff, but the guy graduated college in 2010 - so how much NFL "experience" can he really have between 2010 and now? They are overhyping his credentials. 



AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

I'm still wondering why there has been nothing from Steinmetz, OC, or Barrett about this. I guess it's just like with Hoffar and Tierney where they just act like they've never existed. 


D
D

So whats happening to OC? I liked having a younger voice on the radio compared to all the old point of views.  I hope he stays involved with 95.7 or CSN Bay Area

BTownBiz
BTownBiz

Steiny is a one of a kind personality.. 95.7 will rue letting him go.. OC tho not local or known in the Bay Area has a great insight into collegiate sports and all things MMA and developed a great back and forth banter with Steinmetz..

can't stand Middlekauff's ego especially considering what an epic failure he was in Philadelphia.. rarely listened to Haberman but he seems knowledgeable and has a NorCal pedigree.. hopefully Haberman's down to earth working class outlook keeps Middlekauff's ego in check

Honestly I will miss the 2 hours of lighthearted banter between OC and Steinmetz.. they were fun and had an enjoyable show.. sucks having to get used to a whole different atmosphere during this time frame

JohnLee5
JohnLee5

Steinmetz-O’Connell have practically been unlistenable if you are honest about it.  Long pauses.  Hesitation to speak by the hosts.  No chemistry whatsoever.  Steimetz is really better in a role that is an analyst/reporter, while O'Connell, with all of his MMA pedigree, is a bore.  


Don't get me wrong.  I like KGMZ, want it to succeed badly, but OC and Steinmetz is really bad.  


Smart for the program director JB to really hook John Middlekauf.  He probably figured that John Middlekauf is a rising star during the time when he frequently subbed in for Papa and others during the holiday season.  Plus Middlekauf's alleged football knowledge is really fun to listen to.  Too bad that this move is coming in toward the tail-end of the football season.  But really hope they can do well.

Scott no2
Scott no2

I'm at work at this time. so it's not impact to me.  maybe that's why they got let go, because I wasn't listening.  sorry guys.

T
T

best move could be having espn radio at night.  hopefully, some nba or college bball games.

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

"No word at all on what’s going to happen from 7 pm on"


Well Haberman's evening gig was generally nothing more than a clip show, replaying audio from earlier in the day. 7-10 or whatever will probably just be a clip show now.

ricoj175
ricoj175

ugh..haberman puts me sleep. And Middlekauf is great at football, but thats it. Bad move In my opinion.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@AJ_Strong Bucher didn't get along with Steinmetz? Hmm, I didn't know that. If it really did come down to them keeping Bucher or Steinmetz, I would've kept Bucher too. I'm not big on Bucher, but Bucher is at least prepared and has passable knowledge on baseball and football. Steinmetz is really good in his analysis of the Warriors, as well as Bucher, but Steinmetz just wasn't that strong talking about other sports.

justme21
justme21

@AJ_Strong 2 hours seems to be an awfully short time slot for a show -- usually takes at least an hour for a show to hit its stride unless you've got a really controversial topic.  I don't know if Papa's second job over at CSN is why he doesn't want anything longer than a 3 hour show. 


Something else to consider -- Entercom also owns KUFX, more commonly known as KFOX, the broadcast home of the San Jose Sharks. Could this be in preparation for a future move of the Sharks broadcasts to 95.7, maybe next season? It would make a lot more sense. They could move the broadcasts back to KFOX when they conflict with A's broadcasts. I thought they might move the broadcasts this season, but I was incorrect (not unusual). 

justme21
justme21

@Otis Byrd III Seems like they like the tag-team approach when it comes to the daytime. When you think about it, so does KNBR -- Damon Bruce is the only one who works solo (and there might be a good reason for that). You got Murph & Mac in the early AM, Gary & Larry late morning, Fitz & Brooks noon time, Tolbert & Whoever in the drive time before you go to solo Ray Woodson (apparently) in the evenings. 


I like Haberman the few times I've heard him -- not familiar at all with the other guy. I'll give them a listen when I'm not listening to Jim Rome, maybe when he's got someone filling in when he's on vacation or doing his Showtime stuff. 

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@JeffFarley I would guess Townsend again. He seemed kind of jealous last year that Haberman was doing A's pre and postgame last year during a good season, for the A's while he was doing A's pre and postgame when the A's had bad seasons during the Bob Geren era. At least Townsend was able to do A's pre and postgame in 2012 when the A's came out of no where to win the AL West, so I guess you can say he at least has that.

But yeah, I would guess Townsend again. He has a connection to the A's, and he would probably be the right guy to host the A's pre and postgame shows. Plus, Bucher and Townsend did a lot of their shows from the Coliseum last year, so it would probably be no problem for Townsend to stay there until after the game, since he's normally there for A's games anyway. Not sure if they would want to do shows from the Coliseum every A's home game though.

T
T

@mvmorales that would be fantastic to have riggins on the radio!

justme21
justme21

@dubs49ersgiants Might go into basketball overload with Tolbert & Steinmetz, but it could work. Three-headed monster in the KNBR studios? No one would get a word in edgewise. ;-) 

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@DelgadoSeriously, right? This kind of reminds me of when they brought in Bucher back in 2012, and it was during baseball season. 


When 95.7 brings in new people, especially new hosts that are associated with a certain sport, they should seriously bring them in during the season of the sport that they cover/covered.

mvmorales
mvmorales

@Delgado Seriously not impressed with Middlekauff.  Just from looking at his tweets and hearing him on 95.7 leads to believe he's not the most intelligent or eloquent individual.  Yet, he's introduced as the "super" scout and speaks like a straight up bro.  He doesn't seem to add any real analysis in terms of individual players, matchups, or coaches.  For the most part he just regurgitates the same crap we hear from 90% of all the ESPN reporters.

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

@Delgado  "but the guy graduated college in 2010 - so how much NFL "experience" can he really have between 2010 and now"


Read: cheaper than Steinmetz and OC :)

WillyWoo
WillyWoo

@JohnLee5 I agree re OC and Steiny. They were the only hosts on The Game that I had to just turn off nearly half a dozen times because the bickering got so bad. Steinmetz always came off defensive and as if he had a migraine. Not fun listening. 


But I've been spoiled by The Wheelhouse. Highly entertaining and Papa seems to have an encyclopedia chip in his brain that he can refer to at any time. Hats off to Libby their producer. Consistently hilarious stuff. 

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

@Otis Byrd III I can't confirm it... I'm just saying I heard from someone who ran into Steiny and that is what was relayed to me. It's a tough call on who to keep. Steiny is unprepared, but can be entertaining. Bucher might be more prepared, but he's dreadfully boring. Either way, I don't see this move helping the ratings whatsoever, which is what it's all about, right?

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

@justme21 I agree that 2 hours is pretty short, which is why I thought it would be easier to move back to their old clock. I don't think Papa would have a problem going one more hour... especially if he's doing it from home via ISDN. He didn't have a problem doing it before. Or Papa could always just join the broadcast at 11am.


I don't think we'll see 95.7 become the broadcast home for the Sharks. First off, no regular hosts on 95.7 know anything about hockey. For pete's sake, OC was so ignorant, he called the Veniza trophy the "Vahzeena". As long as Barrett is PD, Sharks fans don't have to worry about the Sharks moving. He clearly wants nothing to do with hockey. They waited for half the season to be over before they even acknowledged the Sharks.


It would also suck massively for the Sharks to move. Right now, they're on 98.5 and 102.1 and can be heard all over the bay. Why would the Sharks want to move over to a station with such a poor signal.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@justme21 Yeah, I guess. I think that's kind of new thing right now in sports radio. You have more pairings, then hosts being solo. Even though most of the KNBR pairings have worked for the most part, some of the hosts might be better without co-hosts. We can all agree that Krueger and/or Kate Scott could do their own shows, even though they are good together whenever Gary is off and it's just them two.


Of course, there is Damon. I agree there is a reason for him being solo, but he's better solo. Yes, they tried to pair him up with Gary, and it just didn't work. Kind of interesting how last year he said when KNBR made that decision, that he didn't want to work with Gary when he was asked to. Damon probably already kind of knew what he was getting himself into, before it happened. Damon did well co-hosting with Larry when he was part of the 49ers postgame and then pregame show. 


With that being said, Damon could be tough to work with though. He's a great host for sure, but he might be one of those hosts who just shines better by themselves.

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@Pulgas de Brent Burns I guess so, yeah, but Tittle is kind of boring though. I wouldn't be surprised if it's Townsend again, unless they give Josh Rosenberg a shot to host A's pre and postgame.

AJ_Strong
AJ_Strong

@mvmorales @Delgado  "For the most part he just regurgitates the same crap we hear from 90% of all the ESPN reporters"


Which seems to be the biggest pre req to work at 95.7

JeffFarley
JeffFarley

@WillyWoo @JohnLee5 I attended Syracuse University with the dream of being a sportscaster, and honestly, my hero alum was Papa.  Other than Bill King, he is by far the most talented local sportscaster I have heard/seen (and the gap between Papa and King is minimal)

Otis Byrd III
Otis Byrd III

@AJ_Strong I agree. Either way it probably doesn't help 95.7 much. Bucher at times can be entertaining with Townsend, but sometimes they're jokes are juvenile and some of their segments like "Ballsy predictions" or that game show where you have to guess what something is, are awful. Steinmetz is great talking basketball, but that is pretty much about it. Yes, he won't hold any punches in his opinions at times, but it's bad hearing a host that is unprepared.

mvmorales
mvmorales

@AJ_Strong @mvmorales @Delgado I guess it doesn't take too much to be a scout. Though, the most believable insight he's provided up to this point is how much food Andy Reid can gorge himself on.

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