Sports Media

Some thoughts on 95.7 The Game parting ways with John Middlekauff and Chad Doing

After a long period of relative stability, 95.7 The Game program director Don Kollins has overseen several changes at the Entercom sports talk station in a matter of weeks. Not long after wooing the Warriors to 95.7, Kollins told John Middlekauff and Chad Doing their services were no longer needed.

Joe Fortenbaugh and Lorenzo Neal hosted Tuesday’s morning show, followed by Zakariah and The Guru from 10-to-noon. The station’s website was changed Tuesday morning, with bios for only Fortenbaugh and Neal listed on the morning show’s page and no mention at all of “Haberman & Middlekauff” (otherwise known as “Haberkauff”).

I was asked about possible changes via Twitter yesterday morning on my way to the airport, confirmed the changes while going through security, and Jason Barrett (who probably has a source or two at his old station) reported the changes just before noon. And now I’m writing about the changes while on United’s flaccid WiFi network, so this story may never get published.

***Update: this story was finally published on Wednesday, after a ridiculously long travel day that saw our infant carseat end up in L.A. We never went to L.A.

Since the news broke long ago, I might as well throw out some hypotheses on why Doing and Middlekauff are no longer with the station.

1. It’s been rumored for a while that John Tournour (J.T. The Brick) will eventually host a show on 95.7, possibly in the mid-morning slot once held by Haberkauff.

This makes a lot of sense if you look at where 95.7 is trending. Tournour is already a regular guest on the station, and with the Raiders looking like a potential AFC West contender, getting a well-known host who does podcasts for Raiders.com seems like a natural fit. He also fits the station’s M.O. If we’re comparing 95.7 to KNBR, there’s no denying that 95.7’s hosts are louder than KNBR’s, and not just because FM and AM don’t sound the same. Just look at the lineups (full-time hosts only):

95.7: Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal, J.T. The Brick(???), Greg Papa, Damon Bruce, Chris Townsend (we can probably throw Zak and Guru in here as well, as they’re on fairly often)

KNBR 680: Brian Murphy, Paul McCaffrey, Larry Krueger, Gary Radnich, Bob Fitzgerald, Rod Brooks, Tom Tolbert, John Lund, Ray Woodson

95.7 tried to lure Krueger over from KNBR two years ago. Other than his love for the Giants and 49ers turning off fans who wish their favorite station focused on the Oakland teams 99% of the time, he’d fit in on KGMZ as well. However, it’s tough to deny there’s an overall difference in tone and volume between the two stations.

flight

2. Doing was a versatile radio host who got a raw deal.

Doing moved here from Portland and lost his full-time gig less than two years later, once again illuminating the harshness of this business. He didn’t make waves in the Bay Area, either on the air or on social media, and was part of a three-man show that might not lose anything in the ratings by shedding one person.

Not to say these hosts can’t talk about all sports, but Fortenbaugh is a football/gambling guy (he spent over six years with National Football Post), Neal is a football guy (239 NFL games, two-time All-Pro), and Doing is more of a General Studies kind of sports talk show host … at least from what I could tell. However, this could’ve been a situation where they figured they could get the same output from two hosts instead of three, or they’re looking at reshuffling the remaining hosts and Doing was one of the two odd men out.

haberkauff

3. Middlekauff is another football guy (former scout for the Eagles), so the timing here is interesting.

Since he was let go and not Haberman, Kollins’ decision could’ve been a matter of taste. Then again, with 95.7 adding their third professional sports team and possibly bringing The Brick on board, both terminations could’ve been driven by ratings and/or finances. That’s usually the case when radio stations let hosts go, anyway. However, if Middlekauff — who joined 95.7 originally as a part-time football contributor — vanishes completely, with no more appearances as a guest or postgame Raiders analyst, we may have our answer here.

4. There could be a few more changes in store for The Game, beyond adding a midday Brick.

If Haberman stays on in a full-time role and the 10-to-noon spot goes to Tournour, Haberman could a morning or evening show candidate, although his work for Comcast doing pre/post for Kings games would conflict with a show that starts at 7 pm. Greg Papa has a rotating group of cohosts — Dan Dibley seems to appear most frequently, followed by Chris Townsend, John Dickinson and Roxy Bernstein in some order. They may want to lock down a permanent partner for Papa. Could Haberman be that guy, or are the other four I mentioned auditioning for that spot?

Also, and this is just for giggles … wouldn’t it be something if they hired Ray Ratto? They wouldn’t pit him against Tolbert for obvious reasons. (Could you imagine “Bruce & Ratto”? No, no you can’t.). But with the way the region’s sports talk stations like to poach each other’s talent, it would certainly make the RADIO WARZ a little more interesting.

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69 Comments on "Some thoughts on 95.7 The Game parting ways with John Middlekauff and Chad Doing"

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OaklandAsFan4L
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OaklandAsFan4L

BASportsGuy Radio Wars!

TheDavid_Show
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TheDavid_Show

BASportsGuy if they get Ratto, that will be out from nowhere, tbh.

BASportsGuy
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BASportsGuy

TheDavid_Show I wrote that for U0001f4a9U0001f4a9 and giggles

AyindeMitchell
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AyindeMitchell

BASportsGuy Letting go of John makes little sense. People like him and he can speak from experience. Bring back JohnMiddlekauff Don.

NYRaider88
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NYRaider88

BASportsGuy any word on who will host the Raiders post gm on 957?

Scott no2
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Scott no2

I was wondering what was happening.  I come here for my sports radio wars.  I had to go to your competitor (google) to find the answer.  
tough luck about your trip.

_BigRob7_
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_BigRob7_

BASportsGuy Let me just say that Doing was NOT the problem w/the morning show. And I may be in the minority here, but I liked Middlekauff.

al_martinez2
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al_martinez2

BASportsGuy middlekauff was knowledgable but a bit arrogant on social media & a bit political (right wing) for gay area IMO

Tom J
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Tom J

Doing just directed traffic, not morning radio and him being a Broncos fan on a Raiders station is a bit weird. Like Haberkauff, do not like Papa’s kid pressing the sound board button every 5 seconds like a 5-yr old looking for attention. Halberman would be fine for mornings or I hope he’s with Papa and put Dibley back in bullpen.

al_martinez2
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al_martinez2

BASportsGuy *bay area – excuse the typo

BASportsGuy
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BASportsGuy

_BigRob7_ Just so we’re clear, I don’t think he was the “problem” either. But 95.7 is all about NFL until GSW starts, so JM was surprise.

_BigRob7_
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_BigRob7_

BASportsGuy Understood & agree. Curious moves, for sure.

FrenchieGSW
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FrenchieGSW

BASportsGuy they shouldve sent Zackaria and Guru packing instead, those guys are atrocious, I just turn off my radio when they come on

StraightG408
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StraightG408

BASportsGuy off topic, I know it’s cause the Warriors move most likely, but it’s weird that 95.7 copied KNBRs colors

Kaeperdink
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Kaeperdink

BASportsGuy _BigRob7_ john knows his football but his social media attitude and trumpesque politics prolly had something to do with it.

MiddlekauffJohn
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MiddlekauffJohn

BASportsGuy I’m a failed scout. Failed radio personality. I’m done. U0001f614 Drunk! Looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

TheGreatGabbert
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TheGreatGabbert

MiddlekauffJohn BASportsGuy But there are so many things left in life to fail at John. Today just the first day of the rest of your misery

tkwill49
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tkwill49

BASportsGuy I still think Damon Bruce and Tony Bruno would be an unbelievable morning show. But DBruce would never give up current slot.

hamiltonroed
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hamiltonroed

al_martinez2 BASportsGuy Soooooo damn arrogant and couldn’t keep his right wing comments to himself. Stopped following while back

4putt4par
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4putt4par

BASportsGuy I wish they got rid of Joe instead. I don’t know who’s more annoying, him or Bucher from a few years ago.

JohnStruempf
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JohnStruempf

MiddlekauffJohn BASportsGuy John – I am so bummed. I listened to your show every day.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
4putt4par BASportsGuy Yeah, out of the whole morning crew,  I would’ve let go Fortenbaugh. He doesn’t seem like a fit in this market, and he always talks about gambling lines on games. No offense to him, but he sounds like a gambling idiot at times. He has good sports passion though, which could be why he’s sticking around for now. Fortenbaugh at times kind of reminds me of Brandon Tierney when he was on 95.7. I guess it’s because they’re both from the East Coast and have that same New York, Philly, Boston East Coast sports talk show host style…. Chad Doing… Read more »
Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III

FrenchieGSW BASportsGuy Zakariah and Guru have actually gotten better since they started. Yeah, they can be annoying at times, but they are good when they are on together. They both have great energy and sports passion, and have interesting debates at times. As far as them as hosts go, Guru is a better host than Zakariah. Guru tones it down a bit when he’s on with other hosts, as opposed to Zakariah who still gets riled up when he’s on with other hosts. I wasn’t a fan of Zakariah at first, but he’s not as bad as he was.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III

NYRaider88 BASportsGuy I’m guessing Chris Townsend or possibly Tittle. Tittle is an Oakland sprts fan, so he would probably be a natural fit to do Raiders postgame on 95.7….. Townsend is the utility player on 95.7, and he’s already doing Raiders pregame. Might as well have him do Raiders postgame.

VonBossanova
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VonBossanova
I don’t know HOW decisions are made on Radio War zone-sometimes no logic is apparent so,,, I try from being enamored with any radio combo these days? *Joe and Lo in that order CRACK me up with their banter-and keep me riveted with sports passion. * I saw nothing wrong with Chad? But then I”m still wondering what happened to the friggin “Rise Guys?”  * Frankly Haberman and Middlekauf- well I always wound up switching back to 680-Gary and Larry (especially since losing the Lame Fake-Kate Scott) *Papa – punches on and on because he’ f***kin Papa!!  It’s curious how… Read more »
beandoggerel
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beandoggerel

Ratto?! Nah man, I’m telling you, in the wake of the Giants’ meltdown, 95.7 needs to grab Ralph! Actually, get both of them. Barbieri and Ratto. Together. The pitch is high. The takes are hot.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III

tkwill49 BASportsGuy Yeah, that would be an interesting show, but Tony’s weekly segments with Damon aren’t long enough like they were when Tony used to be on with Gary. Gary and Tony probably could’ve did a show back in the day. Damon and Tony probably could now, but they don’t have the same exact chemistry that Gary and Tony did back in the day.

Dudeman2134
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Dudeman2134
I’ve tried giving 95.7 a chance and the only show that grabbed me was The Rise Guys way back when. All  of The Games shows always came across to me as a worse version of Mike and Mike on ESPN radio, and I didn’t think that was possible. I’ve listened to both Doing and Middlekauff for short bursts throughout the morning and they just seemed like cookie cutter hot take hosts with little substance or depth.   I’m so glad I joined the dark side and got Sirius in my truck and found sports shows that keep me engaged and laughing. Tolbert… Read more »
ThomasSnell
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ThomasSnell

The morning show doesn’t work for me with just the two of them, it needed all 3 to round out each others personalities and strengths and weaknesses.  If they keep it just Joe and Lo, I will be tuning out very soon.  Too bad, because I liked the show.

lime
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lime

Otis Byrd III FrenchieGSW BASportsGuy Zak and Guru should go to 680 and take over for Fitz and Brooks…

Anon
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Anon

It’s no secret that Middlekauff was disliked within 95.7 by Management/talent. Difficult to work with + acted as if he had the same status of Damon.

Snyd
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Snyd

Now Guy Haberman is gone. Guessing he probably goes over to Comcast.

augiedog34
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augiedog34

BASportsGuy Hopefully Chad Doing comes back to Portland where he is truly appreciated.

trackback
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[&#8230 ;] So, over the course of a few days, KGMZ got louder and older. The Brick (age 50) replaces a couple of guys in their 30s from 10-to-noon, and today Guy Haberman announced that he is also leaving the station two days after John Middlekauff and Chad Doing were relieved of their duties. [&#8230 ;]

trackback
Member

[&#8230 ;] So, over the course of a few days, KGMZ got louder and older. The Brick (age 50) replaces a couple of guys in their early-30s from 10-to-noon, and today Guy Haberman announced he is also leaving the station, two days after John Middlekauff and Chad Doing were relieved of their duties. [&#8230 ;]

imira71
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imira71

YOU ALL ARE SOME WEAK CRY BABY WOMEN IF YOU CANNOT RESPECT MIDDLEKAUFF’S FACTS. ANNOYING DEMOCRAT VOTING MORON MINDED FOOLS WHO THINK JOHN DIDNT KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. THEY HAD GREAT CHEM TOGETHER AND 95.7 LOST A FAN

Pivotal Pete
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Pivotal Pete
Bummed that they kicked out Chad. Really got to enjoy the three and he was the anchor or moderator for Joe’s statistical rants and Lo’s humor and passion. They seemed to gel after a while and it was both entertaining and informative. Without him something is missing. On the other hand, it could never be as bad as the KNBR morning mess where they talk more about the Dead, sound effects, and Lee Hammer (who freaking cared!?), plus all their good buddies. It’s awful– and there are more of them than The Game when you add PCinn (Razor Jr) and… Read more »
James
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James

Couldn’t agree more. I thought there was a good dynamic and chemistry between the three of them and the show felt much more balanced. Now the show just doesn’t feel the same. I had recently tuned into these guys because I got tired of hearing the same old same old from the morning hosts on knbr. I’ll continue to tune in to the show and see if I feel any differently going forward. If I don’t then I’ll eventually lose interest and will stop listening

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
@James I agree with you guys. I thought Chad, Joe, and Lo weren’t really that bad. It was much better than Murph and Mac, and they seemed to have more energy and kept the show going. The show isn’t the same now. Joe can’t lead. He always sounds awkward.  It will be interesting to see if they add another host to the morning show. I’m now listening to the Audible (Drew Hoffar, Kevin Frandsen, and  comedian and former Three Amigos host Rudy Ortiz) on KNBR 1050 in the mornings. Yeah, they’re kind of raw, but they might get better with… Read more »
4tno510
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4tno510

Am I the only one here that actually doesn’t really care about doing or middlekauff, Joe and lo bearable to listen too. I like Joe because he knows Stats and numbers and I lo’s personality on the show.

herpderp420
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herpderp420

@Tom J Glad someone agree’s, I don’t know what changed but Papa’s kid went way overboard with the drops. So annoying to listen to

aeolus24
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aeolus24

Bit disappointed because I was just getting used to them. All but stopped listening to KNBR other than Tolbert. Don’t care for Lund, I actually like Rato better, despite his attitude because of his extensive sports knowledge and he is a walking compendium of sports over the past 4 decades.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
@lime Otis Byrd III FrenchieGSW BASportsGuy haha. I see what you did there, but at the same time, it would be kind of cool if they had a bigger platform like KNBR. I’d put them on Sportsphone, with all due respect to Ray Woodson. Imagine them on after Giants games, or if they have a Warrior type postgame show during basketball season now that the Warriors moved to 95.7. As far as Woodson goes, I would move him to the afternoons to replace Fitz and Brooks. As I’ve said in the past, I think Woodson’s style is better suited for the afternoons than… Read more »
snarkk
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snarkk

Lo Neal is a joke.  I can’t listen to that guy.  He knows nothing, absolutely nada about sports other than football — he analyzes them like they’re playing football.  Plus, half the time his statements just are non-sensical.  Obviously somebody writes his interview questions, and he barely can get those right.  That Chad dude was the only one of the three with a lick of sense, so of course they canned him.  Both area sports stations are a wasteland…

RaiderClay
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RaiderClay

Chad Doing, Get that Denver Donkey, Elway Lover off the Raider nation Station!!! It made no sense bringing him to 957 in the 1st place. That’s like getting a Dodger fan to host a show on KNBR. 

Kollins needs to blowup that whole morning show. Neal, great player has some insight on the football hour but not a everyday host. I serious can’t understand what he’s saying sometimes. Bring Dibbley and John Dickenson to the mornings. Both have good knowledge and can talk about all of the teams.

AJ_Strong
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AJ_Strong

tkwill49 BASportsGuy I disagree about Damon never giving up his current slot. While I’m sure the hours wouldn’t be the greatest, he’d still be in a drive time slot and he would never have to worry about having his show preempted or eliminated altogether because of A’s baseball, a Thursday football game, etc…

Snyd
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Snyd

AJ_Strong tkwill49 BASportsGuy Think about how often Damon’s show will be shortened/cancelled now with Warriors games. 90 minute pre-game shows will start at 6pm for home games, even earlier for road games in eastern and central time zones.

Alex
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Alex

Zak and Guru are hilarious. Thoroughly enjoy that show. Also loved Bucher and Towney when they were together. Damon Bruce needs to go though.

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
Snyd AJ_Strong tkwill49 BASportsGuy It will be like baseball season, as far as Warrior home games go. His show will still go to 6 PM. At least for basketball, it’s not everyday, so maybe 2 or 3 days a week depending on the games when the Warriors are at Oracle, his show will be shortened an hour. Yeah, the road will be when it’s an issue, and even Greg Papa’s show will be pre-empted sometimes for those earlier Midwest, East Coast start time games on the road, here on the West Coast. I think Damon is ok with this because the Warriors are… Read more »
Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
@Alex Oh no, why do you say that? Damon is the man, but I might be biased as I’ve been a fan of his show since his Sportsphone 680 days. IMO, the day 95.7 hired Damon was when they changed as a station and became more serious about what direction they wanted to go in. Now look at where 95.7 compared to KNBR. Yes, KNBR still has better ratings, but 95.7 might have a better weekday lineup. Yeah, Bucher and Townsend had a good thing. Huff ruined it though when they were moved to the mornings and Huff was added.… Read more »
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