On the occasion of Damon Amendolara's final show as the evening host on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the affable CBS Sports Radio-bound host grounds "The Mothership,'' the fun if slightly forced catchphrase for his program, on Friday — it seems appropriate to take stock of where the search for his successor stands.
Here's what we do know: Marc Bertrand, whose willingness to challenge hosts Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti, often humorously, from his position as update anchor on the afternoon drive program, has been informed that he is not a candidate. According to multiple industry sources, Bertrand, who coveted the position, is out of the running in part because he was deemed too valuable in his current role.
Several sources with knowledge of the situation believe Adam Jones, currently at ESPN Radio, is the strong front-runner. Jones, who interned for Felger's previous program at ESPN 890 while a student at Northeastern, hosted an online show at ESPNBoston.com that was discontinued in advance of ESPN Radio returning to the Boston market on the 850 signal in October. Jones is talented, but while he has his supporters at The Sports Hub, there's also the sense that if the intent is to hire somebody young, Bertrand or Amendolara fill-in Rich Keefe should get first consideration.
Though there are mixed messages about whether he's on the short list, how about this for a name: Jack Edwards.
NESN's voice of the Bruins — at least when there's no lockout keeping him out of work — discussed the opening with station management and interest was mutual. He would be an interesting hire; while his style as a play-by-play voice can be polarizing, the former "SportsCenter'' anchor has multisport credibility. He'd need nights off when the Bruins played — presuming he maintains his NESN gig — but it would work since that would coincide with the radio broadcasts of the games.
Jon Meterparel, who recently left WEEI's "The Dennis and Callahan Show'' after 12 years as the update anchor in what he said was a quest to fulfill a dream of finding a prominent play-by-play job, has also spoken to Sports Hub management and is considered a viable candidate. And the possibility remains that CBS Radio management will go out of market to bring in someone already under the company umbrella, as it did with Amendolara in August 2009. Andrew Fillipponi , evening host at CBS Radio's 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, is one young host who would fit the profile.
While Amendolara begins his new gig as CBS Sports Radio's overnight host on Jan. 2, The Sports Hub wants to have his replacement in place by the first of the year. Whether it's Jones or someone else, much is certain: It's going to be a fascinating choice.
Following BC trend
Meant to acknowledge this sooner, but in the build-up to the Dec. 4 hiring of Temple's Steve Addazio as the next Boston College football coach, it was easy to appreciate the social media savvy of Boston College athletic director Brad Bates, who used Twitter (@BCBradBates is his address) during the search for a football coach to provide frequent and relatively transparent updates on how it was going. A few of his tweets during the process:
■ Nov. 27: “Taking advantage of all available resources in coaching search; having conversations with commissioners, ADs, head coaches, NFL contacts.”
■ Nov. 28: “Timetable for a FB coach? We’d like to get it done ASAP & we’re off to fast start, but we’ll take as long as needed to make the right hire.”
■ Dec. 4: “Met with FB seniors this a.m. to keep them informed about search. Important for team to hear news first when we’re ready for announcement.”
And later that day:
■ “I am proud to announce Steve Addazio as the new head coach football at Boston College.”
Maybe it's not exactly spellbinding stuff in terms of taking you behind the scenes, but it does project a sense of openness from the new athletic director, who began the job in October.
According to BC associate athletics director for media Chris Cameron, the use of social media is Bates's idea, something he utilized at Miami University.
I'd suggest Rob Parker is the junior varsity Skip Bayless, but as Jalen Rose hilariously pointed out awhile back upon investigating the ESPN "First Take'' shrieker's exaggerated claims about his own high school athletic prowess, it turns out that Bayless is actually the junior varsity Bayless.
Besides, as Parker proved yet again on “First Take” Thursday, he’s doing his best to earn an ESPN varsity letter in spewing foolishness as well as any of his counterparts on that shameless abomination of a program. Here’s what Parker said about Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III: “My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is . . . is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother? He’s not really. He’s black, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you’d want to hang out with.”
There was more, but that’s more than enough. I’d apologize for giving space to Parker’s nonsense, but I suspect the only way he gets reprimanded for them is if enough offended viewers with an outlet call him out. Chances are his corporate-ordered “apology” will already have hit e-mail boxes by the time you read this. Meanwhile, the mystery continues as to why a show featuring Bayless and Parker is one any viewer would want to hang out with.