Media Musings: A Plethora of Podcasts


by R.L. Bynum

Looking for a sports podcast in the Triangle? There are plenty of options

In an on-demand world where people prefer to pick what they want to hear and when they want to hear it, the popularity of podcasts has skyrocketed. Listeners, for the most part, don’t have to deal with commercials or wait for talk to shift to their favorite subjects.

Triangle sports fans have plenty of options to hear about their teams or their favorite sports. There are numerous ways to access podcasts. Most are available on the web, and can be easily downloaded on your smartphone via iTunes or other apps such as Stitcher and Podcast Addict.

Each of the three athletics departments at the Triangle’s ACC schools produces one podcast. There are also podcasts unaffiliated with the schools that discuss, analyze and do interviews about their teams. Similarly, the Carolina Hurricanes produce a podcast and there also are unaffiliated podcasts. There also are podcasts about the Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers.

In addition, The News & Observer and offer podcasts on various sports topics.

Here are some of the podcasts available in each category:





Duke athletics produces Blue Devil 360, which began in August with usually one or two episodes produced per month, featuring mostly announcers on the Blue Devil IMG Radio Network. An episode last month focused on graduate transfers, with a presentation more like a news magazine.

Here are a few Duke podcasts unaffiliated with the school:
* “The DBR Podcast,” with hosts Donald Wine, Sam Klein and Jason Evans, is produced by SB Nation site Duke Basketball Report and has been going for three years. Evans, who is a 1989 Duke graduate and has been a huge Blue Devils fan for 30 years, also edits the podcast. Like the “Carolina Insider,” the DBR podcast recently had its 100th podcast. New podcasts are done weekly during the football and basketball seasons and every two or three weeks during the offseason.
* “The Devils Den Podcast,” with host Chris Bunn, is a product of the 247 Sports site The Devils Den. It’s the second season of the podcast, which runs weekly from August until the end of the NCAA tournament. Two site contributors between Adam Rowe, John Watson and Steve Clark usually join Bunn, and guests have included Evan Daniels, Andrew Slater, Mike Schmitz of Draft Express and Shane Battier.
* The Rivals site Devils Illustrated, does the “DI Podcast” with host Brian McLawhorn. It’s been on hiatus, but he expects to restart the podcast in the next few weeks.
* The Ball Durham Podcast” is done by Chris Brown, the editor of the Fansided site, which is Duke-focused. The podcast started last month and Brown plans for bi-weekly podcasts, with mostly analysis from the site’s writers.

* Falling into this category (as well as the UNC category) is the “Tobacco Road” podcast with former Duke star Gerald Henderson and UNC legend Tyler Hansbrough. There have been six episodes since it debuted Dec. 6.







N.C. State’s school-produced podcast is the only one of its kind.

The “#PackMentality Pop-Ins Podcast,” hosted by Brian Reinhart, the school’s director of athletics digital communications, focuses on the Pack’s No. 6-ranked wrestling team. It is the only podcast in the country produced by a Division I wrestling program. The podcast, which started in October, includes Coach Pat Popolizio, and has featured various special guests, with WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco appearing once. Episodes come out weekly during the season and will likely be twice a month during the offseason.

Here are some Wolfpack-focused podcasts unaffiliated with the school:
* “The Wolfpacker Podcast” is a production of the Rivals site The Wolfpacker. It began recording at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Amedeo’s, an iconic Raleigh restaurant for Pack fans, in September 2016. Previously, the discontinued R&R Podcast, with host James Curle, recorded Mondays from Amedeo’s. There are sometimes multiple podcasts each week. Guests have included coaches (a recent podcast with basketball coach Kevin Keatts put up record download numbers) and media members. There also are additional weekly podcasts football season, and during peak basketball and recruiting periods. The Wolfpacker first started recording podcasts in 2011 on Podbean.
* The “Pack Pride Podcast” is produced by 247 Sports site Pack Pride. Host Cory Smith, Pack Pride’s editor, records the podcast each Monday (generally at 1:30 p.m.) from the Players’ Retreat restaurant, and there also are pregame and postgame podcasts during football season. The main podcasts feature guests ranging from former athletes and coaches to analysts.
* The “IPS Live” podcast is a product of Inside Pack Sports, a website James Henderson started last summer that isn’t affiliated with any of the national sports website companies. There are two or three podcasts every week, featuring staffers and guests.
* The Fansided site Backing the Pack produces the “BTPodcast” with hosts Steven Muma and Will Thompson and occasional guests. It started before the 2016 football season and episodes usually are released once a week.







Leading the group of UNC podcasts is the school’s “Carolina Insider,” which comes out Tuesdays and Fridays during the football and basketball season and weekly the rest of the year. It debuted in September 2016.

“The pod,” as co-hosts Jones Angell (the voice of the Tar Heels) and Adam Lucas (a columnist) call it, posted its snow-delayed 100th episode last month. Appearing on that episode was Rebecca Black, mostly because “Friday” is played at the start of each Friday episode.

The 100th episode was downloaded/listened to 9,500 times and each podcast is drawing between 4,000 and 7,000 listeners. There always is analysis of the last UNC men’s basketball or football game and a look at the next one, as well as a few light-hearted features and usually an interview. Thanks to being part of the university, the podcast commands big names related to UNC sports and sometimes big names who happen to be fans.

Most of the sponsors for the podcast’s regular features also are Tar Heel Sports Network sponsors.

Angell and Lucas commonly use pod as a verb and enjoy puns off the word. Each episode finishes with somebody saying, “see you later, Big Grits.” Pod listeners know the explanation: “Big Grits” is THSN basketball radio analyst and former All-American Eric Montross. He got stuck with that nickname after asking a waitress named Katrina at a Memphis restaurant last March for a large portion of grits. As he left the restaurant, Katrina said, “see you later, Big Grits.” It stuck.

Delivering that line in the most creative ways have been Ben Jones — a UNC alum, “Dukes of Hazzard” TV star and former congressman — and Bill Walton. And, of course, Katrina (listeners don’t know her last name) has ended a few episodes.

Here are some UNC-focused podcasts unaffiliated with the school:
* The “Inside Carolina Podcast” is produced by Scout site Inside Carolina. There usually are a few podcasts each week, including a postgame version after basketball game that usually features analysis from former Tar Heels player Dewey Burke. There are also podcasts featuring IC writers Greg Barnes, Sherrell McMillan, Ross Martin and Tommy Ashley on various topics, including the state of the team (basketball or football), previews and recruiting podcasts, to name a few. IC podcasts usually take breaks for commercials and have a commercial at the end of podcasts.
* The “Argyle Audio” podcast, a weekly podcast that resumed Thursday, is a product of The Argyle Report, a UNC sports-focused site (not affiliated with any of the national sports website companies) that former columnist Turner Walston launched last summer. Staff writers C. Jackson Cowart and Sam Doughton are the hosts.
* The “Weekly Tar Heel Podcast” with host Daniel Bayer is produced by the SB Nation site Tar Heel Blog. It has been on hiatus for a couple of months, but Bayer hopes to resume it in the next few weeks. It features an interview with a guest related to UNC sports or a Tar Heel Blog contributor.
* The subject of the “UNC Hoops Talk” podcast, put out by a Blogger website by the same name, is obvious. Videos of the podcasts are also put up on YouTube. Host Dan DeWitt started the podcast in April 2013 and occasionally has guests, including David Noel before this season. Episodes come out weekly during the season and monthly during the offseason.







The Carolina Hurricanes produce the weekly “CanesCast,” with co-hosts Michael Smith (the team’s web editor) and Mike Maniscalco (the host and in-game reporter for TV broadcasts).

Here are some podcasts unaffiliated with the team:
* Section 328’s “Cheaters Never Win Podcast” (a media partner of SportsChannel8) started during the 2013-14 season. It comes out weekly during the season and monthly during the offseason. The hosts are Mike Flanagan and Derek Roessler. About 90% of the podcasts include guests, including players, Maniscalco and TV play-by-play announcer John Forslund. Last weekend’s episode included interviews with Bret Hedican and N&O columnist Luke DeCock.
* produces the weekly “Canes Corner” podcast with Forslund and host Adam Gold, the afternoon drive-time co-host on WCMC (99.9 the Fan). The podcast started in the 2014-15 season with Maniscalco as the host.
* The “Canes Country Podcast,” with Brett Finger, Justin Lape and Kyle Morton is produced by the SB Nation site Canes Country. The podcast started in July.






The News & Observer has had podcasts in recent years that have been discontinued. Two years ago, Andrew Carter was the host for an interesting podcast called “Amateur Hour.” During the last school year, McClatchy reporter Brian Murphy was the host of the “ACC Now” podcast.

There are two active N&O podcasts:
* Making its debut Jan. 23 was the “Sports Now” podcast. The hosts are Duke beat writer Jonathan Alexander and recruiting writer Jonas Pope IV, both of whom assumed those beats for the consolidated N&O/Herald-Sun sports staff late last year. They plan for there to be weekly episodes.
* “The Whistleblowers” podcast, with DeCock and former ACC director of officiating John Clougherty, debuted Jan. 3, 2017. The latest episode of that podcast went online Jan. 29.



Capitol Broadcasting Company has a variety of podcasts in addition to the aforementioned “Canes Corner” podcast through and its app, including a non-sports podcast about beer.
* In addition to the Hurricanes podcast, Gold also is the host for “Unplayable Lies,” a golf podcast that has been around for five years. The podcast usually comes out about two or three times a month and Alec Campbell, the producer of “Adam and Joe,” often joins Gold.
* The “Topics & Takes Podcast,” featuring Lauren Brownlow and Marilyn Payne, is produced weekly, and airs commercial-free Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. on WCMC. The podcast, which debuted May 20, mostly is filled with sports discussions but sometimes also includes pop culture and other non-sports topics. They also frequently field listener questions via Twitter.
* There have been 14 episodes of the “Tri-Partisan” podcast since it debuted at the beginning of the school year. It brings Walston (with his UNC perspective), together with SportsChannel 8’s Ben Swain (with the Duke view) and Henderson (with the N.C. State angle).
* During the Carolina Panthers’ season, John Stout and Brenden Whitted are hosts for “Panthers Blitz.”
* Neil Morris is the host of the seasonal “Inverted Triangle” podcast that discusses soccer topics.
* Some would question if this falls into the “sports” category, but hosts Chris Morris and Joey Powell talk pro wrestling on the “Get Over It” podcast, which debuted July 12, 2016, after there had been a recurring pro-wrestling segment on the “World’s Strongest Morning Show” on WDNC (620 the Buzz).








Here are a few other sports podcasts in the state focusing on pro sports worth noting:

* Brian Geisinger of SportChannel 8 joins Spencer Percy and Richie Randall for the “Buzz Beat” podcast every week about the Charlotte Hornets. It’s been produced for more than two years. The same crew does live periscopes throughout the season and for special events like the NBA Draft.
* A podcast that covers the ACC, the Carolina Panthers, the Canes and the Charlotte Hornets is the “Triangle and Two Podcast” with hosts Andrew Sanders (the N.C. State baseball play-by-play announcer who also does ESPN3 games; he’s filling on Pack women’s basketball games while Patrick Kinas is at the Winter Olympics) and Nathan Cook. The podcast, which has a sponsor, started just before the Panthers’ Super Bowl appearance two years ago.
* On the “Raleigh City Sports” podcast, done by the website of the same name, they talk about all sorts of pro sports but focus on soccer more than any other (with the exception of “Inverted Triangle.”)
* Another NBA podcast is “Locked on Hornets,” with hosts Doug Branson and David Walker, is done by the the website by the same name. There have been 300 episodes since the start of the 2016–17 season.
* SportsChannel 8’s Hayes Permar plays host for Brent of “Burgundy Blogcast,” a seasonal podcast that focuses on the Washington Redskins. It has run for three seasons and is a reminder that Washington was NC’s most popular NFL team pre-Panthers.
* The “Carolina Huddle” podcast about the Carolina Panthers is done by the website with the same name. Hosts Jeremy Igo and Sammi Jo Francis have guests, including players and media members.
* The “Roaring Riot Podcast” from the website of the same name features hosts Kevin Hall, Drew MacDonald, Jayme Thysell and Ashlyn Rizzo.
* The “Keep Poundenn Podcast” is from the site with the same name.
* The “Carolina Cat Chronicles produces and “The Premiere Panthers C3 Podcast.”

Writer added to The N&O/Herald-Sun sports staff

Last week, veteran journalist Sam Newkirk shifted from The N&O’s print team (which was created in June) to a full-time position as the real-time (or breaking-news) reporter on consolidated The N&O/Herald-Sun sports staff.

Real-time reporter is a position created at both newspapers last summer as part of the McClatchy Company’s reinvention initiative. Real-time reporters respond quickly to breaking news and work to get stories on the website as soon as possible.

Friday alone, five Newkirk stories went on The N&O’s website: On a former State player on the Patriots who can quickly solve a Rubik’s Cube, on siblings that got caught on the Canes’ kiss cam, on former Triangle rivals who became Super Bowl rivals, on a speech given to the N.C. State football team being fact-checked and on the cluelessness of “Jeopardy!” contestants about the NFL.

An indication that the focus of “real-time” reporters is more on the digital product?  None of those five stories made the Saturday print editions of either newspaper.

It’s a return to sports for Newkirk, who spent nearly 12 years as a sports copy editor until 2011. He got his start in newspapers at the Bergen (N.J.) Record in 1990 and was the assistant sports editor at the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press before/ joining The N&O in 1999.

Numerous sports pages added to e-editions

Since last summer, the e-editions of The Herald-Sun and The News & Observer have included a McClatchy Company product first called “Sports Extra,” then later rebranded as “Sports Stats.” They are pages with a nearly complete list of box scores and standings, even including West Coast results.

In early September, McClatchy added extra news pages to the e-editions called “Extra Extra.” On Monday, McClatchy debuted a sports version of those extra pages called “SportsXtra.”

This gives e-edition readers a flood of additional pages, with stories and photos on splashy layouts and a front page designed like a magazine cover.

It is a collection of stories from McClatchy papers, wire services, The Washington Post, The New York Times and other sources. Because it’s the same for every McClatchy e-edition, there are cases where it will include an N&O story. In the Jan. 31 edition, DeCock’s story on the “fan migration” from the upper arena at the Jan. 30 Carolina Hurricanes game appeared on The N&O’s front sports page and on a SportsXtra page.

There is such a volume of stories in SportsExtra, which can be as many as 28 pages, that nobody will read them all. The smallest package so far in the first week has been 21 pages.

It brings back an old concept missing from print editions these days: That a newspaper should be like a grocery store with a little bit for everybody. This does that, but with a national focus. There are sometimes two-page spreads on soccer and golf in addition to full pages on auto racing and tennis. There is even coverage of women’s college basketball, which is an afterthought in the print editions and online editions of The N&O and Herald-Sun these days.

It includes a complete roundup of NBA and NHL games, as well as Top 25 men’s and women’s basketball game.

Late N&O editions get some early-evening games

The print deadlines for The N&O and The Herald-Sun make it nearly impossible to get game stories from night games into the next day’s print editions. The last Durham page must be completed by 7:45 p.m. (6:45 p.m. Saturday night for Sunday’s edition) and the last Raleigh page must be done by 8 p.m. (7:30 p.m. Saturday night for Sunday’s editions).

Unlike The Herald-Sun, The N&O has the option of replating (updating) pages for late editions up until 10 p.m. On consecutive days, stories on 7 p.m. games (the Jan. 29 Notre Dame at Duke game and the Jan. 30 UNC at Clemson game) made late editions. Neither story jumped, meaning that only the sports front had to be replated.

Could an exception to the 10 o’clock replate deadline be made for the 8 p.m. Duke at UNC game on Thursday?

North Carolina-related stories of note

In The Fieldhouse, The Athletic’s college basketball site, offered three particularly interesting college basketball reads.
* C.L. Brown wrote about how the parents of Duke freshman forward Wendell Carter Jr. wanted to help him fulfill his pro basketball dreams but have also always been very wary of influences off the court.
* Adam Zagora looked into why Duke has suddenly taken control of the one-and-done market from Kentucky and some of the reasons. He points to a lot of factors, but gives big credit to Jeff Capel, the Blue Devils’ associate head coach.
* Brian Mull learned what it’s like to spend a weekend with Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s supervisor of officials, and the story gives readers a look behind the scenes.

On, Pat James talked to some former players about what it meant to be part of the legacy-building North Carolina basketball teams from 1967–69.

Morgan Reid, a former Cardinal Gibbons and Duke soccer player drafted by the North Carolina Courage, wrote in The Players’ Tribune about struggling when a massive amount of negative feedback on social media resulted after a Barstool story about her looks went viral.

In a story that ran in The Washington Post, Ellen Holmes and Bryan Christopher, teachers at Durham’s Riverside High School, wrote about how much some of the school’s undocumented immigrants (“dreamers”) meant to the school and to its 5-on-5 soccer tournament.

Christian Laettner in charge of a high school basketball team in North Carolina? Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer explained that it was only for a short time and part of production of a reality television show.

The North State Journal spotlighted two North Carolinians headed to the Winter Olympics.
* Brett Friedlander wrote about Winston-Salem native Kimani Griffin, who has been on the big stage at a classical guitarist at Carnegie Hall and will be on the big stage as an Olympic speedskater this month.
* Shawn Krest wrote about Apex’s Randi Griffin, a Duke graduate student, who will play for the unified Korean women’s hockey team.