Behind The Mic: Miesha Tate, A.J. Hawk Join SiriusXM MMA Coverage; Cadence13 Partners With Mitch Albom, Mike Lupica

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker/devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk have joined the roster of hosts on the SiriusXM Rush channel, Cadence13 announces partnership with Mitch Albom and Mike LupicaEd Cohen will team with radio analyst Brendan Brown to call the action for the 2017-2018 Knicks season on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports announces that former NCAA football coaches Mark Helfrich, Les Miles and veteran broadcaster/former NCAA and NFL player Danny Kanell have joined the network for coverage of its best-ever college football schedule this fall, SNY announces that Willie Colon has joined the network as studio analyst for the Tri-State area’s Jets coverage, and more.

Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate and former Green Bay Packers linebacker/devoted MMA enthusiast A.J. Hawk have joined the roster of hosts covering the world of mixed martial arts on the SiriusXM Rush channel, home of SiriusXM’s combat sports programming. Tate and Hawk will be featured hosts on MMA Today, an exclusive new show airing every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (6:00-8:00 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM Rush (channel 93 on satellite radios and the SiriusXM app). Hawk can be heard every Tuesday and Thursday with co-host and SiriusXM veteran RJ Clifford. Tate makes her debut on September 13, and will host every Wednesday alongside former UFC fighter and veteran radio personality Sean O’Connell. Tate won the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title on March 5, 2016 (UFC 196) when she defeated Holly Holm by technical submission in the fifth round. Tate competed and won titles in Freestyle Cage Fighting and Strikeforce before joining UFC.

Hawk is a longtime, dedicated mixed martial arts fan who made MMA training an integral part of his regimen to prepare for the NFL season.  In his nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers he played in all but two of a possible 144 regular-season games, starting 136 of them, and he helped lead the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XLV.  Hawk retired from the NFL following the 2016 season and focused on his broadcasting career, which he had begun developing with the launch of his podcast, “The Hawkcast,” while still an active player.  In addition to hosting MMA Today, Hawk can also be heard on the SiriusXM NFL Radio and SiriusXM College Sports Nation channels….

…Cadence13, the creator of premium, on-demand audio entertainment, has announced a partnership with Mitch Albom, internationally-renowned author, screenwriter and longtime sports journalist with the Detroit Free Press, and Mike Lupica, award-winning columnist, best-selling author and longtime sports journalist with the New York Daily News, to relaunch the long-running show ‘The Sports Reporters’ as a bi-weekly podcast starting Friday, September 8. Each episode will feature Mitch and Mike together with a rotating cast of the top sports writers in the business, including former cast members of the long-running “The Sports Reporters” TV program. The show will be available on-demand through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more…

….Ed Cohen will team with radio analyst Brendan Brown to call all the action for the 2017-2018 Knicks season on ESPN Radio (ESPN 98.7). This summer, Cohen was the play-by-play voice of the New York Liberty and New York Cosmos soccer on MSG Networks, and earlier this summer he handled play-by-play responsibilities for MSG Network’s coverage of Knicks Summer League. A native of Westchester, NY and graduate of Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications, Cohen has spent the past 12 years serving as a play-by-play voice and announcer for networks that include NBC Sports, CBS Sports Network, Big Ten Network, and NHL Network. His versatility has allowed him to call everything from college basketball to weightlifting at the 2016 Rio Olympics on NBC. Cohen also served as the radio play-by-play announcer for Rutgers Scarlet Knights Women’s Basketball from 2008-2014. Cohen started his career as the radio voice of the Manhattan College men’s basketball team…

…Fox Sports has officially announced that former NCAA football coaches Mark Helfrich and Les Miles and veteran broadcaster and former NCAA and NFL player Danny Kanell have joined the network for coverage of its best-ever college football schedule this fall. Helfrich calls a full slate of games this season alongside play-by-play announcer Justin Kutcher and fellow analyst Petros Papadakis. They opened the season on Saturday, Sept. 2, for Maryland at Texas at 12:00 p.m. ET on FS1. Helfrich begins his broadcasting career with Fox Sports, following his tenure with Oregon, where he served as head coach of the Ducks for four seasons after spending the previous four years as the program’s offensive coordinator. As head coach, Helfrich led Oregon to an appearance in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Game and guided quarterback Marcus Mariota to a Heisman Trophy following the 2014 season.

Miles also tackles the sport from a different point of view, calling select Fox Sports college football games this season. He makes his debut during Week 3 of the season, joining play-by-play announcer Tim Brando, fellow analyst Spencer Tillman and sideline reporter Holly Sonders from Lincoln., NE, for Northern Illinois at Nebraska on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 12:00 p.m. ET on FS1. Miles moves to television following a career most recently at LSU, which culminated in a Tigers’ Citrus Bowl victory last season. An offensive lineman with Michigan under legendary head coach Bo Schembechler, Miles began his coaching career as an assistant with the Wolverines, and after several years in the NCAA and NFL, received his first head coaching post with Oklahoma State. He spent four seasons with the Cowboys before moving on to LSU where he led the Tigers for more than a decade, winning the 2007 BCS National Championship.

A broadcaster with ESPN for the last eight years, Kanell called select college football games for FOX Sports in 2017, opened the season with play-by-play announcer Eric Collins and fellow analyst AJ Hawk in Waco, TX, for Liberty at Baylor on Saturday, Sept., 2, at 7:00 PM ET on FS2. Kanell is a former collegiate and professional football and baseball player, having quarterbacked Florida State for four years while playing two seasons with the Seminoles’ baseball team. Kanell was selected by the New York Giants in the 1996 NFL Draft and also played with the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. Kanell joined ESPN in 2010 as a college football game and studio analyst and contributed to the network’s coverage, including on his weekday radio show “Rusillo & Kanell,” for nearly eight years.

Helfrich, Miles and Kanell join Fox Sports’ previously announced lineup of Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft, who open the season with Washington at Rutgers on Friday (8:00 PM ET on FS1) before flying cross-country for Texas A&M at UCLA on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET); Joe Davis, Brady Quinn and Bruce Feldman, who call Tulsa at #10 Oklahoma State on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1) and UTEP at Oklahoma on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET on Fox); and Brando, Tillman and Sonders, who open the season with Purdue vs. Louisville Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox).

Host Rob Stone is in studio for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage on FOX and FS1, joined by analysts Matt Leinart, Robert Smith and Dave Wannstedt with rules experts Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino. In 2017, Fox Sports televises top games from the Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-12 conferences…

…SNY has announced that New York’s own Willie Colon has joined the network as studio analyst for the Tri-State area’s Jets coverage.  A Bronx native and 10-year NFL veteran, including three seasons (2013-2015) with the Jets, Colon will appear across SNY’s slate of studio programming including its Jets Post-Game Live presented by Toyota and all-new Jets Pre-Game Live. Willie Colon, born and raised in the Bronx, attended Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, where he was a decorated member of the Pride earning Atlantic Ten All-Conference, First Team All-Conference and First Team Walter Camp All-American honors while at the school.  In 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Colon in the fourth round of NFL Draft with the 131st overall pick.  Over the course of his seven seasons in Pittsburgh, Colon made two Super Bowl appearances, winning in 2008, and was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award in 2012. In 2013, He played his final three seasons with the New York Jets before officially retiring in 2017.

Colon will team with host Jonas Schwartz, Jets field reporter Jeané Coakley, NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY’s roster of former Jets-turned-analysts – Ray Lucas, Mike WesthoffChad Cascadden and Erik Coleman – for the region’s most extensive coverage of the New York Jets during the 2017 NFL season.

The network’s 2017 regular season coverage kicked off on Monday, September 4 at 4:30 p.m. with the SNY premiere of Jets All-Access: One Team, One Goal.  The half-hour program takes viewers behind the scenes with all the sights and sounds from Jets training camp as Head Coach Todd Bowles prepares his team for the upcoming season.  SNY will profile the biggest storylines at Florham Park for a young and untested Jets team heading into its Week One matchup versus the Buffalo Bills.

SNY’s mid-week program Jets Game Plan returns Thursday, September 7 at 4:30 p.m.  Hosted by Jeané Coakley and featuring Ray LucasMike Westhoff, Erik Coleman and Chad Cascadden, the weekly show provides an insider’s view of the team’s upcoming matchup with exclusive access, interviews and team breakdowns. Following the week one premiere, the program moves to its regular 6:30 p.m. timeslot every Thursday.

Jets Pre-Game Live made its network debut Sunday, September 10, at 12:00 p.m.  The new program is the only dedicated Jets pre-game show on television, providing fans up-to-the-minute news and analysis of their favorite team leading up to kickoff.  Host Jonas Schwartz will be joined each week in-studio by analysts Ray Lucas, Willie Colon and Mike Westhoff, while Jets reporter Jeané Coakley will provide reports from the field.  For all Jet home games, Erik Coleman will provide pre-game analysis from MetLife Stadium.  Jets Pre-Game Live will begin one hour prior to every game.  Jets Post-Game Live features priority access to Head Coach Todd Bowles’ post-game press conferences, plus live on-field and exclusive one-on-one locker room interviews with Jets reporter Jeané Coakley.

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