On the Soapbox with the Tom Taylor Report

Today Tom Taylor of the highly-regarded and highly-influential Tom Taylor Report was kind enough to invite my thoughts regarding Loyola's incredible Final Four appearance. I focused on a unique aspect of this story, in that Loyola will have no local radio commercial radio coverage of their Final Four run that is thrilling the nation. They haven't had a radio deal for several years, and I think it reflects not only Loyola's meteoric rise in college basketball but changes in the dynamics of the Chicago radio market as well.

Below is the text of what appeared in the Tom Taylor Report:

No place to hear the Loyola Ramblers on Chicago radio –
Veteran sportscaster and production company owner Bill Hazen says “If you were in Chicago last night, you would have seen the words ‘Go Loyola’ in lights on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building. That means they've made it into the minds of people here. It's been a very long climb back for the Ramblers. One indicator is radio. For several years now, the Ramblers have been unable to entice any Chicago area station to air their games. As they go to the Final Four this weekend, they will do so as the only school in memory to not have their local broadcasts regularly airing on commercial radio. Of course, this isn't just reflective of Loyola's rapid ascendancy. Right now, nearly a dozen Chicago radio stations are operating in bankruptcy. The search is for quick cash, not new ideas or community involvement. Were Loyola to win it all, I don't know if the Ramblers will be able to solve the problem going forward, at least not on a major Chicago station.” As Bill sends that email to this NOW Newsletter, he says “I'm going to take up this topic on this week's College Sports Weekly program” from his Bill Hazen productions. (More about Bill here.)

If you'd like to look at the actual Report for 3/28/2018, use this link:


BHPro to Produce Mad Ants Weekly Podcast: Mad Ants Insider to Debut October 31st


October 31, 2017

FORT WAYNE, Indiana – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, presented by Lutheran Health Network, the NBA G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers, announced today the debut of the Mad Ants Insider podcast on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Mad Ants Insider is a collaborative production of the Mad Ants along with Bill Hazen Productions, with weekly episodes airing throughout the 2017-18 season. The inaugural program will include guests such as NBA G League President Malcolm Turner, Mad Ants President Tim Bawmann and Head Coach Steve Gansey.

Each program will cover franchise and league news, on top of showcasing Mad Ants players, coaches and management; such as General Manager, Brian Levy; Director of Corporate Sales and Creative Services, Logan Wiening; Community/Public Relations Manager, Ryan Stevens; and Mad Ants broadcaster, Jaren Jackson. Both Wiening and Stevens will assist in coordination, production and content for the series. The program will be made available through a program link displayed on the Mad Ants' team page.

“I’m excited about the addition of our weekly podcast,” Bawmann said. “It is one more example of our commitment to being a leader across all avenues in the G League.”

Hosting the program will be Mad Ants play-by-play broadcaster Bill Hazen, who is beginning his 10th season as the voice of the Mad Ants. The program will be created and produced by Bill Hazen Productions and will utilize digital audio techniques to assure the highest broadcast quality.

Each week, Mad Ants Insider will introduce the voices of those making news with the team. Former Mad Ants broadcaster Keith Hoehne will serve as Executive Producer, while former Big 12 Conference Public Relations Chief Bo Carter will serve as Coordinating Producer.

“I know Mad Ants Insider will have a strong appeal not only for Mad Ants fans, but also for pro basketball fans throughout the G League,” Hazen said. “The Mad Ants have a fantastic story to tell, and this podcast will tell that story in a new presentation. For the first time, listeners will experience the excitement of Mad Ants basketball up close, in a way that is unique to this medium.”

About the Fort Wayne Mad Ants

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the NBA G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers, is owned and operated by Pacers Sports & Entertainment. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ftwaynemadants.com. or call 260-469-HOOP. Follow the Mad Ants on Twitter (@TheMadAnts), Facebook (/themadants) or Instagram (@fortwaynemadants).

About Bill Hazen Productions

Bill Hazen Productions specializes in the creation, production and distribution of sports content for television, radio and podcasting. Programming developed by BHPro has been showcased nationally on SB Nation Radio (formerly Yahoo Sports Radio) and syndicated both nationally and regionally. Bill Hazen Productions developed the first Division I daily conference radio sportscast (Today in Conference USA), and has created numerous podcasts ranging in focus from college football and basketball to Indoor Lacrosse and Indoor Football. BHPro's nationally-syndicated hour-long College Sports Weekly program is now in its sixth year of production.


Mad Ants Debut on WANE-TV: Hazen and Jackson Call Action on Channel 15.2

February 12, 2017

FORT WAYNE, Indiana – The excitement of Fort Wayne Mad Ants basketball will reach more people than ever, when the team debuts its telecasts on WANE-TV in a game against the Erie Bayhawks. The Mad Ants broadcast team of Bill Hazen and Jaren Jackson will describe the action.

The telecast is the first of several scheduled to air over WANE-TV's digital channel 15.2, which carries Tribune's Antenna TV Network. This becomes the team's second move to increase market exposure through the mass media. Earlier, the Mad Ants announced an agreement with Federated Media to air several broadcasts of their games over WKJG Radio (commonly known as “ESPN 1380”). WKJG will also carry this game broadcast.

“I'm excited to bring Mad Ants basketball into our fans living rooms, said Mad Ants team President Tim Bawmann. “WANE-TV has helped make this a reality!”

Under second-year coach Steve Gansey, the Mad Ants are enjoying a very exciting season in the NBA Development League. Gansey, the D-League's “Coach of the Month” for November, has guided the Mad Ants into strong playoff contention with one of the league's best overall records.

“This is very compelling basketball,” said Mad Ants broadcaster Bill Hazen. “In many ways, this team reminds me of the Mad Ants championship team.

“The athletic skills are fantastic, and there's outstanding leadership on the court. Having broadcast in the NBA for a number of years, I can tell you without question the D-League replicates the real NBA experience.”

The Mad Ants feature a broadcast team with plenty of NBA experience in their own right. Hazen is a former NBA broadcaster for the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls (Michael Jordan's first TV announcer), Indiana Pacers and ESPN International. Jackson, former coach of the Mad Ants, carved out a solid NBA career culminating in an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in the 1998-1999 season. He also played with seven other NBA teams.


College Sports Weekly Airs 200th Edition: Special Guest is Marketing Guru Russ Potts

CHICAGO – Hall of Fame marketing legend Russ Potts is the special guest for the 200th edition of College Sports Weekly. Widely considered as the father of modern-era college sports marketing, Potts organizes and produces major athletic events through his company, Russ Potts Productions.

A master marketer, Potts is best known for the revolutionary Mustang Mania marketing campaign, propelling SMU to new heights of fan support and community awareness. He was the first Sports Marketing Director in college athletics.

Potts served as athletic director at SMU during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Prior to his arrival, a football game between Rice and SMU had drawn 6,000 fans in the giant 72,000-seat Cotton Bowl. Asked about the over 60,000 empty seats, Potts stated he saw 60,000 opportunities and boldly predicted the two schools would play in front of 60,000 fans the next time they met in Dallas. Two years later, in one of the most incredible marketing achievements in college sports history, Rice and SMU drew 66,000 fans.

College Sports Weekly host Bill Hazen crossed paths with Potts when Hazen was named Sports Director at WFAA in Dallas. Already a Southwest Conference football announcer on the Mutual Southwest Network, Hazen described both SMU football and basketball. His descriptions of Eric Dickerson and Craig James (the Mustangs' famed Pony Express backfield) are captured in ESPN's Peabody Award-winning series, 30 for 30.

Hazen also hosted a weekly show with SMU's athletic director, The Russ Potts Show. The program achieved considerable notoriety as Potts fielded questions on college athletics from fans each week.

Today Russ Potts runs his own sports marketing firm, Russ Potts Productions. He remains one of the nation's leading authorities on the marketing of college athletics. He is a member of six Halls of Fame, most recently enshrined in the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators.

“Russ Potts has most certainly touched my life,” said Hazen. “I watched him work up close, and I got a doctorate-level education how college athletics should be both marketed and administrated.

College Sports Weekly is about wonderful people like Russ Potts. Russ has much to share about the state of college athletics. I'm so pleased he is our guest for our 200th program!”


Added Exposure for StadiumsUSA Radio: Yahoo Sports Radio Adds Second Airing

March 6, 2016


CHICAGO – Fans of the innovative StadiumsUSA Radio program will now have two chances to hear it weekly on Yahoo Sports Radio. The network announced a second weekly airing for the show, which is growing in popularity among YSR listeners.

The radio program is the creation of Mark Madorin, a Chicago-area native and founder of the StadiumsUSA web site, and Chicago-based sports broadcaster Bill Hazen. Jeff Schmidt is the program’s Executive Producer. StadiumsUSA Radio offers a unique sports perspective, focusing on subjects such as stadium history, stadium design and stadium connections to their communities. In addition to its usual 8:00AM (ET) national airing on Saturday morning, the program will also be rebroadcast at 5:00AM (ET) Sunday morning.

“This is another step forward in growth,” said Hazen, who hosts the program. “It's a great collaboration, and I'm particularly pleased for Mark and Jeff. They've worked very hard on this project.

“How do you beat Joe Theismann, Fred Lynn and Jeremy Roenick sharing their unique perspectives about places like RFK Stadium, Notre Dame Stadium, Fenway Park and Chicago Stadium? Our listeners have heard from architects, stadium managers, developers and team management about new stadiums under construction. I also believe our coverage of the Los Angeles NFL relocation game was unparalleled. We featured NFL executives and journalists who have followed the entire process, start to finish.”

StadiumsUSA Radio is unique storytelling that gets to the heart of why we all became sports fans - the stadium experience,” said Yahoo Sports Radio Program Director Craig Larson.

The program is produced and distributed by Bill Hazen Productions (BHP), specializing in the creation, production and distribution of sports-related radio programming. StadiumsUSA Radio is one of a four radio programs in the current BHP portfolio, which includes the nationally-syndicated College Sports Weekly, and two regional syndications: Today in Conference USA and Talking Conference USA Football/Basketball.

Yahoo Sports Radio began in 1991 as the Sports Entertainment Network, based in Las Vegas, NV. In 1993, it was purchased by Chicago-based One-On-One Sports, moved to suburban Northbrook, and renamed the One-On-One Sports Network. In 2000, the network was sold to The Sporting News and renamed Sporting News Radio. In 2007, Sporting News Radio moved from the Chicago suburbs to Santa Monica, CA. Three years later, it moved to Houston, TX and in 2011 became Yahoo Sports Radio. There is currently no Chicago-area affiliate of the network, but it can also be heard through its web site and mobile apps. Yahoo Sports Radio recently added the 500th radio station to its lineup.