StadiumsUSA Radio Celebrates 1st Anniversary

CHICAGOStadiumsUSA Radio celebrates its first anniversary Saturday morning on Yahoo Sports Radio. The hour-long weekly program will be heard at 7:00 AM CST, and will also be available for direct download after airing. A featured guest on the program will be former NBA and college basketball standout, Artis Gilmore. Also, writer Cliff Cristl will talk about Green Bay's legendary Lambeau Field.

StadiumsUSA Radio is a collaborative production between the StadiumsUSA web site ( and Bill Hazen Productions ( Mark Madorin is president and founder of the popular web source for stadium information. He is featured weekly in a special segment called Talking Shop, which takes listeners inside the stadium industry and explores issues and trends. Hazen hosts the program, which is produced by Keith Hoehne with production assistance from Jeff Schmidt and Bo Carter.

StadiumsUSA Radio explores the shared stadium experience, introducing listeners to athletes, coaches and stadium professionals who share their memories and ideas. It is a natural extension of the web site focus.

I think it's more immediate on the radio, and I think you can sense the passion,” said Madorin in a recent interview. “I wanted to get interviews with key people in the industry and athletes who competed in those facilities, and we've been able to do that. It's been a wonderful part of being on radio, with guests like Joe Theismann, Fred Lynn and play-by-play people from around the country.”

StadiumsUSA radio began production on November 17th of 2013. The debut program reported on the growing use of glass playing surfaces, and their potential in multi-sport environments. The program found its broadcast home on Yahoo Sports Radio in August of 2014, with the show making its YSR debut on August 30th. The network recently celebrated the addition of its 500th affiliate.

I am so pleased for Mark and everyone associated with this program,” said Hazen. “StadiumsUSA Radio is plowing new ground, and it's a great thrill to be involved with it.

I believe listeners are interested new dimensions of sports coverage, presentations and approaches that are beyond the standard fare. StadiumsUSA Radio truly represents this new frontier in sports broadcasting.”


Bill Hazen Productions Celebrates 1,000th Edition of Today in Conference USA

CHICAGO – This Friday Bill Hazen Productions will produce and distribute the 1,000th edition of Today in Conference USA. This special edition of the program will mark a major milestone for the conference's flagship radio sportscast, which has been in continuous production by BHP throughout each athletic year since 2010.

Originally known as the Conference USA Daily Update, the short-form sportscast was first heard exclusively through the Internet. BHP assumed production of the program on February 1st, 2010, focusing on improving the show's content and production values.

Late in the Spring, BHP proposed a plan to expand beyond the Internet and syndicate the program to radio stations within the C-USA footprint. The proposal also recommended the name of the program be changed to Today in Conference USA.

WIXC Radio in Titusville, Florida, then under the operational leadership of broadcast veteran Ken Allen, was the first radio station to clear the program. Commonly-owned WHOO in Orlando soon followed. WRVC Radio in Huntington hopped on board one day later. The program signed on with eleven radio stations for its first year, and the syndicated network has grown steadily since then. Many stations carry the program more than once a day, and each program can be heard directly through and

“This is where it all started,” said Bill Hazen. “I had been developing and producing programs for minor league teams and sports leagues, but I wanted to take the concepts we had and apply them to collegiate sports broadcasting. Conference USA made that possible with Today in Conference USA. Our other programming has all been built on that foundation, so this program is very special for us.

“We believed at the time that the economics of radio broadcasting were beginning to change,” Hazen said. “We felt that a number of stations would seriously consider a third-party independent regional short-form program with local ties through the individual conference schools. That concept has proven to be correct.”

“It was something that began as a file posted on our website every day,” remembered C-USA Assistant Commissioner Russ Anderson in a College Sports Weekly interview. “We've really enjoyed watching it grow. It has given us tremendous exposure. Now it's something that's out in a lot of our markets and people can hear it in their car when they're driving to work.”

The original idea for C-USA syndicated radio programming came during the 1990's, when Conference USA was based in Chicago. While most of the media attention was on television resources, Hazen was impressed with the conference's radio assets.

“I had good friends at the conference in Rex Lardner, Russ Anderson, Brian Teter and Erika Amstadt Hirschfield,” Hazen remembered. “We would get together for lunch and toss around ideas for enhancing conference exposure. I brought the idea forward at one of those lunches.

“The technology wasn't quite there then...certainly not where it is today. But now the job can be done very well here in Chicago, even though the conference is based in Dallas.”

Today, BHP produces four regularly-scheduled programs. Talking Conference USA Football/Basketball is a 15-minute weekly show which takes listeners inside each sport in season. Listeners hear firsthand from coaches, players and administrators throughout the conference. A special segment, Conference USA by the Numbers, tells fascinating and unique stories about C-USA teams through statistical analysis. The segment is unique in broadcasting.

BHP also produces two nationally-syndicated programs, College Sports Weekly and StadiumsUSA Radio (produced in conjunction with the StadiumsUSA web site). In total, programming produced by Bill Hazen Productions now airs on 175 radio stations throughout America each week.


BHP Mourns Passing of Broadcaster Bill Gourley: “Wizard of Wilmette” Leaves Many Friends

CHICAGO – The team at Bill Hazen Productions is mourning the passing of longtime Chicago football analyst, Bill Gourley. Gourley died last week, soon after celebrating his 77th birthday with his family.

A former college and high school football coach, Bill Gourley first drew prominence as a football analyst for his work on Northwestern football radio broadcasts in the early 1980's. He was teamed with Chicago broadcaster Duane Dow on what was then known as WAIT Radio (820 khz).

“That's where I first heard him,” remembered Chicago broadcaster Bill Hazen. “I was working in St. Louis (at KMOX Radio) and was driving back home to Chicago. I remember thinking how very good Duane and Bill were together.

“Northwestern was in the middle of the longest football losing streak in the nation, but the broadcasts were upbeat and compelling. Duane and Bill upheld the long and time-honored tradition of so many Chicago broadcasters who covered non-competitive teams through the years. That was a wonderful broadcast team.”

One year later, Gourley was the analyst on Hazen's first Chicago sports broadcast, a Northwestern football game at Syracuse also airing over WAIT. Dow moved to television for the game broadcast.

Gourley would also team with Dow on USFL football games, as part of the broadcast team for the Chicago Blitz of the USFL. He later worked with Will Watson on Northwestern football. He also served on the broadcast team for the Aloha Bowl.

In the fall of 1987, Gourley was teamed with Hazen for the telecasts of Northern Illinois football during the Jerry Pettibone era. The two were also paired for the IHSA State Finals and numerous Chicagoland prep broadcasts through the years.

Gourley's football knowledge. developed from years of college and high school coaching, gave audiences a unique and entertaining view of the game. He had worked as an assistant coach at Brown University under Chicagoan Len Jardine, as well as head coach at North Park. His high school coaching included stints at North Chicago and Hoffman Estates.

When Gourley retired from coaching, it was Northwest suburban broadcaster Bruce Blair who reached out to him and suggested he should give broadcasting a try. Gourley debuted on high school football broadcasts airing over WWMM-FM (92.7 mhz) in Arlington Heights, where he drew the attention of broadcast executive John Hokin who was seeking an analyst for Northwestern football.

On the air, Gourley brought a fresh enthusiasm to game broadcasts while keeping the game simple and easy for fans to enjoy. He shunned much of the game's jargon, in favor of terminology that was more easily digestible. Few broadcasters told better stories about the game than he did.

Gourley was a student of the game and enjoyed studying film of the teams he covered. He often said he had a case of “square eyeballs” from watching so much film. Like many coaches, he was very skilled at rocking the images back and forth over and over again with a special projector control used by football coaches. This allowed him to analyze formations and blocking schemes, which he then simplified for the audience.

“Today we often hear the term “talent” applied to game announcers,” said Hazen. “But Bill had talent, real talent. His was the special stuff he brought to a broadcast...that which was unique to him. Broadcasting revealed his knowledge, his enthusiasm, his goodness and his sincere understanding of the audience. It was all natural.

“I think many people within the industry know how partial I was toward Bill professionally, but we also shared a wonderful friendship through the years. Bill had tremendous pride in his family and friends, and he was never at a loss for a story about their achievements. He also had great compassion for the struggles of others. He was a true friend.”

BHP extends its most sincere condolences to his wonderful wife, Carol, as well as his family and many friends in teaching, coaching and broadcasting.


StadiumsUSA Radio Goes National on Yahoo Sports Radio

CHICAGO – StadiumsUSA Radio, a unique program focusing on America's magnificent sports gathering places, will debut on Yahoo Sports Radio Saturday, August 30th. The show will kickoff Yahoo's complete coverage of college football and will air at 7:00 AM Central Daylight Time.

StadiumsUSA Radio is the inspiration of Mark Madorin, creator of the StadiumsUSA web site. Madorin, a former college coach with a lifelong fascination for athletic venues, also provides weekly insights about the stadium industry in a program segment entitled “Talking Shop.” serves as the preeminent source for stadium information in the United States, covering over 2,500 venues of all sizes. Operations for the site are based in the Chicago suburb of Lombard, Illinois.

StadiumsUSA Radio is created, produced and distributed by Bill Hazen Productions. Hazen hosts the weekly show, which is the first national production for the Chicago-based sports programmer. Known for broadcasting Michael Jordan's first professional game and rookie season, Hazen has called the action for three NBA teams, numerous college teams and conference TV packages. His portfolio of work includes the World Series, the NBA Finals and NFL Football for ESPN International. Recently he was named to the announce team for the new American Sports Network. Bill Hazen Productions also syndicates and produces radio programming for Conference USA, and it syndicates the hour-long sports program College Sports Weekly.

Yahoo Sports Radio began in 1991 as the Sports Entertainment Network, based in Las Vegas. 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 2011, the network became Yahoo Sports Radio. It is now based in Houston and has grown to over 500 affiliates. The network can also be heard through the Internet and a mobile app.

“I'm very pleased for Mark and everyone involved in this project,” said Hazen. “This is a tremendous affirmation for a great concept and a lot of hard work. I know Yahoo Sports Radio listeners will enjoy StadiumsUSA's reporting on the stadium industry and the people whose lives have been touched by these fantastic venues.”

StadiumsUSA Radio took the air on November 17th, 2013, offering completely new broadcast reporting and a unique perspective on American stadiums. The program will now be heard throughout the country, including stations in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Miama, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Phoenix.

The StadiumsUSA Radio team welcomes a new face to the production team. For StadiumsUSA, broadcast veteran Jeff Schmidt will help coordinate story lines, research and segment production. He will also be heard on various interviews airing within the program.

For Bill Hazen Productions, Keith Hoehne serves as Executive Producer. He also provides vital contributions in the areas of segment production and development. He is heard directly on interview segments and serves in a contributing on-air capacity. Samuel “Bo” Carter is the Coordinating Producer for the program. Carter, who served as Director of Information for both the Southwest Conference and the Big 12, is universally respected for his media savvy in athletic circles. Broadcaster Dean Jackson will report on an “at large” basis, while Gene DeLisio and Ken Allen will also contribute on-the-scene reports and interviews.


Hazen Named to ASN Announce Team

CHICAGO – Sports broadcaster Bill Hazen is being named to the announce team on the newly-formed American Sports Network. He will call the action of Conference USA events airing on the national sports channel.

Hazen is best known for his play-by-play work with three NBA teams, numerous college and syndicated conference TV packages and national and international broadcasts on ESPN International. He has called the NBA Finals, the World Series, NFL football, the NBA Development League Playoffs and numerous conference championship events (Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, MAC, MVC, Mid-Con and Gulf South).

Hazen is already a familiar voice for many Conference USA fans. He is heard daily and weekly on C-USA radio programs syndicated throughout the conference via Bill Hazen Productions. These programs include Today in Conference USA (the flagship daily sportscast of the conference) and Talking Conference USA Football/Basketball (a weekly summary of each sport in season). Thirty-nine radio stations carry Conference USA programming produced and distributed by BHP.

“I am so very excited to be working with the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Conference USA on the new American Sports Network,” Hazen said. “The reach of this network will be extraordinary and will expose C-USA and other conferences to sports fans throughout the country.

“In my work with Conference USA on radio, I've learned how many great stories the conference has to tell,” he continued. “This new relationship will provide richly-deserved exposure for C-USA, its member institutions and conference student athletes.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group is the largest television station owner in the United States. Through its owned-and-operated stations division, Sinclair reaches approximately thirty-nine percent of American television households. The American Sports Network will air over digital channels in these markets, as well as on cable systems carrying these channels. Sinclair will seek additional distribution through digital channels and cable systems in markets not served directly by its properties.

In addition to Sinclair, Conference USA has national television partnerships with Fox Media Group, CBS Sports Network and ESPN. C-USA institutions are in eight of the Top 45 media markets, and four of the Top 25. Additionally, the C-USA Digital Network offers live streaming of competition, press conferences and special events as well as pre-produced stories and promotional pieces. C-USA home markets will include more than 13.4 million TV households - a 30 percent increase from the 10.1 million homes reached just two years ago.

Bill Hazen Productions is in its fifth year providing syndicated radio services for Conference USA, including creating, producing and distributing the conference's unique radio programs. Today in Conference USA remains the first and only daily Division I conference radio sportscast in America. The widely-imitated Talking Conference USA Football/Basketball program focuses on weekly coverage, telling in-depth stories about C-USA athletes, coaches and administrators. The program also features a unique look at Conference USA by the Numbers. Bill Hazen Productions also produces two nationally-syndicated weekly radio programs, College Sports Weekly and StadiumsUSA Radio.