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Major on-air change at WQAM; Gruden on Tannehill; NFL people react to Hard Knocks

 

Note: We've broken a lot of Dolphins cuts here today, including Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, BJ Cunningham, Gary Guyton. More to come. For a minute-by-minute list, check out Armando's blog.

FRIDAY MEDIA COLUMN

Four months after WQAM-560 replaced Sid Rosenberg with Dan Sileo on its afternoon drive show, the station is switching hosts again in that key time slot.

Jorge Sedano, who left 790 The Ticket’s morning show in April, on Thursday agreed to become WQAM’s new afternoon host (3 to 7 p.m.) and the station's program director, beginning Tuesday.

The station is not commenting until the staff is informed of the news on Friday.

Sileo will shift to the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot, his program sandwiched between Joe Rose and Adam Kuperstein/Steve Goldstein. That slot had been open since Michael Irvin’s contract was not renewed a month ago.

Sedano, who turns 35 on Sunday, left The Ticket to concentrate on his TV career. As it turns out, he now has landed significant gigs on both TV and radio.

Sun Sports hired Sedano on Thursday to be its pre-game and postgame host for road games, allowing Jason Jackson to report from the arena. Sedano, who attended Pace High and FIU, also will remain a part-time fill-in sports anchor for CBS-4.

“From a lifestyle perspective, this makes the most sense,” Sedano said. “When I left 790, I needed to harness my skills and work on the craft and it’s led me to this position on the TV side, so it obviously paid off.

“I felt if I wanted to get back in radio, and it was a perfect situation, I would get back. This is perfect situation. I can put my imprint on the radio station.”

As program director, Sedano replaces Lee Feldman, who left to open a bed and breakfast in Costa Rica.

“We’ve got a good talent base,” said Sedano, who will work with WQAM general manager Joe Bell. “I’d like to help everyone and put them in a position to succeed. I want to give everyone an opportunity to show me what they can do.” 

WQAM has erred in recent years by pursuing former UM players who weren't especially well-suited for daily talk shows. But early afternoons have been strengthened by Kuperstein and Goldstein; Sedano will be an upgrade on afternoon drive; and Channing Crowder remains an asset in a part-time role. 

GRUDEN ON TANNEHILL

Spoke to ESPN’s Jon Gruden on a conference call Thursday, and he is particularly interested to see how Ryan Tannehill closes games this season.

At Texas A&M, “The body of work [just 19 starts at quarterback] did concern me,” Gruden said. “You’d like to see a three-year starter. You would like to see a quarterback that finished games better. You would like to see a quarterback that dominates in the third and fourth quarter.

“They dropped plenty of passes, but I would like to see more dominant, consistent play down the stretch. The Arkansas game sticks out to me. I think they had opportunities to finish some off in the second half and didn’t quite do that. That’s the big concern I had with Tannehill.”

But because of his familiarity with the Dolphins’ offense, “he’s further along than a lot of kids that came along,” Gruden said. “He’s on the fast track. He impressed me because he’s such a great athlete.”

HARD KNOCKS REACTION

CBS’ Dan Dierdorf was watching HBO’s Hard Knocks a couple weeks ago when Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman lambasted tight ends Michael Egnew and Charles Clay in front of teammates.

“My wife turned to me and said, ‘Do coaches really talk to players like that?’” Dierdorf relayed, by phone. “I said, ‘Every day.’ It’s one thing if that happens in the meeting room and the only people that see it are the coaches and the players. But when it’s on national television, it’s embarrassing.

“You couldn’t get me within 10 miles of Hard Knocks if I were a coach. I’m sorry. That’s not conducive to building a team. I’m a believer in: What you see here and what you do here – let it stay here.”

Players obviously aren’t happy about being subjected to scathing criticism on Hard Knocks, but no Dolphins player has complained publicly.

“Who knows if it’s a scar that doesn’t heal?” Jimmy Johnson asked of players being lit into by coaches on national TV. “I would not have done Hard Knocks.”

Said CBS’ Rich Gannon: “Would Sherman want to have that out there? No. The kid [Egnew] has to answer to his parents. It’s not an ideal situation. But you get what you signed up for.”

Said Gruden: “Personnel conversations, what goes on in the practice field is nobody’s business. It’s tremendously entertaining, but it’s not for me.”

Meanwhile, what kind of impression is coach Joe Philbin making on viewers?

Johnson declined to answer that, but Dierdorf said, “What I see is promising. He doesn’t look like he rides the emotional rollercoaster.”

Said Gannon: “I’m really impressed. He’s a steadying, calming influence. He’s not a guy that’s going to overreact.”

But CBS’ Shannon Sharpe took issue with how Philbin handled Chad Johnson’s release. “He was saying, ‘It’s just not working out,’” Sharpe said off the air. “I’m still not sure he was cut!

“Philbin seemed very fidgety, very uncomfortable, with that aspect of the job. Some coaches are better than others with that. I don’t know if he was afraid that Chad might do something to him.”

Sharpe said when Baltimore released him, general manager Ozzie Newsome did it in a more straight-forward way, and Sharpe appreciated that. “He said, ‘We drafted Todd Heap. We’re moving in another direction. We will release you tomorrow.’”

Philbin was more to-the-point when he scolded Daniel Thomas for tardiness on Tuesday’s episode.

### Of the four most-watch Hard Knocks ever, two were from this year (episodes two and four) and two from the 2010 Jets series. The five-episode series concludes at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

### Tidbits: Fox hired comedian Rob Riggle to replace Frank Caliendo on its NFL pre-game show… Danny Kanell, paired with Bob Wischusen on UM-Boston College for ABC Saturday, debuted this week as the main football commentator on ESPNU’s unusual new midnight college football show, which features a comedian and in-studio musician.

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