Some breaking broadcast news: As expected, the Dolphins are moving their games back to WQAM-560, multiple sources said Wednesday night.
An announcement is expected Thursday.
WINZ-940 and Big 105.9 had carried Dolphins games the past six seasons and parent company iHeartRadio made a bid to retain rights. 790 The Ticket also met with Dolphins management.
But the Dolphins instead decided to accept what is believed to have been a very attractive financial offer from CBS Radio, which purchased WQAM from Beasley Broadcasting last year.
WKIS-99.9 FM will simulcast the games with WQAM, and there will be expanded pregame and postgame shows.
Jimmy Cefalo, WQAM morning host Joe Rose and Bob Griese are expected to remain the team's radio announcers.
This will mark WQAM's third stint as the team's flagship station; 'QAM carried the team's games from 1997 through 2004 and from 2007 through 2009, before the Dolphins moved to WINZ, drawn in part by the lure of becoming one of the few teams in pro sports to have their own five-day-a-week talk show, even during the offseason.
Unlike WINZ, WQAM will not carry a daily Dolphins program, but the team did not ask for one, because the Dolphins' new management did not value that nearly as much as the former management did.
In fact, the Dolphins canceled their daily "Finsiders" show on WINZ in March because it no longer wanted to finance and produce a daily program.
The Dolphins replaced that program with more digital content, which has drawn strong traffic. The first 25 episodes of "Dolphins Daily" drew more than 2.3 million viewers.
WQAM will now have rights to both the Dolphins and University of Miami and might retain rights to the Florida Panthers, whose contract has expired. WINZ, in losing the Dolphins, is left with only the Marlins among local teams.
Meanwhile, 790 The Ticket has agreed to a longterm contract extension to continue carrying Heat games.
This Dolphins regime has never attempted to put a muzzle on critical hosts. But WQAM host Orlando Alzugaray, while a fan of the team, has been especially scathing in his criticism of this Dolphins front office and ownership and it will be interesting to see if his tone becomes less caustic with the Dolphins moving to his station.
PAT RILEY'S PRESS CONFERENCE
Highlights from Pat Riley's postseason press conference:
• On Chris Bosh: "We, all of us, it's not just the Heat, the doctors and also Chris are looking to proceed forward to find a way to get him back on the court. That's all we can say right now. We are very encouraged by trying to find a way over the next two or three months to find a protocol and program that will get him back playing. That's always been our objective. We're in this together. It's an X factor when it comes to everything we plan on doing this summer. First things first is to sidle up along with Chris Bosh and see where we can go up right to the end with this.
"Last year, we were blindsided and Chris was too, by what happened to him. This year, when it happened, we're in it eyes wide open with him. We all knew what the treatment was going to be last year. And we went through that. When we got to that point this year, we approach it in a way where we can get Chris back on the court. That's his desire. That would be our desire [for him to play] but it will have to be done in a way we all feel good about. It's two years in a row. It definitely has hurt the team, but more so than anybody, he's the one who's suffering through it... Up to the All-Star break, he was our best player."
He said it's impossible to put a time frame on when there will be resolution on Bosh. "We will join in him in trying to find a way to get him back on the court. That's what it's about."
• On impending Hassan Whiteside: "He's obviously our No.1 priority, period. You don't have to look further than that. While there might be players out there in free agency, our No. 1 priority is Hassan Whiteside. He's 26. He's a game changer.
"I don't think he's even reached his real ceiling in a couple areas of the game that I think that now he will be more comfortable with once his situation ends. When a player spends six years of his career having everybody tell him why he's not good enough to be in the NBA. What young players do first is try to show you I'm good enough to play in the NBA. That could be individually important; it might not be as good for the team. Once that's out of the way, the roof is the ceiling. He has shown all of us he can be 15 and 15 and 4 blocked shots and 70 percent field goal guy. There are other layers to his game I think he can even be better at. He's very, very, very high on our priority list.
"I met with him the other day and asked if he likes chocolate gummies in his gift basket or do I need to take you to Parrot Jungle or get you on a ferry ride or take you on the best locations to buy a house in Miami or do you need a sight-seeing tour. He smiled and said, no coach, I know enough about Miami.
"He will be right there at 12:01 am [July 1] for us. I want to build a team that can win and he's got to be part of it. You get to the other part of negotiations and find out how much he wants to win, too. That doesn't mean anybody has to take a haircut.... He's got to carry a load almost every night that will allow you to win and be a contender. I think he can do that....
"I saw him in Texas with [Heat scouting chief] Chet [Kammerer]. He was playing for Marshall. He was in the middle of the lane with his hands up. Tall, skinny guy. They had him in the middle of the lane on defense with his hands up.... We thought about drafting him at 32, 31. Going from high school to college, failing in the NBA. Going to Lebanon, going to China, NBDL. Yes, he fell into our lap at a time when he had enough of people not believing what he could do. He had a little bit of an angry approach to it, as you know. I would have treated the Kelly Olynyk thing different [his altercation with the Boston center last year]. I've told him how to treat those things now --- not chase a guy down 50 feet and get ejected for two games. He can make up those kinds of things in the paint.
"So he learned a lot. What he brought to us was he brought this incredible talent, this state of the art talent. There was an anger to him at that time that he wanted to prove he can play. He's proven that. He's had quite a journey over the last five or six years. We have him here and we want to keep him here.
"We want you now to be able to carry a team, and that's going to take a lot more focus and discipline and growth and understanding what winning is all about. I think he's ready for that.
"Everybody knows the kind of impact he has. All of them probably think the same way I do that there's an upside to this guy. That's important. It's important we contact him and make him our priority because it isn't just to attract other free agents. It's for us to want to win. I want to build a team that can win. He's got to be part of that."
• Overall thoughts: "I would like to keep the real core of the team together and build from there. You know we're always looking for a whale [meaning superstar], if there's one out there. we have the flexibility to do that. It changes things. That is the difficult question for me. How far have we come and how good are we? That really can't be answered. That can only be answered hypothetically if Chris was healthy. Then you would have a real idea of how everything fit.
"All you can do is go back and lament he didn't have the time with Goran when Goran was playing his best basketball. He didn't have the time with Hassan with the both of them in the playoffs. I do believe with what we have, and with Dwyane's leadership. I told Dwyane today, I think this is the best season he's had prior to the Big Three. This was better than any season he had when he was with the Big Three, even though we went to the Finals four years in a row and won two championships. He had to disperse his game a little bit for everybody else.
"To take on the load and the pressure and to go back to what we expect of that kind of player every night, which is an all of the time superstar. There is no such thing as an all of the time superstar... He played 74 games and I want him to continue to think about 74 as a magic number. And not go over 230 pounds this summer or I'll go looking for him.
"I think we're close. We took a step forward. This team was one of the best locker-rooms we've had. Guys really respect each other. We have great internal leadership. Great growth from our young guys. Our veterans can play. We have a good mix. I'm very optimistic. Why would I not be optimistic? Plus, we have the flexibility this year and next year."
• On whether to give Wade one year or more in his next contract this summer: "We'll sit down and talk about that with Dwyane. He wants to win as much as he wants to do anything. Compensation, to a player, is not just a way to get paid and live your life. Compensation to a player is about recognition and respect. We know where he belongs.... He's a lifer. What he's done in this city over the last 13 years is irreplaceable. We want to do the right thing, there's no doubt."
• Overall: "I really think we took a major step forward this year. All of you know me: I'm never satisfied with ever ending a season early. When you objectively look at where we were two years ago and where we are today and the possibilities not only of an infusion of young talent that already have been through a little bit of an pressure cooker. The opportunity this summer this summer we may have...
"The flexibility we have created, we took a big step forward. Fourteen games in the playoffs like we just played. When you have adversity, you don't make any excuses and move on and say you can win in spite of that. Well, it was a little bit too much [adversity] in the seventh game against Toronto, but 14 great, tough compelling playoff games. I'm looking forward to what's going to happen in the summer."
• Does he see this as a 1-year or 2-year process with both 2016 and 2017? Is this a two-summer process?
""Trying to keep flexibility is very important. You build a team, keep the corps together and add some young players and develop from within. Try to keep your corps guys together. I do think you've got to keep one eye looking at the market. If you take a look at all the teams that have lottery picks, God bless them... Unless a team that's a contender was able to get one... All these great gifted superstars of the future are on losing teams. I thought we got one last year in Justise; we were fortunate....
"To me, the only way you can make a dramatic change in our team is to get a proven superstar if you can sometimes in free agency. Every now and then, it happens. You have to keep yourself a little bit flexible for that opportunity."
• On Justise Winslow: "Justise can pretty much fit into [positions] anywhere 2 through 4 if you want to use him that way and he can run offense for you. Eventually, he will be playing the position he's very comfortable with and that will be in the frontcourt somewhere."
• On Luol Deng: "Like Goran, a tough start. Once LeBron left, it was a free fall to put things back together and I think we did. Lu saved us even though we didn't make the playoffs [last year].... He found his way along with Goran, again, in the middle of the season. He was defending all the perimeter players; he was getting more space to run and cut. He's a great leader, high character guy. We love him. I consider him one of our core people. We've got to try to do everything we can do to keep him."
• On needing three-point shooters: "If you can get a lot of players who are rhythm shooters and can develop the range to consistently make threes, it isn't as much go out and get three-point shooters. You've got to run a very coherent, intelligent offense to make them productive. It just doesn't happen. There are some guys like Kyle Korver, JR Smith, are off the charts. There are other guys you have to create open areas for them to make shots.
"You can become a great three-point shooting team by creating opportunities that are comfortable for players who are good shooters. Our staff is one of the very best in developing players who might not be that comfortable out there, and all of a sudden, they become good, then they become efficient, then they become maybe prolific.
"If somebody were to tell me that Josh Richardson was going to lead the league in three-point shooting after the All-Star break, I would have lost my house and my wife and everything. He felt very comfortable in what he was doing and how we were playing."
• How do you go about determining how close you are to a championship? "You always do something from within first. Who do we really feel is vital to our roster right now that we already know about? We have a good feeling about that. Then the opportunities through trades and free agency to try to find a player or couple players that fit. You don't know what teams are going to be gaining or losing players. The whole landscape in the Eastern Conference could change with who's competitive and who isn't. It's hard to gauge that."
• Riley likes the Heat's fast-paced tempo after the break and hope it continues, but that's Spoelstra's call.
"You can run. You can play half-court. You can pressure defense. You can pack the paint. You can do a lot of things. Right now, with everybody talking about how you need to play to win, it's predicated absolutely on your personnel. Yes, we would like to play at a fast pace. Erik did a great job putting together something that was very coherent and opened up the floor for our best players. It's not a secret that something did look different after the All-Star break. And he had to do it.
"How he decides to play next year will be determined on what he sees in training camp. It isn't just an offensive game. You talk up tempo basketball, you go find our best offensive games, we're probably holding teams to 38, 39 percent, 40 percent. Your offense is only as good as what you do on the defensive end. You want to explode out of there? You better make some stops. You better rebound the ball. That's why Hassan is so important to us in a lot of ways. He will block shots, he will rebound the ball, he'll change 10 other shots. He will scare the hell out of four or five other people coming into the paint. He's got some intangibles that you simply can't find.
"It's the same thing from a defensive standpoint. We're seeing 60, 70 pick and rolls a game. Offensive players are becoming so proficient in the downhill concept of getting to the rim and opening holes for shooters. That has to be dealt with. You might play three pick and roll defenses differently in a 24 second shot clock because of the multiple pick and rolls you see. It was very simple for me 10 years ago, everything we could trap and suffocate, we would do. We did it pretty good. You can't do that today. You have to have multiple schemes that players have to pick up and sometimes it's not that easy for a lot of players to pick up the schemes quickly."
• On Dragic: "He will start Aug. 1 training with his national team once a day. We are going to send a coach or coaches over to work with him. He needs to develop his game a little bit in certain areas based on how the game is being played....
"Last year, he talked about how crazy it was -- the trade, his wife was pregnant, couldn't find a house, went back [to Europe]. It was really unsettling. Now he's settled. I said you can't use that excuse next year. That's over. We already gave you the 'I wasn't settled; I wasn't in shape; I didn't play in the national team. He's got a free summer. He's happy. He's healthy. His No. 1 objective is to come back in October in better shape and a better player.
He's got to improve his game in certain areas of his game. I've see players at 32, 33, get better in certain areas of their game.... I keep telling him 50 [percent from the field], 80 [percent on free throws], 40 [percent from the free-throw line]. I will give you 10 percent on your free throws because you'll be tired from picking your ass up off the floor from getting knocked down all the time for all that space that Spoelstra is going to create for you.
"That's another thing. Come on, you've got to create something just to make sure he gets space. He's got to be a player than can create and score when there is no space. That's part of the game also, because when teams start to take things away from you and the offense that the coach creates, what are you going to do? Sit you on the bench. No, we're not going to do that to you. That's up to you to go out of the box... He said, 'I totally understand, coach.'"
• He said Josh Richardson is probably a two-guard longterm. "Josh is not going to run offense for you. He can get you into offense. Especially he will have to develop a catch and shoot jump shot game, catch and shoot threes. What I like about him best to this day... is his defensive ability, his competitiveness, his character. I don't think I've ever seen many guards come from behind and block shots the way that he does. He has really good timing as a defensive player. Now, as teams will take away what they think is a new-found three point shooter, is putting his head on the ball, putting the ball on the floor, and taking the ball to the rim.
"His upside is there. Justise's is there. We like Tyler Johnson, as you know. I am excited to see what Briante Weber is going to do in the summer league. We've got a lot of good guards. Most of our guards are two-way guards."
• On Dwyane Wade's threes: "It was something he had to go to to win some games. He used to do that for us. He used to be able to hit threes occasionally in big game situations. He has always been a to-the-rim guy, a medium range jump shooter and to the free throw line. That's what he was. Three-point shots were only prayers, end of shot clocks. He would make them.
"When you work in a program like Coach Spo has for our three-pointers, if you did it for 20 minutes a day, you are going to improve. He has a release point and he has a shot that will allow him to move at least two or three feet back without throwing the ball out there.
"The threes I saw him make, every time he lifted and released, I said, this has got a chance. And the ones before, when he was jacking them up, they had no chance. He is going to need that a little bit, too, next year. Maybe he could become a 40 percent, 38 percent three-point shooter. I wouldn't give him an open look. Once he went to work with the coaches on it, that shot, if he had to take it, was normal. That would be a big added part of his game next year because nobody ever thinks he can do that."
• On Josh McRoberts: "You saw a little bit of it in the playoffs. What you saw against Toronto in the last couple of games and even against Charlotte. He's really a unique player in a lot of ways. That's why we signed him. Being sidelined and really stopped in his tracks from playing consistently is the No. 1 reason why he's sort of out there; we don't know.
"When you watch players play with him, who know how to play with him, they're very effective. He's very unorthodox. Once you get it down knowing how to play with him --- he's going to do something out of the box. He will see it and the team will see it. He will drive baseline under the basket, and he will see a guy making a slot cut, and he will throw it behind his back. The day those two players see that happening one dribble before, is when you will see the value of a Josh McRoberts.
"He has the ability to make plays at 6-10, 6-11, and the consistency of being able to shoot 38, 37 percent from three, which I think he's capable of. He never got enough opportunities. We're still high on him. We're praying all the time he stays healthy."
• On Udonis Haslem's future: "Whatever he wants to do. I'm 71 and Udonis is 36. I thought he was 33. He still has the fire in him to compete. Going from what Udonis provided to a team as an on the floor every night warrior to an off the floor and a situational player and an incredible big time leader. He said he learned more than ever about leadership this year in thinking about what he had to bring to the team that day because he wanted to talk to Hassan or Justise or Gerald or somebody.... What he got was a great result. Who's to say UD wasn't one of the reasons that locker room wasn't so copacetic?
"He can still play. He played in the Charlotte series and gave us great minutes. That's what we want - a player who wants to play but preaches to the players, 'this is the way you have to be and if I'm going to sacrifice... by not playing, I don't want to hear it from you... You better be working.' He's like Dwyane, like Zo. He's a forever guy."
• The Heat has no draft pick. His staff "is putting together the books just as though we had a lottery pick. When that time comes, we'll set up the draft room. Between now and the draft, there will be a lot of conversations. We'll see whether we jump back in the first and the second if we can. We will be very well educated on the players who may not be [drafted]. It's just another step in the process of finding players."
• On Riley's future: "I don't know what else I would do. The reason I still really want to do this is the development and growth of Andy Elisburg. Before that, Randy Pfund, Dave Wohl. To see Erik's growth not only as a coach but someone who has a personnel bent. And rightfully so, because it's his system. To have Adam Simon and Chet Kammerer and Keith Askins.... There have been a lot of people that have grown with me and have somewhat alleviated the pressure of the day to day things I don't want to do, so I can sit there in the dark and stare at my screen-saver and come up with ways to get Micky into the tax but also play for championships. [Laughs all around the room here]
"There will be one day when they will be next and it will be on them and I can be laughing at them from some island somewhere about sustainability. It's a privilege. The NBA has served all of us well."