Long-time Norm Hitzges sidekick and 1310 AM The Ticket assistant program director Mark Friedman confirms this afternoon that he has left the station to take a similar role with rival sports-talk station 103.3 FM ESPN Radio. Friedman will next week begin his new role as ESPN's APD and producer for The Michael Irvin Show.
While Friedo's talent and experience are a major coup for ESPN, the transaction also dumps more fuel on The-Ticket-Has-Seen-Better-Days fire that was already starting to spread at an alarming rate. Friedo may be the next name to leave The Ticket, but something tells me he won't be the last.
Friedman, who got his start in local radio at 570 AM KLIF producing a 1994 Sunday afternoon Fantasy Football Show with Gil Brandt, has been Hitzges' on-air sidekick and off-air right-hand man since '99. It's hard to imagine Norm getting through a two-hour show with barking "Friedo!" isn't it? For that matter, hard to imagine Norm turning on a computer or answering a cell phone without Friedo by his side to, well, turn on the computer or answer the cell phone.
If you know Friedo, you know how tough a move this is. Not that ESPN isn't presenting him a great (re: lucrative) opportunity, but the fact that he was one of The Ticket's most loyal and fervent employees - the station became part of his DNA - further exhibits the depth of unrest behind the scenes at Cumulus' Dallas outpost.
I know, I know. Irrationally loyal and rabid P1s somehow blaming this post on Richie's bitterness at not getting a Plus-1 gig commencing in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...