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Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo Announces Semifinalists For His ‘So You Think You Can Talk Sports” Contest on Sirius XM

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CHRIS “MAD DOG” RUSSO ANNOUNCES SEMIFINALISTS OF HIS “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN TALK SPORTS?” CONTEST ON

Five semifinalists will audition live on Mad Dog Radio this Friday, Aug. 20

Winner gets his/her own sports talk show on Mad Dog Radio this fall

XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) personality Chris “˜Mad Dog’ Russo, who headlines SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio sports talk channel,   announced today the names of the five semifinalists who will compete for the grand prize in the Mad Dog Radio “˜So You Think You Can Talk Sports?’ contest.

The semifinalists were selected by a committee comprised of Russo and other Mad Dog Radio staffers from entrants from around the country who submitted audition cds.

The Grand Prize winner, who will be announced live on air on Tuesday, September 7, wins a week of on-air training with Mad Dog himself followed by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host his or her own national sports talk show this fall on Mad Dog Radio, SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144.

“Lots of people think they can talk sports,” said Russo. “But arguing with your friends about sports and hosting a professional show for millions of listeners are two very different things.   Nearly 600 people have taken their best shot at their dream job.   These five emerged as the best and they are about to be given the spotlight.   We’ll see who shines the brightest.”

Listeners can tune in this Friday, August 20, to hear the semifinalists audition live at the SIRIUS XM studios on Russo’s daily show, Mad Dog Unleashed (2:00-7:00pm ET).

The five semifinalists are:

Josh Bertaccini

Hometown: Aberdeen,

A New York native and self-described “sports radio junkie,” Bertaccini grew up listening to Mad Dog talk sports every day.   He’s been a sports radio host in Syracuse, North Dakota and Arkansas and currently works for a station in South Dakota.

Jim Murray

Hometown: Wakefield, MA

Born and raised in the shadow of Boston, Murray is a fan of the area teams but insists he’s no Boston “homer.”   In fact, he’s happy to explain why he thinks Chicago is a better sports city than his beloved Beantown.   Murray has experience as an on air host and currently works in an off-air role for a Boston area station.

Joe Pisano

Hometown: Sugar Land ,

Pisano has never before hosted a sports talk show but he’s no stranger to performing for an audience, having worked as a stand -up comic and actor.   Growing up on Long Island , NY, Pisano was often told that his “big mouth” would take him places.

Lindsay Sullivan

Hometown: Louisville, CO

A native of Connecticut, Sullivan moved to Colorado after attending CU.   An avid sports fan and athlete since she was little, her greatest sports  memory is attending Game 6 of the 1996 World Series to see the Yankees beat the Braves.    She currently works in the restaurant business.

Nick Vella

Hometown: Denver, CO

Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Vella spent most of his career in the restaurant management business before moving to Colorado to pursue his dream of being a sports talk radio host.   He has hosted for a local web-based radio station.

Starting Monday, August 23rd, the audience can visit www.sirius.com/maddogradio to hear audio clips of the auditions and vote for their favorite performers.

Russo will select two finalists who will return to the SIRIUS XM studios on August 31 where they will co-host that day’s edition of Mad Dog Unleashed.   From that broadcast, Russo will select the winner, who will be announced to the country on September 7.

Following a week of on air training with Mad Dog, the winner will headline their own national sports talk radio show, hosting eight three-hour shows on Mad Dog Radio this fall.

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo joined SIRIUS XM Radio in 2008 to launch the exclusive national all-sports talk channel Mad Dog Radio (SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144).   Known for having helped popularize the sports talk radio format across the country, Russo is a fan favorite for his feisty, unflinchingly cand id approach to talking sports and the unrestrained, rapid-fire delivery that earned him the nickname “Mad Dog.”   Mad Dog Radio is available to listeners nationwide and covers the spectrum of sports with talk, interviews, news and live broadcasts from the biggest sporting events.

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SIRIUS XM Radio has content relationships with an array of personalities and artists, including Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O’Donnell, Jamie Foxx, Barbara Walters, Opie & Anthony, Bubba the Love Sponge ®, Bob Edwards, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Jimmy Buffett, The Grateful Dead, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. SIRIUS XM Radio is the leader in sports programming as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, Major League Baseball ®, NASCAR ®, NBA, NHL ®, and PGA TOUR ® and major college sports.

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Media Contact:
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CEO of RF Focus, Radio and Music Industry Veteran. Radio DJ, Programmer, Musician and Voice Talent. Graduated from Performing Arts in Buffalo, N.Y. and worked at the legendary KKBT (92.3 The Beat) during its nationwide heyday in the early 90s. Also worked for Stevie Wonder at KJLH.