SKOR North content director Phil Mackey said Friday that the digital site, which also broadcasts at 1500 AM, has laid off six people because of financial ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Derek Wetmore, who has covered the Twins for 1500 ESPN and SKOR North since 2013, and Matthew Coller, who has covered the Vikings since 2016, were let go. Others were radio co-host Ramie Makhlouf, social media brand manager Seth Auger, promotions manager Ross Brendel and digital contributor Jonathan Harrison.

SKOR North relaunched from the former 1500 ESPN in January 2019 using radio, apps, podcast and social media.

“These last 60 days have been really hard on sports media,” Mackey wrote on “Especially a new brand like SKOR North, which launched just over a year ago. And a recovery isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. It’s unbelievably frustrating.”

Gophers get transfer goalie

Goalie Lauren Bench, a redshirt junior with Bemidji State last season, will transfer to Minnesota for next season and, as a graduate student, will be eligible to play for the Gophers right away. She has one season of eligibility left.

She was 13-16-2 during the 2019-20 season and, in 73 career games with the Beavers had a 2.45 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.

“Lauren is a proven goaltender at the college level,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “She has won many big games in the WCHA and knows what it takes.”

Bench helped Burnsville High School advance to the Class 2A girls’ hockey state tournament in 2014.

Seven freshmen also will be joining the Gophers next season.

U volleyball recruits

ranked No. 1 in nation

The Gophers’ four-player freshman class in volleyball was ranked No. 1 in the nation by It is led by 6-4 outside hitter Taylor Landfair, whom the website ranks as the top recruit, and 6-1 outside hitter Jenna Wenaas and 6-3 setter Melani Shaffmaster, who are ranked as the fifth and sixth best players in the country.

Second in the rankings is Kentucky, followed by Texas, Wisconsin and Stanford.


• Jason Herter, the Minnesota Duluth associate head hockey coach, has left the program after nine seasons. He helped the Bulldogs win the past two NCAA tournaments.

• Aaron Fulton was named the Eastview High School boys’ hockey coach. He was the Centennial boys’ Bantam AA coach.

• Gophers tennis player Tina Kreinis, a senior from Toronto, will return next season, taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility the NCAA granted spring sports athletes. She was 5-4 in singles in dual meets, playing either at the No. 1 or 2 spots, and 16-4 overall in doubles. Minnesota was 12-3.

• Carleton junior Leo Vithoontien and Gustavus sophomore Indraneel Raut were named All-America singles players by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Senior Michael O’Neil and freshman Daniel Fouchier of Gustavus received All-America distinction in doubles.