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Why Does Eli Do WFAN Call-Ins?

Jason Barrett

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Eli Manning is not a local radio star. He just gets paid like one.

He earns somewhere around $250,000 per season, according to radio sources, for his weekly appearances that last a few minutes on WFAN. This is a mere pittance compared to the $84 million contract ($65 million guaranteed) he just signed with the Giants.

Manning does not need the radio money. So, why does he bother doing the weekly spot? Why deal with the aggravation these sessions produce? Likewise for all the other players — including Odell Beckham Jr., Muhammad Wilkerson and Prince Amukamara — who currently are paid (far, far, far less than Manning) to run their mouth on the radio. Outside of the cash, what good does it do them?

There’s much more downside, even risk.

Look at the week Manning just had.

His scatter-brained approach late in Sunday night’s Dallas fiasco had the media whipping him like desperate jockeys down the stretch at Aqueduct. Instead of being able to lay low Monday, Manning had to fulfill his radio commitment and explain his bizarre decisions to Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa, who on this occasion decided not to interrupt.

Granted, Manning’s audience with the pontiff was followed by a conference call with reporters. Still, Francesa had it straight from the quarterback’s mouth — first, which means even more now in the world of tweetily-dee. WFAN got its money’s worth out of Manning. It was a win for the FANdroids.

Manning? He may as well have left that interview session with a “Rip Me” sign on his back. By no means was this the first time Manning delivered, to his own detriment, on the radio.

In 2011, while yakking for ESPN-98.7, Michael Kay asked him if he was a “top 10, top five” quarterback.

“Yeah, I think I am,” Manning said at the time. Asked specifically if he was the same level as Tom Brady, Manning paused and then said: “Yeah, I consider myself in that class. And Tom Brady is a great quarterback.”

For ESPN-98.7, this was a major score. For Manning it was a another lesson on being an object of ridicule. He had deposited himself smack in the middle of a controversy and a debate that raged inside the Valley of the Stupid and other media precincts. To this very day, it still resurrects itself, especially when Manning pulls a rock and the first-time-caller, long-time-moron crowd takes over.

When station brass enters a radio relationship with a player it is always one-sided. The suits know the eventual upside (aka ANY type controversy) is worth their investment. The minor risk is the cat is reluctant to go off the script (that’s the direction Wilkerson has taken on FAN with Joe Benigno/Evan Roberts) written by the team’s PR department, leaving the Gasbags to carry him.

And Wilkerson is quite a load.

Benigno: “What about your contract, Muhammad?”

Wilkerson: “You better take that up with my agent.”

Scintillating radio, right?

Come on, Manning must have a valid reason to risk being put on the spot for what, in his world, is chump change. There’s this notion as the face of the Giants, Manning wants to put his “message” out to the unwashed masses after each game. That sounds nice but rings totally hollow. Is this about Manning looking down the road at landing a TV gig when he retires? His understated delivery suggests this is not what he aspires to.

A variety of marketing agents, who negotiate radio deals for current NFL players, say Manning actually extends his media profile by doing radio, which could help lead to more endorsements. Considering the number of commercials Manning appears in, the strategy is working.

Others who don’t possess a quarter of Manning’s marquee value take the radio plunge simply so the public can hear them speak. This helps when it comes to landing personal appearances, which are far, far less lucrative than commercial endorsements.

Yet for these guys, the odds of radio appearances leading to more money, in terms of endorsements or a TV job when they retire, are long. In fact, the appearances can have a far more detrimental affect than the fallout Manning got after the “elite” spot with Kay or Manning’s recent conversation with the Pope.

Like when Jeremy Shockey went into self-destructive mode in 2002 doing a weekly appearance with Francesa and Chris (Mad Dog) Russo. They came on strong with Shockey, who was taking their heat for the grand sum of $1,000 per appearance. Shockey reacted to FranDog’s tough line of questioning by either showing up late or not showing up at all. For this, the Gasbags labeled him “unreliable” and “unprofessional.” Shockey never shook that perception.

On the other side of the equation is Antrel Rolle, who was must-listen radio when he performed on WFAN with Benigno/Roberts. Rolle stirred the pot and took the heat that came his way. For all this, Rolle, now on the Bears, can’t get a radio gig in Chicago.

Maybe he should consult with Eli.

Credit to the NY Daily News who originally published this article

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Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”

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Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.

“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”

Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.

Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.

“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”

While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.

“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”

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David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP

“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”

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WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.

Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.

David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.

“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”

The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.

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Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy

“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”

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As has been previously speculated, the New York Mets and WCBS have officially announced the additions of Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to its radio broadcast team.

Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.

McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.

“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”

Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.

“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”

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