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Costa Takes Aim at The St. Louis Sports Radio Scene

Jason Barrett

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Dino Costa has his share of fans and critics. The controversial talk show host is on his way to St. Louis where he’ll soon be hosting mornings on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. He debuts on Monday morning March 14th.

In a conversation with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Costa made it clear that he’s going for the throat and not holding back. When asked about his expectations for his show he said “If I don’t dominate this market in a year, I will crawl on hands and knees back to Wyoming. They’ve got some nice little shows on sports radio here but they’re ham-and-eggers for the most part. The worst thing that ever happened to other people in sports radio is the arrival of Dino Costa. I have nothing personal against any of these guys but I have to destroy them, I will destroy them, and I will dominate this market.”

That brash approach has been part of Costa’s DNA for a long time and only time will tell if it resonates with St. Louis listeners. Others have tried that approach and not performed, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t work. However, it’s clear that one of the first objectives on Dino’s end is to try and ruffle the feathers of other local personalities.

When asked about Tim McKernan, Jim Hayes and Doug Vaughn’s morning show on CBS Sports 920, WGNU-AM, he said “it’s sophomoric, juvenile, and a lot of sexual talk. McKernan, appeals to a younger demographic. He can keep the kids. I’ll take everybody else.”

He also took aim at market ratings leader 101 ESPN. Costa said of morning host Bernie Miklasz, “I have been a longtime fan of Bernie from his days writing for the Post-Dispatch, and he was a huge fan of my show on SiriusXM. I love Bernie. But it’s unfortunate I now have to destroy him, and I do so without apology or any hesitancy.”

In addition to hosting mornings, Costa is also jumping into the programming end. Since joining the station he’s dumped Dan Patrick’s show in favor of a Blues-specific program hosted by Dave Rapp, and he’s extended an offer to Curt Schilling, although it appears to be a publicity stunt. Costa though says the offer is legitimate.

What’s even more interesting, is that he’s joining a radio station which includes Kevin Slaten, a market veteran who’s built a career as St. Louis’ bad guy, and wears that title like a badge of honor. When asked about Dino’s arrival, Slaten gave him a ringing endorsement.

“There’s something new and fresh about his show that I think people will gravitate to. I think this is a home run for St. Louis. If St. Louis doesn’t give him a fair chance, shame on them.”

But although Slaten offered praise to Dino, the response from Costa wasn’t as warm.

“As long as Slaten stays the (expletive) out of my way we won’t have any problems. I think my presence is going to bring his game up. From what I’ve listened to Kevin, I think he is very good. But he could be so much better.”

His approach and attitude may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Dino Costa operates a certain way, and KFNS knows what they signed up for. The ability to generate headlines, make noise, and create interest are right in Dino’s wheelhouse. The real question is will that style and approach be received favorably by St. Louis listeners?

If it works, KFNS will benefit. If not, it’ll be an experiment that was tried and didn’t prove to be unsuccessful. Either way, they’re taking a risk to get people to take notice of the brand. Now it’s up to the audience to decide if KFNS’ risk was worth it.

 

 

Sports Radio News

Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media

“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.

Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.

“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.

“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”

Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”

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Gregg Giannotti

A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.

During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.

“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.

“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”

Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.

The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”

“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”

“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.

“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”

After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.

“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’

“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.

That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.

Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.

“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”

Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.

“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”

Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”

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