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Mike and the Mad Dog Shine During Reunion Special

Jason Barrett

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Despite being apart for eight years, Mike Francesa and Chris Russo haven’t lost any zip on their fastball.

The partners of 19 years on WFAN received raucous applause from the moment they took the stage for their three-hour reunion special LIVE from Radio City music hall. Russo opened with his classic, “Good afternoon, everybody!” and off they went, treating it just like any other show.

The show included live appearances by former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, former Yankees manager Joe Torre, former Rangers captain Mark Messier, former Mets skipper Bobby Valentin, and former Knicks Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy. All of them spoke with Mike and Chris for 15-20 minutes about their time in New York, and their future endeavors.

One thing that remained the same for the duo was their shtick as they offered their passionate opinions.

At one point, Russo screamed at free-agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was in the audience, to re-sign with the Jets. When Francesa countered Russo by asking “How much are they going to have to give him”? Russo replied “16 million” to which Mike followed up by adding “if that’s the number he’s heading there now to sign it. You’re going to look back in a few minutes and see an empty seat because he’s left the building to sign that deal”.

Prior to the show, Francesa and Russo allowed themselves to enjoy the moment and reflect back on what they had accomplished together.

“When we started, sports talk show was at the bottom. No one respected the job,” Francesa said. “Now kids go to school to become a sports talk show host. Now being a sports talk show host is a really good job.”

Added Russo: “Sports talk creates a bond. … I didn’t realize how many 35-, 40-year-olds are so into this. Twenty years ago, they were 10, but they listened to it with their fathers. So they have a bond with their father while listening to Mike and me.”

To buildup to the reunion show, WFAN aired a “Best of Mike and the Mad Dog” throughout the afternoon and early evening yesterday. The station brought back many of Mike and Chris’ famous debates and discussions, funny moments, and special interviews including a classic conversation with former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

The reunion special was carried LIVE on WFAN and SiriusXM radio, and on MSG television.

Credit to the New York Post who provided some of this information.

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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