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War of Words Escalates Between Francesa and DiPietro

Jason Barrett

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Mike Francesa occasionally likes to mix it up. Especially with other members of the media, and local franchises that don’t produce large levels of attention in New York City.

It’s no secret that Francesa’s interest in hockey is small, but with the New York Islanders in the playoffs, he’s given them a little bit of publicity. Unfortunately for the organization, it’s for the wrong reason.

Last week on WFAN, “The Sports Pope” as he’s often referred to, trashed the organization for the way they market their product.

“I’m going to be honest with you – they’re not very good at promoting themselves. They’re third rate at promoting themselves,” Francesa said.

“They don’t know how to promote themselves. They couldn’t even find the time to get the coach to show up here. We were willing to take him. They couldn’t even get him to the show on time. So I mean, they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re a little lost right now. They’re in a little deep. Now their players aren’t, but the organization is. Their organization right now as far as what it’s doing, especially from a PR standpoint, is lost. I mean, third rate at best.”

That led to former Islanders goalie-turned-radio host on 98.7 FM ESPN Rick DiPietro standing up for his former employer and firing back at Francesa. He spoke about the playoff experience being new to the Islanders, and in the process called Francesa a “fatso”.

Not one to let things go quietly, Francesa took the bait and responded. After delivering another jab to the Islanders organization by reminding fans that tickets were still available for Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he saved some of his sharpest remarks for DiPietro.

“He felt he needed to protect the team that’s paying him, and I might have a warm spot for a team that was paying me through 2029 when I’ve done nothing but shoot my mouth off and bilk them out of a 15-year contract and have a losing record for my career,” said Mike.

“Just shut your mouth and be happy you have somewhere to go to work every day. From what I understand, you play goalie better than you’re on the radio, which isn’t saying much. Stick to a league you can compete in. In the radio business, you’re you and I’m Gordie Howe. The happiest day of their life was getting out from under that 15-year mess.”

Upon hearing of Francesa’s comments, DiPietro responded by labeling the WFAN talk show host as “Sports Precious”, “Radio Precious”, and asserting that he hopes Francesa will call into the show after he performs in July at the Coney Island Hot Dog eating competition.

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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Sports Radio News

Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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