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Michael Kay Beat Mike Francesa In The Month of June

Jason Barrett

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Down goes Francesa. Down goes Francesa. Down goes Francesa.

Ok, maybe a win in the New York ratings book doesn’t capture the world’s attention the way Muhammad Ali did when he knocked out Smokin’ Joe Frazier. However, when a sports radio icon dominates the ratings the way Mike Francesa has on WFAN, and points out frequently how strong the show’s performance has been, and then suffers a head to head defeat against a local sports radio competitor for the first time ever, it’s a big deal.

For the June book (May 25-June 21), the Michael Kay Show on 98.7FM ESPN New York beat Francesa between the hours of 3p-6:30p ET. Kay finished with a 5.2 to 5.1 advantage among Men 25-54. Francesa was not on vacation during this time and WFAN did have the benefit of airing New York Yankees baseball.

Another impressive note worth pointing out, over the past 12 months, Kay’s show has gained ground in the ratings. The program has added seven tenths of a ratings point and three ratings positions. Francesa’s program during that time has declined by eight tenths while slipping from second to fourth. The separation in daily cume between the two stations was also very minimal for June (6,600). It’s usually 20-30 thousand higher in favor of WFAN.

The June ratings win marks the first head to head victory for the Kay Show since it began airing on 98.7FM ESPN New York in 2002. The show has consistently rated in the top 10 but hadn’t been able to unseat WFAN’s afternoon ratings king.

Making the accomplishment even more interesting is the timing. Earlier this week Kay talked to Bob Klapisch of The Record. When asked about his program and how it measured up to Francesa’s he said, ““Our show is quantifiably better than Mike’s. It’s funny, not one guy bloviating. It’s three guys (along with Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg) and laughing, having a good time. We don’t dread it and that comes across to our listeners. We’ve made unbelievable inroads. People are noticing.”

Kay continued, “I used to listen to Mike and Mad Dog all the time. It was innovative and fun; you had to listen. But I defy anyone who listens to our show to say it’s not better. There’s no way that if Mike started today, he would be No. 1 in the market.”

Although Kay has reason to celebrate June, the news wasn’t all bad for Francesa, In fact, his show did finish ahead for the spring book (April-May-June). During that three month stretch, WFAN generated a 5.7 between the hours of 3p-6:30p which was good enough for 4th place. Kay registered a 4.9, placing 6th.

The latest ratings news have to be concerning for WFAN officials because it’s a position they’re unfamiliar being in. They may point to Mike’s show remaining strong from 1p-6:30p, which is when it airs in its entirety, but never before have they finished behind Kay during the heart of afternoon drive.

With Francesa exiting in the next few months it’s natural to wonder how long the audience will stay faithful when they sense the end of the show is near. The timing is also problematic because Francesa is off for the majority of the summer for vacation. That provides Kay with an opportunity to steal a few meters and build on his recent momentum.

Given the latest developments, the pressure CBS Radio New York executives are under will only intensify. They’re tasked with finding a dynamic afternoon show that has the potential to replace Francesa, and excite New York sports radio listeners in 2018 and beyond. Adding to the challenge is undergoing a massive lineup change while the competition rides the highest wave of their broadcasting existence.

For now, Michael Kay, Don LaGreca and Peter Rosenberg have earned their moment in the sun. June was a memorable book for the talented trio. Now it’s their job to stay there a while and prove it wasn’t a one month fluke. In the words of Jim Ross, business is about to pick up!

Sports Radio News

Matt Moscona Named PD of 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge

“Watching 104.5 ESPN grow from its inception to one of the most respected brands in sports talk in the country has been extraordinary.”

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104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge host Matt Moscona has been named Program Director of the Guaranty Media station.

Moscona hosts After Further Review, which is simulcast on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge as well as as 100.3 ESPN New Orleans. He also hosts the Rosters to Riches podcast, which discusses the largest stories in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

“Watching 104.5 ESPN grow from its inception to one of the most respected brands in sports talk in the country has been extraordinary,” Moscona said. “I’m honored to have been chosen to help continue our growth in this new role.”

Moscona joined Guaranty Media in 2010 after a stint at iHeartMedia in Baton Rouge.

“Matt Moscona is the perfect person to help grow ESPN Baton Rouge as we continue to increase the amount of content we produce and the number of platforms we are distributing that content to daily,” Guaranty Media GM Gordy Rush said.

“Matt’s dedication to the growth of the brand from day one and how that impacts the listeners and the businesses we serve makes him the perfect person to bring 1045 ESPN to the next level,” added Guaranty Media COO TJ Solis.

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Sports Radio News

Maggie Gray: Kids Don’t Belong at Postgame Press Conferences

“I’m not saying kids shouldn’t be part of this, but to be up there in the press conference after a game? No.”

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A video of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni’s daughter went viral after she mimicked him during the NFC Championship Game postgame press conference. And while she believes it’s cute, CBS Sports Radio host Maggie Gray believes kids don’t need to be there.

During Maggie and Perloff Monday, Gray contended that the press conference is when people are working, and simply isn’t a place children need to be.

“All professional athletes: your kids are cute. They’re all cute,” Gray said. “We both have kids, they’re cute. Kids are naturally cute. We can see your kids down on the field with confetti, I’m not saying kids shouldn’t be part of this, but to be up there in the press conference after a game? No. These are reporters trying to do their job, number one. And two, we have plenty of time to see your kids. They shouldn’t be up there.”

Gray was joined by Eliot Shorr-Parks, the Philadelphia Eagles reporter for 94WIP. He slightly disagreed while co-host Andrew Perloff remained mostly quiet on the subject.

Some critics have argued athletes and coaches have utilized their children as a quasi-shield from tough, difficult, or uncomfortable questions. While Gray doesn’t posit that here, she does make the case that the press conference is an area where reporters are trying to work, and the distraction of children isn’t conducive to that environment.

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti: Kay Adams Grabbed My Man Boob

“I’m not upset at her. I’m more upset with me for possessing these man boobs.”

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Gregg Giannotti

Many of sports media’s biggest personalities are assembled in Arizona for Radio Row at the Super Bowl. WFAN morning host Gregg Giannotti was introduced to FanDuel TV’s Kay Adams yesterday, and he will remember the interaction for years to come.

During Boomer & Gio Tuesday morning, Giannotti explained the interaction came to be after he was going to 93.7 The Fan’s area to record an interview with Andrew Fillipponi when the pair bumped into Adams, who Fillipponi works with on the sports betting cable channel.

“The first thing she does is the classic ‘Where’s Boomer? Why isn’t he here? He doesn’t want to see me? Where did he go?’ So I go ‘You smell that rubber, Kay? That’s Boomer’,” explained Giannotti. “So then, I look over and she’s got a display of a tequila competitor that’s in front of her set, that’s not Casamigos. So then she sees me wearing the Casamigos sweatshirt that you have on, so playfully — she’s not angered by this, but playfully — she says ‘Oh no, no, no. You can’t wear that around here.’

“She puts her hand right here on my left man boob, and covers up the logo, and gives me two squeezes on the left man boob. Now, I am — at this point — completely floored. Because never once in my life — man, female — has anyone grabbed my man boob and gave it a honk-honk. And that’s what happened.”

“Was it titillating?” Boomer Esiason laughingly asked. Giannotti responded with a resounding no.

“It felt weird. It wasn’t titillating. It’s emasculating. It wasn’t like she was rubbing the back of my head saying ‘Oh, I love Boomer & Gio‘, she’s grabbing the most self-conscious part of my body and honking it.”

“She honked your boob,” Esiason said. “Did you honk her boob back?”

“Of course not!” shouted Giannotti. “I wouldn’t be sitting here right now!”

When asked by Esiason if he had PTSD or was upset about the situation, Giannotti said he was more upset with himself.

“I’m not upset at her. I’m more upset with me for possessing these man boobs and allowing something like this to happen. It’s more of a self-deprecation thing with me. Whatever she said after that, I don’t remember. It’s just black,” Giannotti joked.

“The whole time I’m just thinking ‘honk-honk, Kay Adams, the thing in the NFL right now, honk-honk, Kay Adams, oh look there’s Kay Adams, what’s Kay Adams wearing, Oh my god Kay Adams is here’ and the first time I meet her she’s going ‘honk-honk’ on my man boob.”

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