Connect with us
blank

Sports Radio News

WFAN’s Dysfunction Could Benefit All Involved

Brandon Contes

Published

on

It’s been a bizarre eight months for WFAN, a station who’s weekday lineup remained stagnant for nine years following Chris Russo’s departure on August 14, 2008. Nearly a decade later, The FAN has been on a rollercoaster ride of change, beginning with Craig Carton’s resignation last September and continuing through Mike Francesa’s imminent comeback mirroring that of Jay Leno.

“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days,” said Francesa. “I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back. For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.”

As someone who follows the New York sports radio scene rather intently, I struggled to find where “this campaign” began. Could it have been the two-year celebratory farewell? Maybe the ESPN 30 for 30, or the sold out event in his honor, Francesa: A Night to Remember. Was it everyone assuming Mike would play the role of hero and remain with WFAN after Craig Carton’s arrest last September?

For someone who left on his own terms, it’s hard to find where any sort of conspiracy to keep Francesa from returning stems from. The Afternoon Drive treated his departure with class, avoiding a response to criticism even when listeners expected one. The only resemblance of poking the bear in recent weeks came from a reported Chris Carlin text containing salty language after Mike and the Mad Dog joked about FAN’s lineup on an episode of Russo’s MLB Network show High Heat.

Good for Chris Carlin for showing some fight, and not backing down from his mentors because Francesa certainly wouldn’t back down from him or anyone else.

Mike’s return will be highly anticipated by fans, but it’s difficult to foresee him being celebrated by many of his coworkers. Carlin, Maggie and Bart took the high road during Tuesday’s show open in response to swirling reports of Francesa’s comeback, however, there’s no doubt tensions will be running high between CMB and Mike. Does it matter? Pick up a New York newspaper this week and it’s easy to see why WFAN wants him back.

The station may prefer things settle down and everyone come together as a cohesive unit, but more back page publicity won’t hurt their attempt to climb to the number one position in the ratings. The previous morning show regime never shied away from initiating controversy with Francesa and it doesn’t appear as though Boomer has since warmed up to the Sports Pope. Between CMB getting bumped, Francesa’s rocky relationship with Carlin and Boomer, along with Giannotti’s spot on impression of Mike, WFAN’s dynamic should be entertaining.

If Carlin, Maggie and Bart move to the 1-3 timeslot as expected, the trio will get the opportunity to grow with less pressure on their shoulders. But for a three-person show that struggled to find rhythm during four and a half hours, developing their style might be difficult with only two hours to work with. It’ll also be awkward hearing them lead into Francesa, the host who couldn’t move on and cost them their opportunity. Still, listeners should expect a fire to be lit under CMB who have the opportunity to experiment and build their show.

The microscope falls on Francesa. CMB’s ratings should perform better against Stephen A. Smith’s national show on 98.7 FM ESPN New York. The Michael Kay Show is no longer expected to win the afternoon drive ratings battle because after all they have never defeated Mike. That means the pressure is on Francesa to return and immediately deliver results, but that challenge, competitive fire and need to be heard on the New York radio airwaves is a big part of what lured him back to FAN.

There are two clear winners in this story. The first is the radio fan, the consumer, because regardless of your Mike Francesa opinion, you are intrigued by the unfolding of his comeback. Few people had the daily sports presence of Mike Francesa during the last 30 years and his return is fascinating to watch. Seeing Mike and WFAN trend nationally on Twitter speaks volumes for a near hundred-year old form of media, but Tuesday’s radio news had people scrambling to find out more.

The second winner is Andrew Marchand. Leaving the Yankees beat to cover sports media could appear to be a downgrade, but Marchand has been front and center, performing a tremendous job of reporting this story.

The move looks hypocritical and desperate, and it comes across as a panic move for both Francesa and WFAN. It’s clear now that Mike had no post-WFAN plan. There were entities interested in retaining his services, but nothing that provided the same platform or paycheck that WFAN did.

The Fan also shares blame because they lacked the courage to standby a new program in The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Maggie and Bart, which they assembled and knew would need time to gel. Pulling the plug after just one ratings book is perplexing.

Yet with all of this chaos ensuing, I found myself locked in at 2pm to hear CMB react, 6am for Boomer and Gio to respond, 10am for Joe and Evan to offer their thoughts, and I eagerly await the first time Mike cracks the mic to start his new show. His return will make many uncomfortable, but it’s that type of chaos that creates creates attention, and now everyone involved will work to turn that instant attention into long-term success.

Reports have Mike returning to the airwaves as early as next Tuesday. Terms of Francesa’s pending contract have not been released, but speculation is that the deal is for a reduced amount and will run thru the end of 2020. Even with a paycut, the radio legend’s new salary will likely be more than the other high-profile jobs he coveted last fall, the Yankee managerial position now held by Aaron Boone.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Evan Roberts: NFL Would Never Let Roger Goodell Talk To Craig Carton

“It’s because you aren’t going to climb in his derriere and make sure you don’t push him on anything.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

Craig Carton would love to interview NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but the problem is that Carton isn’t going to play by the league’s rules for shaping the conversation.

On Monday’s edition of Carton & Roberts, Carton mentioned the fact that Goodell hadn’t appeared on WFAN airwaves in over a decade. Co-host Evan Roberts pointed out that the league usually limits what media appearances the commissioner makes.

“He doesn’t do a lot of interviews unless it’s NFL related, where you can kind of control what you’re being pushed on,” Roberts said.

Carton figured that Goodell typically will do a sit-down interview with each of the league’s media partners, but Roberts said the commissioner’s office wants to make sure Goodell is not caught off guard.

“There’s always gonna be restrictions on him. There just always is,” he said. “The league is partners with those networks. So they’re not gonna put Roger Goodell in a spot in which he’s getting pummeled with tough questions. He doesn’t put himself in that spot.”

Carton mentioned doing a commissioner’s summit with Gary Bettman, Adam Silver and Rob Manfred. He said he requested Goodell, and he was turned down because the preseason had already started and generally the NFL doesn’t want the commissioner in the spotlight when the focus should be on the games and the players.

Roberts responded that the league was just being protective of Goodell knowing full well that Carton would likely ask him some tough questions.

“It’s because you aren’t going to climb in his derriere and make sure you don’t push him on anything,” he said. “I’ve never seen Goodell pushed on anything. So when he does do these interviews, it’s usually like NFL Network’s putting him on.”

“Maybe if I start a podcast he’ll come on that,” Carton said.

Craig added that he wouldn’t agree to tipping his questions for the commissioner ahead of time or only sticking to certain topics. Evan said the unpredictability of a free-flowing interview wouldn’t be a good thing optically for Goodell.

“You also don’t know what it’s gonna lead to,” he said. “You don’t know what he says that’s gonna lead to a topic you never even thought that you’d talk about.”

Carton responded saying that’s why so many people are terrible at interviewing others, because they generate their list of questions and don’t actually listen to the conversation.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Cameron Maybin Adds Radio to Tigers Broadcast Role

“Maybin will be behind the microphone for around 30 Tigers games on 97.1 The Ticket in 2023.”

Jordan Bondurant

Published

on

blank

The Detroit Tigers have added another voice for their radio broadcasts this season in Cameron Maybin.

Maybin will be behind the microphone for around 30 Tigers games on 97.1 The Ticket in 2023.

Maybin is a former Tiger himself and will also do some TV work on team broadcasts on Bally Sports Detroit. Cameron has also contributed to Yankees broadcasts on YES Network and MLB Network.

Dan Dickerson will be on play-by-play for games on the radio this season.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Phoenix Suns Radio Voice Al McCoy Retiring At Season’s End

“Well I don’t think it’s any big thing because I think everybody knew this was probably going to wrap it up for me obviously.”

blank

Published

on

blank

Longtime Phoenix Suns radio play-by-play announcer Al McCoy has announced that he will retire at the conclusion of the current NBA season.

The 89-year-old McCoy has been the voice of the Suns for the past 51 years.

After joining the team in 1972, McCoy called games on both television and radio for the franchise until the NBA outlawed the practice in the early 2000s.

He scaled back his schedule in 2010, and called road games from a remote studio in Phoenix during the 2020-2021 season. The club’s road contests are currently broadcast by Jon Bloom.

“Well I don’t think it’s any big thing because I think everybody knew this was probably going to wrap it up for me obviously,” McCoy told KTAR News’ Gaydos & Chad on Friday.

McCoy was honored with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2007.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

blank

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2023 Barrett Media.