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The Fanatic Debuts New Weekday Lineup October 8

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97.5 the Fanatic has a new weekday lineup featuring new shows in the morning and midday. The new lineup makes its debut on October 8.

Farzetta and Tra In the Morning is hosted by Marc Farzetta and NFL veteran Tra Thomas. Farzetta has been a mainstay in the Philadelphia sports scene since 2005 including TV work on NBC Sports Philadelphia and radio work with crosstown rival 94 WIP. Thomas is a 12 year NFL veteran that spent eleven of those seasons with the Eagles. He also has three Pro Bowl appearances to his name.

Eric Johnson, who serves as content manager for The Fanatic had high praise for his new morning team, saying “I’ve been a fan of Marc’s since he started on the air in Philly in the mid 2000’s. He’s evolved into a major talent in town, growing from Update Anchor and Time Out Entertainer at Temple basketball games to Radio Talk Show Anchor and NBC Sports Philadelphia Host. Tra has a natural gift of compelling story telling!”

The new midday show will be hosted by Anthony Gargano and Jason Myrtetus, who is the station’s current mid day host. Gargano moves off of mornings to make way for Farzetta and Thomas. Johnson adds that moving Gargano to the midday show “will put the station in a much stronger competitive position. This really ushers in a new era for a great brand.”

The station will not make any changes in afternoon drive, where the Mike Missanelli Show remains a consistent winner.

In addition, Bob Cooney, and Jamie Lynch who had previously worked with Gargano in mornings are expected to continue with Farzetta and Thomas. Eytan Shander, who had also been part of Gargano’s morning show had his role initially reduced to weekends, but later in the day he was let go by the station after expressing his disappointment on Twitter.

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Steak Shapiro: It Makes Sense for NFL to Prioritize TV Audience

Jordan Bondurant

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NFL games scheduled for Thursday nights toward the end of the regular season are now eligible to be flexed along with the Sunday and Monday night games during those weeks. Tuesday on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, host Steak Shapiro and former Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Mike Johnson talked about flexing Thursday night games for weeks 13-17.

Even though the league will have to give teams 21 days notice before a game is flexed, Johnson said players don’t like it because regardless of how much advance notice you get, you still have a quick turnaround time between games if you end up playing the Sunday before. He felt like the things NFL players put their bodies through over the course of a game doesn’t necessarily justify making more money.

“There’s a law of diminishing returns,” he told Shapiro. “And in the end yeah you look at the numbers and say ‘Oh that’s great I can’t wait to make a little bit more money.’ But when you wake up on Monday morning, and you know that you’ve got to turn around in three days and play one, I don’t know that financially the incentive is there for that much. You don’t think of that in the moment.”

Steak went on to say that the players ultimately come secondary in all this, as the whole idea is to just simply appease the league’s TV audience and the networks. Especially after Amazon made it pretty clear that they weren’t thrilled with the schedule of games they got for their maiden season as the new home to Thursday Night Football.

“It’s the fans watching on television, and getting Amazon and CBS and FOX,” he said. “They want great games on Thursday nights as well and that’s really what matters more than a guy that’s scheduled a flight to go see the Steelers in Pittsburgh and now the Steelers are playing three days earlier.”

Host Mark Zinno chimed in saying that the league proved during the COVID pandemic that it could survive without stadiums full of fans. The league and the owners know that the TV revenue is the cash cow, and so they have to prioritize the viewers in a way more so than people buying tickets and showing up to games.

“There’s no reason to cater to the fans in the stands,” he said.

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Standard General Walks Away From Deal to Buy Tegna, 97.1 The Fan

“Standard General now has to pay a $136 million termination fee.”

Jordan Bondurant

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A merger that would have seen Tegna sold to Standard General and taken private has been axed after scrutiny by elected officials and the Federal Communications Commission.

In addition to Tegna’s TV properties, the deal would have also seen Standard General acquire Columbus, Ohio’s two sports radio stations 97.1 The Fan and 1460 ESPN. The Locked On Podcast Network and Vault Studios are also under Tegna ownership and would’ve been part of the deal.

Standard General now has to pay a $136 million termination fee. The merger was valued at $5.4 billion. Tegna also plans to buy back $300 million worth of its own stock.

The deal was originally announced early last year and had cleared one hurdle federally, getting approval from the US Department of Justice.

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Jay Williams Calls Listener, Forces Him To Pay Their $1000 Lakers Bet

“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”

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If you owe Jay Williams money, he is going to find you. Just ask Rob, a listener in Orlando who bet the ESPN Radio morning man that the Lakers would advance to the NBA Finals.

Last week, Rob called Keyshawn, JWill and Max and bet Williams $1000 the Lakers would eliminate the Denver Nuggets. Williams said if that happened, he would pay Rob $1500.

Obviously, that is not the way things played out. On Tuesday morning, Jay Williams called Rob demanding payment.

“He owes me my money,” he said. “So you know what we do? We got Detective Pat on the call today. Pat, let’s give this man a call. See if this guy picks up, trying to run away from giving me my money.”

The show’s associate producer Patrick Costello called the number Rob left last week. On the first attempt, the listener did not pick up. Williams vowed to keep up the pressure on social media and national radio and television until he got paid.

“Don’t get me on national TV and radio and then not pick up the phone when I call.”

“You know, getting that money is a wrap, Jay,” Keyshawn Johnson said through laughter. “I told you that.”

The show made one more attempt to connect with Rob before having to turn things over to Greeny. This time, the Lakers fan picked up and acknowledged that he had to pay. He offered to make a donation in Williams’s name.

“I’ll send you my bank account here privately, and then I will send it to the charity of my choice,” Williams agreed.

Rob agreed to the arrangement. Williams asked him if he wanted to apologize for doubting the basketball analyst’s prediction of the Lakers’ demise.

“Apologize? I need the Lakers to apologize to me after that performance,” Rob said. “Because Jesus Christ, that was horrible. That was bad.”

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