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Francesa Addresses Future of App & WFAN Show

Brandon Contes

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WFAN continues a year long stretch of being in the news for the wrong reasons.  On Monday, Mike Francesa commented on the station’s most recent matter which saw Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden owner, James Dolan ban all employees from Entercom owned radio stations.

Dolan’s decision derives from a rant by Maggie Gray this past summer, where the WFAN host took issue with the billionaire’s song titled “I Should Have Known,” about his friend Harvey Weinstein.  Francesa always had a good personal and working relationship with Dolan and the Garden, but the MSG ban includes Mike’s WFAN show.  Although not discussed on-air, the door could be open for Garden personnel to join Francesa on one of his Mike’s On App shows that are not broadcast by WFAN.

Francesa took issue with the Garden public relations team and Dolan for implementing the ban, but he also defended the billionaire owner because Mike believes most disparagement of Dolan in the last 15 years has been unfair.   Francesa went on to criticize his WFAN Maggie Gray, accusing her of going over the top with her now infamous Dolan rant, in an attempt to draw attention to the show, Carlin, Maggie and Bart.

After discussing Entercom’s current relationship with MSG, Francesa closed the segment by dropping a second bombshell regarding the future of a partnership between WFAN and his oft-criticized app.

“I knew it was going to be uncomfortable, and maybe it was more uncomfortable than I thought,” Mike said about his May return to WFAN.  “It’s been successful, we’ve done what we’ve had to do, I think from a business standpoint they’re thrilled, but still, it’s not the most comfortable thing.”  Mike furthered the statement by saying he upset the apple card by changing the station’s lineup and promoting his personal app, which Entercom was supposed to buy an ownership stake in.

Mike often promotes his app while on-air at WFAN, attempting to drive listeners to purchase the platform and listen to his shows that are not broadcast by the station.  Anytime a caller questioned Francesa for advertising the app while on-air, Mike would reiterate Entercom’s ownership in the app, but apparently that partnership has yet to happen.

“We haven’t even come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and the show don’t work together, and maybe that’s something we’re going to have to adjust, one way or the other,” said Francesa. “We’re going to have to wait and see about that, because we still don’t have a deal, so maybe it’s not the right…maybe the app and this show can’t work together. That’s possible. And if it is, we’ll adjust one.”

After James Kratch of NJ.com wrote a story deducting that the above statements could mean the end of the app, Francesa quickly responded to vehemently refute the sentiment.

“And if anything leaves, it will not be the Mike’s On app. So got it?” responded Mike.  “Underline it, put a punctuation mark and own it. The Mike’s On app is going nowhere. Nowhere, and FAN has nothing to do with it. And that, in essence, may be the conflict, because to utilize this show to promote the app may be something that doesn’t work as well as I had hoped it did. That’s all…But the app is going nowhere. Because you guys have been wrong about the app from the beginning.”

Mike continued, “I will be with CAA as long as I’m working professionally. You can take that to the bank. They are great people, I love working with them. They’ve put some wonderful people on the app who have done great work. Their technical people have done great work, everyone has been committed to it in front of my guys, who have done a great job with it. The guys I handpicked to put on it and work on it have done a great job. Everybody’s put in a lot of time and effort, and it’s done incredibly well. CAA is thrilled with it, we’re thrilled with it, it’s going nowhere.

“The other part? We’ll see what happens. Now, see if you can figure it now. Now that I’ve took you there, I’ve left the crumbs for you, let’s see if you can put the pieces together without screwing it up.”

While Francesa certainly made a clear threat that he could leave WFAN, the iconic radio host tried that less than a year ago and quickly returned.  Maybe Francesa now views his app as a stable home for a daily sports show, but it’s also possible he decided to pile on Entercom while they’re vulnerable, attempting to pressure them into purchasing a stake in the Mike’s On platform.

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

ESPNU, SiriusXM End Partnership, Channel 84 Rebrands as SiriusXM College Sports Radio

“Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed.”

Jordan Bondurant

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SiriusXM still has a college sports radio station on its platform. It’s just called something different now.

A report from Cord Cutters News confirmed that ESPNU and SiriusXM have ended their partnership. Channel 84, which used to be known as SiriusXM ESPNU Radio, is now known as SiriusXM College Sports Radio.

ESPNU had been with the satellite radio provider since 2017. The channel itself, which has been on the Sirius lineup since 2010, was called SiriusXM College Sports Nation when it first launched.

Beyond the name and branding, nothing else for the channel has changed. Listeners can still tune in to hear hosts like Danny Kanell, Dusty Dvoracek, Rick Neuheisel and EJ Manuel, as well as live college sports play-by-play broadcasts.

The move doesn’t end ESPN’s partnership with Sirius. Cord Cutters noted that College GameDay will still be fully simulcasted on channel 81, which is ESPN Xtra.

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Sports Radio News

Kay Adams: Filling In For Dan Patrick A ‘Pinch Me’ Moment

“It would be me and Chris Mannix. And he did his thing, and I was just happy to be along for the ride.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Kay Adams has been successfully forging her own path in media after leaving NFL Network, but there have been moments along the way that she hasn’t forgotten.

Appearing as a guest on Maggie & Perloff on Friday, Adams was asked if she has ever had any pinch-me moments in her career. She said that one of those came back in 2014 and 2015 when she got the chance to guest host The Dan Patrick Show.

“A career highlight was when I, no reason to be allowed to fill in for The Dan Patrick Show,” Adams said. “I somehow got to.”

Perloff, who had the nickname “McLovin” while working with Dan Patrick as a Dan-ette, said he remembered Adams hosting and thought she did a great job. But Adams advised the audience not to try and seek out those tapes.

“I had no idea what was going on,” Adams said. “It would be me and Chris Mannix. And he did his thing, and I was just happy to be along for the ride.”

Adams added that starting her own show with FanDuel has also been a kind of pinch-me moment. She said she was excited that FanDuel was enthusiastic about trying to create the best content possible.

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Sports Radio News

Grant Paulsen: Tony Romo Hasn’t Regressed, Haters Just Piling On

“I would be willing to bet CBS is not concerned that Tony Romo is bad at this after it wasn’t even two years ago he was the toast of commentary.”

Jordan Bondurant

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CBS Sports NFL analyst Tony Romo has come under scrutiny for his commentating the last few weeks.

Romo, once thought of as the top color commentator in football, has faced criticism for how he’s adjusted his broadcasting style from the one that made him so popular in recent years. New York Post media columnist Andrew Marchand recently wrote that bosses at CBS have had to stage what was called “an intervention” with Romo to tweak how he calls a game, although CBS says that is a mischaracterization of the meetings.

On 106.7 The Fan in DC, host Danny Rouhier said the wave that Romo rode to stardom in the booth has crashed, and the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback needs to catch up with the changing tides in the NFL.

“So much is different. He can’t just get by on all that base of knowledge that he had,” Rouhier said on Friday’s Grant & Danny. “And he could just walk into the booth without having done anything, know what everybody was doing all the time because he had just seen it. I think that’s gone, and I think he needs to have that sort of come to Jesus moment where he can be more prepared to get that sort of sense back.”

Co-host Grant Paulsen said it was more a matter of Romo catching hate because that’s what people on the internet love to do with commentators.

“I think he is unique and different. Unique and different is bashed, and I think people are bashing him,” Paulsen said. “I don’t think there’s much more to it than that.”

“I think he’s stopped predicting plays to some extent, he still does it a little bit, because he shouldn’t be predicting plays,” he added. “Like I always thought that was the worst part about what he’s doing. I know he got a lot of attention and credit and people loved it. But like telling us right before the play, ‘They’re gonna run left here,’ is not your job. I guess there was some novelty to it.”

Paulsen said since Romo is the top dog in terms of NFL analysts, being the subject of strict scrutiny for every little thing comes with the territory. He said other big names like Cris Collinsworth, Al Michaels and Joe Buck all catch flack.

But Paulsen added he didn’t think CBS has tried to have Romo dial back some of his commentary. He did believe CBS has met with Romo to offer notes and help him develop.

“If you’re paying someone 30 million dollars a year you probably do that,” he said. “I would be willing to bet CBS is not concerned that Tony Romo is bad at this after it wasn’t even two years ago he was the toast of commentary.”

“I guess I don’t see what everyone else sees about how he’s regressed,” Paulsen added. “I just think it’s piling on a guy people don’t like because it’s a job that people don’t like. I think there is an element of him having turned up the fader on the Romo-isms.”

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