Battles between ESPN and WFAN are nothing new, but the latest feud features a new antagonist as Jeff Passan and Craig Carton exchange punches.
During the opening of his Wednesday afternoon show with co-host Evan Roberts, Carton said Passan is now “public enemy number one. And that’s a bad spot for him to be in – that whiny little weasel.”
On Tuesday, Passan joined ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show to discuss the bombshell report he co-wrote with Mina Kimes, which detailed a sexual harassment incident by Mets general manager Jared Porter.
Passan’s first order of business in the interview was to chastise 98.7 ESPN New York’s competition, and the local radio station he used to frequent, WFAN.
“There’s another radio station in New York that’s been pretty damn irresponsible today about its coverage of this. And I hate giving them any shine because they don’t deserve it, but the notion that ESPN has been sitting on this story since 2017 is the most giant load of irresponsible garbage that I’ve heard in a longtime,” Passan said to open the interview.
To clarify, ESPN did receive the information in 2017, but Passan doesn’t believe that means they were “sitting” on the story for four years.
“We have duties as journalists to protect our sources,” Passan continued. “And to look after the people that give us the stories that we get to tell. It is their story, it is not ours.”
Passan’s rant was an obvious shot at Carton and Roberts, and the way they covered ESPN’s damning report on Jared Porter. While Carton did say the timing of ESPN releasing the story was an interesting layer to the overall incident, he also defended their decision.
“ESPN does not have a responsibility to report [the story] when you want it to be reported,” Carton said during the first segment of WFAN’s afternoon show on Tuesday.
Carton also did not dispute the validity of the victim being uncomfortable with ESPN running the story at any point in recent years. But what Carton did state is that he doesn’t believe ESPN was looking to protect the journalist.
“They called her. They brought her back into her worst nightmare, having to deal with the reality of her stalker,” Carton said. “Let’s not act like they give a rat’s ass about the victim, because they don’t.”
According to Passan, he was unaware of the information ESPN held on Porter, it was a report his colleague Mina Kimes was working on and he was only briefed recently. We don’t know when Passan was clued in on the information, but we do know he was very complimentary of Porter when the Mets hired him, which would signal hypocrisy if the MLB Insider was already aware of the new general manager’s past.
If Passan did only learn of the damning information in recent weeks, why was he attached as an equal contributor to a story that Kimes had been working on since 2017? “Some may call that sexist,” Carton wrote of ESPN’s decision to make Passan the front man of a story a female reporter spent years working on.
Carton invited Passan to join WFAN’s afternoon show, he also offered to go on ESPN to discuss the MLB Insider’s claim of prioritizing the victim over the story. Passan used to frequent WFAN when he was a columnist with Yahoo Sports, but that came to an end once he joined ESPN in 2019.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.
“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.
Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.
“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”
While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.
“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”