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Mike Francesa: Too Many Hosts Fail Trying To Be Clever

” If you cut through, great! That’s the key. How do you make a name for yourself if you aren’t a brand when the audience has so much available to them?”

Ricky Keeler

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One of the more iconic radio voices in New York City over the past three decades is Mike Francesa. The business has changed since you first heard Mike & The Mad Dog back in 1989 as many new options for sports information have surfaced in the last three decades. 

This week, on the New York, New York podcast at The Ringer, John Jastremski had Francesa on to talk about New York sports and how Francesa views where the business of sports talk radio is headed. 

“When we started, it was a really different world,” he said. “The internet hadn’t taken off yet. There was no such thing as a podcast. You didn’t have the information at your fingertips. Now, everybody has everything at their fingertips. Twitter has even changed it again. Now what you have is the buffer between the athlete and the game/fan has eroded. What it has done is it has made the people that do what Dog and I started very different. Stories are broken in a moment’s time. People don’t think that the game is enough. Now I have to do a million different things to compete.”

While the industry has changed, Francesa said it is also a lot easier for people to break into the industry compared to when he started.

“You can start your own stuff on Tik Tok or your own podcast. If you cut through, great! That’s the key. How do you make a name for yourself if you aren’t a brand when the audience has so much available to them? That is the thing that has put the pressure on the performer. I think a lot of them fail at being clever instead of doing the best job they can do in the area they are there for.” 

Jastremski added that there is a void for people that miss the way that Mike & The Mad Dog did their show. Francesa countered that even though things are going to change over the course of 35 years, quality will always win.

“If you are good at what you do, if you are entertaining and opinionated and you give them something that’s unique, they will come find it.”

Sports Radio News

Dan Patrick: NBC Created ‘Something That Was Brilliant’ With Flex Scheduling

“Networks were so upset that NBC would go ‘Hey, you know what? We’re gonna take that game and we’re gonna have it on Sunday night.’ Then FOX and CBS would be scrambling there.”

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Roger Goodell wants flex scheduling to come to Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football package. It could happen this season, but we won’t know for sure until May after league owners decided to table a vote on the proposal. On Wednesday, FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick joined the chorus of critics calling it a bad idea.

Patrick said that the league always prioritizes revenue. If it were thinking about the fans, this isn’t something that would even be discussed.

The idea of flex scheduling was first introduced for NBC’s Sunday Night Football package in 2006. The goal was to make sure the prime time TV package could deliver high quality games every week.

“NBC did something that was brilliant where they were able to flex Sunday night games,” Patrick said. “Everyone wanted it.”

While the fate of flex scheduling for Thursdays remains up in the air, we do know that flex scheduling is coming to Monday Night Football on ESPN this season. Patrick, who worked for NBC when the practice was introduced, said that it always took care of one broadcast partner by screwing others.

“Networks were so upset that NBC would go ‘Hey, you know what? We’re gonna take that game and we’re gonna have it on Sunday night.’ Then FOX and CBS would be scrambling there.”

Dan Patrick suggested that perhaps Amazon’s Prime Video doesn’t deserve the same treatment as NBC or ESPN. Far fewer people watch the Thursday night game than any other primetime NFL contest.

Whether or not flex scheduling comes to Thursday Night Football, Patrick says it does not guarantee to change the package’s reputation for delivering largely unappealing games.

“I’ve long said it’s crazy to say you have to play Sunday and then turn around and play Thursday and we’d always go ‘Man, these Thursday games aren’t good,’” he concluded. “Well, was it the matchup or just the quality of play?”

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Sports Radio News

106.7 The Fan Extends Deal to Remain Washington Nationals Flagship

“We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future…”

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106.7 The Fan has announced it has reached a multi-year extension with the Washington Nationals to remain as the MLB club’s radio flagship.

Nationals fans will continue to hear game broadcasts on the station, and those living inside the club’s broadcast territory will be able to stream the radio broadcasts on the Audacy app.

“Opening Day is finally here and we’re thrilled to celebrate the return of baseball season by extending our partnership with the Washington Nationals,” said Audacy Washington D.C. Senior Vice President and Market Manager Ivy Savoy-Smith. “We’re looking forward to continuing to serve as the home for everything Nats for the foreseeable future and give the team’s fans a front row seat to the action on the field and top storylines throughout the year.”

The Nationals have called 106.7 The Fan home since the 2011 season. Beyond game broadcasts, the station will welcome Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo to The Sports Junkies every Wednesday at 9:00 AM throughout the season. The station will also air segments titled “Nats Insider”, hosted by broadcaster Dan Kolko that feature player interviews and features. Those segments will air all along the Nationals Radio Network.

“We couldn’t be happier to partner with Audacy in bringing Nationals fans even more of the interviews and exclusive access they love,” said Lerner Sports Group COO Alan H. Gottlieb. “From in-depth interviews with execs and top players, to off-the-field profiles and more Spanish and English bilingual content than ever before, Audacy offers a comprehensive look at our ball club from all angles.”

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Sports Radio News

Todd Markiewicz Departing 97.1 The Fan

“He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

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Longtime 97.1 The Fan Vice President and Market Manager Todd Markiewicz has announced he is leaving the sports radio station.

Markiewicz has been named the President of the 1870 Society, a Name, Image, and Likeness collective working with Ohio State athletics and Learfield to devise NIL strategy, fundraising, and logistics.

In an internal memo, Tegna Columbus President and General Manager John Cardenas credited Markiewicz for helping to establish the brand as “the powerhouse sports station in the country. He has left an indelible mark in the Columbus market and within the sports/talk radio world by building The Fan with excellent programming, dominant ratings, and overall market share.”

Markiewicz joined the station in 2010. Under his leadership, 97.1 The Fan has routinely ranked as the highest-rated station in the Columbus market.

His final day with the station will be Friday, May 26th.

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