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Mike Francesa Is A Free Agent And Interested In A New Gig

“I’ve missed the audience. I’ve missed the buzz. I’ve missed some of that. It’s just logical.”

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Sipa via AP Images

Whether or not you are a fan of Mike Francesa, you cannot deny that he is one of the best known and most valuable names in the history of sports radio. On New Year’s Eve, he officially became a free agent and the sports talk legend may have his eyes on returning to broadcasting.

Mike Francesa told Newsday’s Neil Best that listeners shouldn’t expect to hear him on WFAN again. He said “the book is closed” on that part of his life and that he wants to see the station’s current lineup thrive.

“But that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel like broadcasting,” he added. “I’ve missed the audience. I’ve missed the buzz. I’ve missed some of that. It’s just logical.”

After leaving WFAN in 2019, Francesa spent part of 2020 as part of the Radio.com lineup. Since then, he has mostly been waiting out his contract with a few appearances on the radio station and with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on SiriusXM.

When asked if there may be a more formal relationship with Russo’s show in his future, Francesa said it didn’t seem likely.

“I would say right now, probably not. I think he’s got a pretty full schedule. He hasn’t offered that. He’s the one who has a show. I don’t.”

One aspect of Francesa’s life that could factor into his future is his horses and his home in Florida. A horse he co-owns, High Oak, will race for a chance to make the Kentucky Derby field soon. That is something that Francesa describes as a dream of his. Could a return to broadcasting be focused solely on the horse racing world? It is one he knows well.

Mike Francesa says he has definitely fielded offers since leaving WFAN. He obviously has not settled on anything as of yet. He is looking for something that is “fun or gives me a chance to have a new experience” and notes that it could end up being something no one, not even himself, is expecting.

The only thing Mike Francesa can say for sure is that he isn’t going back to WFAN. He left Audacy on good terms and notes that he is “proud” of his tenure on the station, but he has accomplished all he can there.

“FAN has had a storied life. Now it’s clearly into that second generation. It’s in the next generation, and it’s got to prove itself all over again. It’s a business where you have to prove yourself every day. Nothing stays forever.”

Sports Radio News

Jeremy White: Ryan Fitzpatrick Will Be Shirtless On Amazon Prime Video Tonight

“They start the broadcast, and Fitz is seated at the table, shirtless.”

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Thursday Night Football will feature the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots. Last year during the dead of winter, Amazon Prime Video analyst Ryan Fitzpatrick — then just a retired player — was seen in the Buffalo crowd shirtless. WGR morning host Jeremy White believes you’ll see that scene recreated during tonight’s broadcast.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they have Fitz on there talking about his experience in that game, being there shirtless,” White said. “Fitz is on the studio panel with Richard Sherman, Tony Gonzalez, and Andrew Whitworth. Best broadcast in the league. If you haven’t had the chance to see an Amazon Prime game, you get it on channel 7 tonight. I think it is the best broadcast in the league and it’s because the players are fresh out of the league. It’s not constant conversations about how you gotta be careful on fourth down and run the ball.”

“No one on there is afraid to say anything,” Joe DiBiase said, filling in for Howard Simon. “Al Michaels doesn’t feel afraid to say anything, by the way. He criticizes the game almost every week. He might be like ‘Oh thank god, the Bills. Just get me away from the Commanders and the Bears. I’m sick of 13-10.’ The happiest person might be Al Michaels.”

White later said he received a text asking what the odds were that Fitz would be shirtless on the studio set. “They start the broadcast, and Fitz is seated at the table, shirtless,” White said, adding if Adam Schefter was seen shirtless earlier this season during a pregame show then it’s almost a certainty Fitzpatrick will do the same.

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Sports Radio News

Evan Roberts: Boomer Esiason Was Taking Shot at Craig Carton With FS1 Dig

“He said they only put the stuff no one cares about on FS1. And he did it with his Boomer smile where I knew what he was mentioning.”

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WFAN afternoon host Evan Roberts was listening to the station’s morning show, Boomer & Gio, and heard what he believed was a slight towards his current co-host Craig Carton Wednesday from Boomer Esiason.

“I heard Boomer this morning taking some shots at you. I did not like it,” Roberts said. “Did not like it. Big shots at my partner. He made a comment about how FOX puts stuff that no one cares about on FS1. And he meant that directly at you.”

“First off, he wouldn’t say that,” replied Carton.

“He said it. I listened. He said they only put the stuff no one cares about on FS1,” Roberts reiterated. “And he did it with his Boomer smile where I knew what he was mentioning. He wasn’t talking about anything other than his old, dear friend Craig. What a cheap shot.”

Carton, who hosts The Carton Show each weekday morning on FS1, said no one must have been listening to Boomer’s attack because he didn’t get any tweets or emails about it.

“Boomer’s probably listening — because he does listen to us — and he’s probably smiling saying ‘Evan’s right!’,” Roberts said before laughing out loud.

“If he did say it — next time — I’ll just ask a favor,” Carton asked of Esiason. “Reminder your listeners that I am on FS1 from 7:00-9:30 AM, but only until 9:00 AM this week because of World Cup soccer. If you’re gonna take a shot, it allows me to promote it. And I don’t promote it here.”

A caller later told Carton & Roberts the exact moment, down to the minute, of when Esiason made the quip about FS1. Producers then pulled up the clip, which they played on the air.

After hearing the clip, Carton joked FOX puts they stuff they don’t care about on FS2 before asking “Now I gotta figure out, do I respond or not? Or do I just let it go?” before concluding that he’s more mature than making a response.

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Sports Radio News

Fred Toucher Tells Paul Finebaum: Your Greatest Talent Is Not Losing It On Callers

“What you’re actually taught in radio — and not to the benefit of people — is to move things along and cut people off.”

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Paul Finebaum

98.5 The Sports Hub morning show Toucher & Rich has frequently pointed out the absurdity of callers into The Paul Finebaum Show. Thursday morning, the Boston show welcomed in the southern college football host to discuss what makes his show tick.

“I can’t tell you how big a thrill this is for me, because I didn’t realize how funny our show was until I started listening to you guys,” Finebaum joked.

“Part of the brilliance of your show is you just let these people go,” Fred Toucher said. “For those that don’t know, the instinct in what you’re actually taught in radio — and not to the benefit of people — is to move things along and cut people off. At what point did you realize ‘I’m just gonna let these dudes talk and see where they take it’?”

“I listened to all these radio goobs — I mean all these people in the corner office — tell us how to do it and I realized I can’t do that. I didn’t have the radio voice, I didn’t have the style, I didn’t have the energy. So I just sat there and literally listened to callers ramble on and I started to find the humor in it.

“It hit me one day that these people don’t have a voice,” Finebaum continued. “Especially in the south where we don’t have six or seven professional sports franchises. Callers started becoming famous and becoming a part of the show. We started having lunches with them for Christmas and various other things and days and I think we realized what we had and we made the most of it. Some of these callers really defy logic. I think I’ve given four or five eulogies at various callers funerals and I think that there’s a connection there.”

Finebaum then mentioned one of his more notorious callers, Legend. The caller actually spent more than 20 years in prison after shooting someone six times. Toucher said Legend has actually called into their show but they have never taken his call.

“We don’t take Legend because we’re not gonna do as good a job with him,” Toucher said. “I told our producer, I do not want to take Legend.”

“Paul’s a master with him,” Rich Shertenlieb added.

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