The latest and most vicious salvo in New York’s sports radio war was fired Wednesday when Michael Kay called Mike Francesa a liar in a nine-minute rant on ESPN Radio and YES Network.
According to Kay, Francesa was discussing his November interview with Alex Rodriguez on WFAN. A caller suggested the infamous in-studio interview, during which A-Rod denied PED use and blasted MLB, was the reason Francesa and YES Network parted ways.
Kay, the play-by-play voice of the Yankees on YES, has since taken over the afternoon simulcast slot from Francesa.
“And Francesa said, ‘That’s not the truth, they wanted a show where they can control the editorial and I wasn’t going to give them that,’” a heated Kay said of his rival.
“I don’t know how to say this without being blunt: Mike’s a liar. No one controls this show, but me and [co-host] Don La Greca. That’s it. We have never, ever been called by anybody at YES and critiqued on what we said and how we said it or the truth of it.”
Kay would later correct himself and say that the only time he heard from YES was after his initial simulcast, which he opened by dumping a bottle of Diet Coke, Francesa’s favorite beverage, in the trash.
Francesa has held his significant radio ratings edge over his foe’s head since Kay moved into the midday slot on ESPN Radio. Kay gave what he considers to be the reasons Francesa and YES did not renew their contract in January of this year.
“To say they wanted editorial control, you’re lying to soften the blow that you got taken off a great network and saying we are a house organ,” Kay said. “You are wrong, I am sorry, you are wrong.
“Two reasons: 1. You ended up earning a lot of money, which you earned, but they were losing a lot of money on the show. 2. It’s obvious the proper decision has been made because our ratings are better than your rating when you were on YES.”
And then Kay attacked Francesa for his viral sleeping moment when he dozed off while talking to WFAN’s Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti.
“And let me give you a No. 3: Maybe they didn’t want to broadcast a show where someone was falling asleep on the air,” Kay said.
“That doesn’t make for great television. So, don’t you dare impugn my integrity and reputation by telling people the only reason we are on the air is because we are told what and what not to say. If you want to say that, I need proof and you can’t give me proof because you are lying. Period. I don’t want to get into a hissing war with you. I get the whole “Numbaaa 1.” I get it. I get it. But the bottom line is, don’t lie about me, don’t lie about this guy [La Greca].”
Francesa’s simulcast landed at Fox Sports 1. He has been in a dispute with the network since its inception about the show constantly being pre-empted for soccer coverage and other live events.
Ironically, Kay started his tirade by saying it was unfair to criticize Francesa for the A-Rod interview. He seemed to change his tune by the end.
“I don’t lay down for somebody in order to get an interview with that person. We got scooped on the Alex Rodriguez interview. You know why Alex went to Mike? Because Mike was supporting Alex the entire way to say MLB was going out of its way to crucify Alex, he ripped the Yankees too about it. That’s why Alex got there. Cause Alex got a nice soft landing,” Kay said.
And then a final blow: “You can take a walk with your attitude, with your bloviating. Keep my name out of your mouth,” Kay said. “I don’t treat you like that. And you shouldn’t treat other people like that. And maybe the way you treat people is another reason why YES decided to kick your butt to the curb. We’ll be back…”
Credit to the NY Post who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
Mad Dog: Gus Johnson ‘Bothered The Hell Out of Me’ Saturday
“For crying out loud, Michigan/Ohio State isn’t even better than North Carolina/Duke, who play twice a year. So let’s be careful with the hype machine.”
FOX Sports college football voice Gus Johnson has made no bones about his affinity for Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. However, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has heard enough.
During his Mad Dog Unleashed program on SiriusXM, Russo shared that not only was Johnson obnoxious for the constant use of a nickname he bestowed up Harrison, but he was also misguided for calling Ohio State/Michigan the greatest rivalry in sports.
“Gus Johnson — the hype machine that he is — please, when you broadcast a ballgame, I don’t need to hear about Maserati Marv, number one. And number two, that’s not the greatest rivalry in sports history. Have you heard of the Yankees and the Red Sox? Giants and the Dodgers? How about Bears/Packers? Have you heard about that?
“For crying out loud, Michigan/Ohio State isn’t even better than North Carolina/Duke, who play twice a year. So let’s be careful with the hype machine. That bothered the hell out of me.”
When a caller pushed back on Russo’s opinion on the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry, he continued by saying “That rivalry’s not Yankees/Red Sox. To compare college football to the Yankees and the Red Sox is ludicrous.”
Nashville Predators Radio Voice Pete Weber Calling 2,000th Game Tuesday
“I always wanted to be there for the birth of a team. I feel like I’ve been a pretty fair midwife here.”
Nashville Predators radio voice Pete Weber is set to hit a career milestone Tuesday, as he’ll call his 2,000th game for the NHL franchise.
Weber told The Tennessean that he has relished the opportunity to be the voice of a team since its inception. He claimed he applied for and was a finalist for the radio play-by-play job when the Carolina Panthers were conceived, before ultimately landing with the Predators.
“I always wanted to be there for the birth of a team,” said Weber. “I feel like I’ve been a pretty fair midwife here.”
Despite missing time late last season due to a rare brain condition, Weber said he has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
“I have not thought about it, other than when I thought about how (former Philadelphia Phillies announcer) Harry Kalas was carried dead out of the broadcast booth in Washington,” Pete Weber said. “I thought, ‘Well, that’s an interesting way to go. I don’t necessarily know that I want to do it like that. But it could happen. I’m not going to say no.”
Weber’s 2,000th game will come as the Nashville Predators play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins. 102.5 The Game is the flagship home of the Predators Radio Network.
iHeartMedia Ending WEEI Simulcast in Cape Cod
A job opening for a sports talk co-host/producer/programming assistant that says its salary will “be funded by the savings that the market is acquiring from the expiring Audacy/WEEI & Red Sox contracts”.
iHeartMedia is preparing to drop its simulcast of WEEI on its 96.3 WEII-FM signal in Hyannis/Cape Cod.
According to a report from Radio Insight, iHeartMedia has posted a job opening for a sports talk co-host/producer/programming assistant that says its salary will “be funded by the savings that the market is acquiring from the expiring Audacy/WEEI & Red Sox contracts”.
It goes on to state that the contract between the company and Audacy was $300,000 annually and it paid the Red Sox $65,000 annually.
The job posting alleges 96.3 FM will continue to carry sports programming with a local show.
WEEI is currently simulcast on stations in Springfield and Worcester, MA; Providence; Portland, Maine; and on stations in New Hampshire and Vermont, as well. Earlier this year, the station’s offices in Warwick, Rhode Island closed as part of a cost-cutting measure.
WEII-FM is licensed to Dennis, MA and features a 25,000-watt Class B signal.