Eli Manning is not a local radio star. He just gets paid like one.
He earns somewhere around $250,000 per season, according to radio sources, for his weekly appearances that last a few minutes on WFAN. This is a mere pittance compared to the $84 million contract ($65 million guaranteed) he just signed with the Giants.
Manning does not need the radio money. So, why does he bother doing the weekly spot? Why deal with the aggravation these sessions produce? Likewise for all the other players — including Odell Beckham Jr., Muhammad Wilkerson and Prince Amukamara — who currently are paid (far, far, far less than Manning) to run their mouth on the radio. Outside of the cash, what good does it do them?
There’s much more downside, even risk.
Look at the week Manning just had.
His scatter-brained approach late in Sunday night’s Dallas fiasco had the media whipping him like desperate jockeys down the stretch at Aqueduct. Instead of being able to lay low Monday, Manning had to fulfill his radio commitment and explain his bizarre decisions to Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa, who on this occasion decided not to interrupt.
Granted, Manning’s audience with the pontiff was followed by a conference call with reporters. Still, Francesa had it straight from the quarterback’s mouth — first, which means even more now in the world of tweetily-dee. WFAN got its money’s worth out of Manning. It was a win for the FANdroids.
Manning? He may as well have left that interview session with a “Rip Me” sign on his back. By no means was this the first time Manning delivered, to his own detriment, on the radio.
In 2011, while yakking for ESPN-98.7, Michael Kay asked him if he was a “top 10, top five” quarterback.
“Yeah, I think I am,” Manning said at the time. Asked specifically if he was the same level as Tom Brady, Manning paused and then said: “Yeah, I consider myself in that class. And Tom Brady is a great quarterback.”
For ESPN-98.7, this was a major score. For Manning it was a another lesson on being an object of ridicule. He had deposited himself smack in the middle of a controversy and a debate that raged inside the Valley of the Stupid and other media precincts. To this very day, it still resurrects itself, especially when Manning pulls a rock and the first-time-caller, long-time-moron crowd takes over.
When station brass enters a radio relationship with a player it is always one-sided. The suits know the eventual upside (aka ANY type controversy) is worth their investment. The minor risk is the cat is reluctant to go off the script (that’s the direction Wilkerson has taken on FAN with Joe Benigno/Evan Roberts) written by the team’s PR department, leaving the Gasbags to carry him.
And Wilkerson is quite a load.
Benigno: “What about your contract, Muhammad?”
Wilkerson: “You better take that up with my agent.”
Scintillating radio, right?
Come on, Manning must have a valid reason to risk being put on the spot for what, in his world, is chump change. There’s this notion as the face of the Giants, Manning wants to put his “message” out to the unwashed masses after each game. That sounds nice but rings totally hollow. Is this about Manning looking down the road at landing a TV gig when he retires? His understated delivery suggests this is not what he aspires to.
A variety of marketing agents, who negotiate radio deals for current NFL players, say Manning actually extends his media profile by doing radio, which could help lead to more endorsements. Considering the number of commercials Manning appears in, the strategy is working.
Others who don’t possess a quarter of Manning’s marquee value take the radio plunge simply so the public can hear them speak. This helps when it comes to landing personal appearances, which are far, far less lucrative than commercial endorsements.
Yet for these guys, the odds of radio appearances leading to more money, in terms of endorsements or a TV job when they retire, are long. In fact, the appearances can have a far more detrimental affect than the fallout Manning got after the “elite” spot with Kay or Manning’s recent conversation with the Pope.
Like when Jeremy Shockey went into self-destructive mode in 2002 doing a weekly appearance with Francesa and Chris (Mad Dog) Russo. They came on strong with Shockey, who was taking their heat for the grand sum of $1,000 per appearance. Shockey reacted to FranDog’s tough line of questioning by either showing up late or not showing up at all. For this, the Gasbags labeled him “unreliable” and “unprofessional.” Shockey never shook that perception.
On the other side of the equation is Antrel Rolle, who was must-listen radio when he performed on WFAN with Benigno/Roberts. Rolle stirred the pot and took the heat that came his way. For all this, Rolle, now on the Bears, can’t get a radio gig in Chicago.
Maybe he should consult with Eli.
Credit to the NY Daily News 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].
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.