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Francesa Says He Will Remain At WFAN Through 2017

Jason Barrett

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WFAN’s Mike Francesa acknowledged on Tuesday that he no longer desires to leave the radio station before the end of his contract in 2017. Francesa said on the air that the relationship with CBS Radio and station management has greatly improved.

It was well documented that Francesa was unhappy with his previous simulcast with Fox Sports. The TV network often preempted his show or moved him off of Fox Sports 1 and on to to the less established Fox Sports 2. The simulcast was terminated in September when Fox added Colin Cowherd.

As far as future television simulcast possibilities are concerned, Mike said “The idea of just doing the radio show gives me a lot of flexibility that I haven’t had in a very, very long time, and a lot of it is appreciated. Right now I’m kind of enjoying being a radio show.”

It remains possible that the show could end up on MSG where Francesa maintains a close relationship with Madison Square Garden executives. However he cautioned that a simulcast may not be in the cards before the end of his contract.

The speculation of a reunion between Mike and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has continued to make noise, ever since the two announced on WFAN their plans to reunite for a one-night only appearance at Radio City Music Hall.

Francesa added “At this stage of our careers, and the stage the business is in right now, I think it is extremely, extremely unlikely,” he said.

Although financial difficulties could prevent the two from a permanent reunion, Mike says that he and Chris have kept a mostly positive personal relationship since parting ways in 2008.

“We’ve never had a cross word since we split up, never had an argument since we split up,” he said. “There were some people trying to drag us into things to try and promote the new avenues we were each traveling. I think that’s logical and I think it was other people dragging us into that and into comments that probably never needed to be made. But we never didn’t get along.”

Credit to Newsday who originally reported the story

 

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Mike Missanelli: 97.5 The Fanatic ‘Made Me an Offer’ In the Last Couple of Months

“I can’t tell you much more about that, because if the offer was satisfactory to me, I probably would be on the radio.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Logo for 97.5 The Fanatic and The Mike Missanelli Podcast

Back in March of this year, rumors started to circulate that Mike Missanelli, who had been with 97.5 The Fanatic for 15 years before he exited in May 2022, might be on his way back to the station. Station owner Beasley Media Group recently made a change at the top in the market as Paul Blake, formerly the market’s Vice President and Director of Sales, took over as the cluster’s manager. Kevin Kinkead of Crossing Broad wondered if the change at the top could lead to Missanelli coming back. He also posted something Missanelli said at the end of a recent podcast episode:

“One other thing that people have been asking me about. My old station fired their general manager. This was the same general manager that decided not to renew my contract two years ago, almost to the day. He’s gone. I don’t know what’s going to happen at that station. I will tell you this, however – that station, in the last couple of months, has made me an offer. I can’t tell you much more about that, because if the offer was satisfactory to me, I probably would be on the radio. But at this point, it is not. So with new management coming in, I have no idea what will happen here. I just want to say this – I am committed to this podcast and I am going to do this podcast for a really long period of time and the other stuff really doesn’t matter to me. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t, I’m good, because I like spending time with you here on the podcast.”

When the idea of Missannelli comin back was brought up three months ago, new station Program Director Scott Masteller had said at the time, “Mike’s name has come up. He’s a great talent, and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. A lot of people are interested in the radio station right now. So I’ll leave it at that.”

As for where Missanelli might fit in should he return, the midday show, Mid-Days with Bob Cooney has been using various hosts since Cooney moved to the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. show a few months ago. Bill Colarulo and Amy Faddol have been two of the people who have worked with Cooney recently.

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Chris Curtis: Boston Had a 17.7 Rating for the 2024 NBA Finals

“So Boston was a 17.7; Providence was a 12. Just very interesting – I don’t know what it means.”

Barrett Sports Media

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NBA Finals Logo

The 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks averaged 11.31 million viewers across the five-game series on ABC, including a simulcast of Game 3 on ESPN, down 3% in year-over-year viewership. Additionally, the series had a 5.8 rating, representing a 5% year-over-year decline in this category. Excluding the 2020 and 2021 NBA Finals, this series was the lowest-rated on record and the least-watched since the San Antonio Spurs faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2007, according to Jon Lewis of Sports Media Watch. Chris Curtis, producer of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI, revealed more information about the NBA Finals ratings during the program’s live show on Friday morning.

Curtis discovered that the Boston market had a 17.7 rating throughout the five-game NBA Finals series, which he explained compiles linear viewership and streaming data. Drawing a comparison against other significant Boston sports games in the last five years, he mentioned how the Boston Red Sox championship victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the 2018 World Series had a 43.2 share in the marketplace. Although Nielsen Media Research was tracking out-of-home viewership at the time, it did not begin implementing the metric into its viewership estimates until 2020. Curtis also said the 2018 AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs garnered a 58.5 rating in Boston.

“With baseball, it’s the only sport we ever talk about how their ratings are declining and the sport’s dying,” Curtis continued. “If Major League Baseball just had these [NBA] Finals [as] their World Series, it would be the pullout national story about it, but because it’s not baseball, we just don’t talk about it. The Red Sox last playoff run in 2021, the one-game Wild Card against the Yankees, did a 19.8, so the one-game play-in to the playoffs did a higher number than the average rating of the five NBA Finals games in Boston.”

Greg Hill asked Curtis for his reasoning behind the phenomenon, to which he replied that he was not sure. In fact, he thought that the nine-day buildup to the first game of the NBA Finals would have an anticipation resembling the Super Bowl. One possibility could be that the series was not always the most competitive, although he immediately stated that he still had no idea.

“I think that the Celtics were so much better than Dallas, people were like, ‘This series is not going to be good,’” co-host Jermaine Wiggins said.

“But if you’re Boston, you want to see that,” co-host Courtney Cox replied. “You want to see them be dominant, so that’s why I don’t know why the Boston number was just so low.”

Show producer Chris Scheim wondered if the 8:30 p.m. EST start time for the games could have an impact. Curtis did not believe this to be the case and revealed additional ratings data related to the five-game series in the process.

“Every one of these games in the Finals and the World Series and the playoffs have all been 8:30 starts, and Providence did a 12,” Curtis said. “So Boston was a 17.7; Providence was a 12. Just very interesting – I don’t know what it means.”

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Chris Kinard Named Audacy Sports Format Vice President

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to lead our best-in-class local sports radio stations.”

Barrett Sports Media

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L:ogo for Audacy and a photo of sports format vice president Chris Kinard
Photo Courtesy: Audacy

Chris Kinard has been named the new Sports Format Vice President for Audacy. Kinard will add those responsibilities to his duties as Vice President of Sports Programming and Cluster Director of Operations for Audacy Washington D.C., which includes 106.7 The Fan and The Team 980.

As part of his new responsibilities, Kinard will oversee the development and implementation of brand and format strategies for the company’s Sports division. He will also work closely with Vice President of Sports Danny Freisinger to execute the company’s multiplatform content strategy and production. Kinard takes over for Spike Eskin who recently left WFAN to serve as afternoon drive co-host on Audacy’s SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia.

“We are privileged at Audacy to benefit from the best local sports content thought leaders in the country and Chris has distinguished himself through his leadership of WFJK-FM and WTEM-AM in D.C. over many years,” said Jeff Sottolano, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, Audacy in a release. “I am excited to see Chris take on this new role and partner with our local and central leadership on further strengthening our unrivaled position in sports.”

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to lead our best-in-class local sports radio stations,” said Kinard. “Audacy is home to the most-listened-to brands and the most impactful local voices in sports, and we have an exciting future ahead. I’m thankful to Jeff Sottolano, Dave Richards and Danny Freisinger for this opportunity.” 

Kinard joined 106.7 The Fan in 1998 as an intern and worked his way up to become a producer until 2007. From there, he took on the role of Brand Manager and has held that position since then. In 2019, he also took on the role of Operations Manager for Audacy Washington D.C., overseeing multiple stations including Classic Hits 94.7 The Drive, The Team 980, and Connecting Vets.

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