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War of Words Escalates Between Francesa and DiPietro

Jason Barrett

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Mike Francesa occasionally likes to mix it up. Especially with other members of the media, and local franchises that don’t produce large levels of attention in New York City.

It’s no secret that Francesa’s interest in hockey is small, but with the New York Islanders in the playoffs, he’s given them a little bit of publicity. Unfortunately for the organization, it’s for the wrong reason.

Last week on WFAN, “The Sports Pope” as he’s often referred to, trashed the organization for the way they market their product.

“I’m going to be honest with you – they’re not very good at promoting themselves. They’re third rate at promoting themselves,” Francesa said.

“They don’t know how to promote themselves. They couldn’t even find the time to get the coach to show up here. We were willing to take him. They couldn’t even get him to the show on time. So I mean, they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re a little lost right now. They’re in a little deep. Now their players aren’t, but the organization is. Their organization right now as far as what it’s doing, especially from a PR standpoint, is lost. I mean, third rate at best.”

That led to former Islanders goalie-turned-radio host on 98.7 FM ESPN Rick DiPietro standing up for his former employer and firing back at Francesa. He spoke about the playoff experience being new to the Islanders, and in the process called Francesa a “fatso”.

Not one to let things go quietly, Francesa took the bait and responded. After delivering another jab to the Islanders organization by reminding fans that tickets were still available for Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he saved some of his sharpest remarks for DiPietro.

“He felt he needed to protect the team that’s paying him, and I might have a warm spot for a team that was paying me through 2029 when I’ve done nothing but shoot my mouth off and bilk them out of a 15-year contract and have a losing record for my career,” said Mike.

“Just shut your mouth and be happy you have somewhere to go to work every day. From what I understand, you play goalie better than you’re on the radio, which isn’t saying much. Stick to a league you can compete in. In the radio business, you’re you and I’m Gordie Howe. The happiest day of their life was getting out from under that 15-year mess.”

Upon hearing of Francesa’s comments, DiPietro responded by labeling the WFAN talk show host as “Sports Precious”, “Radio Precious”, and asserting that he hopes Francesa will call into the show after he performs in July at the Coney Island Hot Dog eating competition.

Sports Radio News

Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”

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Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.

“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”

Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.

Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.

“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”

While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.

“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”

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Sports Radio News

David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP

“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”

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WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.

Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.

David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.

“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”

The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.

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Sports Radio News

Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy

“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”

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As has been previously speculated, the New York Mets and WCBS have officially announced the additions of Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to its radio broadcast team.

Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.

McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.

“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”

Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.

“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”

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