WFAN is in the center of turmoil once again. The focus of the chaos? The highly coveted afternoon drive timeslot and longtime FAN host Mike Francesa.
The New York Sports Pope gave two years notice to The Fan that he’d depart the station at the end of his contract in 2017. During that period WFAN looked at a number of potential options to occupy the drive time slot, eventually settling on Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott.
But after just five months on the job, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that WFAN is pushing the panic button and planning to bring back Francesa. The move clearly puts Carlin, Gray and Scott in an awkward spot, although initial indications are that the station would have them work a shorter show in between Joe & Evan and Francesa. The trio signed two-year deals upon joining the station.
The plan would be for Francesa to host a three or three-and-a-half-hour show, likely from 3p-6p or 3:30p-6:30p. This is assuming that both sides can get past their prior tensions. Francesa has publicly taken swipes at CMB and Boomer Esiason, and Boomer and his former partner Craig Carton also showed they weren’t afraid to return the favor.
The news began to gain momentum on Tuesday morning when Francesa offered a cryptic response to Newsday.
“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days,” said Francesa. “I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back. For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.”
The Fan issued a statement to confirm that talks were ongoing between the two parties.
“WFAN confirms that we are in ongoing discussions with Mike Francesa about the possibility of him returning to the station. We also confirm that we are very proud of our current line-up at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures. As a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending negotiations and have nothing further to add at this moment.”
BSM reporter Brandon Contes points out that the biggest surprise in this story is that Francesa clearly had no post-WFAN plan. He spent two years discussing and celebrating his departure, making it clear he wasn’t retiring. However, he never mapped out his next venture. Stern, Russo, and Greenberg knew their next move, Francesa didn’t.
The about face also raises questions about WFAN’s management. After receiving a two year notice that Francesa would be leaving, the station couldn’t hire a show that it was willing to give even a six month commitment to. Were the options really that small? And what happens the next time Francesa leaves the station? Is a talent going to receive a fair shake or be shown the door six months later?
Dave Rothenberg Will Pose For Erotic Calendar If Giants Win Super Bowl
“I’ll pose like a pig with an apple in my mouth if we win one if you want.”
ESPN New York’s Dave Rothenberg is making a promise that he will likely never get a chance to fulfill.
During a Friday the 13th edition of DiPietro and Rothenberg, the two were wrapping up the show with their “three stars” segment. During the first part of the segment, they touch on the NFL schedule release that took place on Thursday, where Rothenberg promised that if the Giants somehow win the Super Bowl, he will give the listeners a sexy treat.
“If the Giants win the Super Bowl, I will produce and put out for public consumption a full FDNY-esque calendar,” he said. “I’ll pose like a pig with an apple in my mouth if we win one if you want.”
Quite the promise.
“I’m not rooting for anything with the Giants but if it does happen, I’ll mind it a little less,” DiPietro said in response to his co-host’s promise.
Rothenberg then doubled down on his bet with an even more outrageous claim.
“I’ll shave a photo of your face in my chest hair if the Giants win the whole thing,” he told Rick DiPietro
Keyshawn Johnson then joined the show. He found the idea of the Giants winning a championship in 2022 so far-fetched that he doubled down on Dave Rothenberg’s promise to star in a sexy photo shoot.
“Well if they win the Super Bowl, I’ll join ya,” Johnson said.
John Kincade: ‘ESPN Commercials Made 76ers Loss Worse’
“The one that I’m getting sick of is… a Kia commercial where a guy cleans up the beach for sea turtles. When your team is losing by 20, I ended up screaming ‘F the turtles.’”
It was the sign of an agonizing defeat when fans of the Philadelphia 76ers poured out of Wells Fargo Center in the fourth quarter last night, watching former Sixer Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat advance to the Eastern Conference Finals in a 99-90 loss. Fans at home felt frustration beyond just the loss according to John Kincade.
On Friday morning 97.5 The Fanatic morning man discussed some of the jaded messaging, including one new series of advertisements from the U.S. Army.
“The people were like, ‘Yeah, we’re buying a house,’” John Kincade, the host of the show, explained. “And they’re like, ‘You’re buying a house?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, [from] my time in the Army, we get zero percent financing right now on a house,’ and they go, ‘We get free bagels.’”
According to Kincade, the variety of military advertisements persisted throughout the game broadcast on ESPN. It drew an ironic contrast between the ethos of the U.S. Army and the 76ers play on the court.
“We got all these ads tonight for the U.S. Army while the Sixers are playing like the French Army,” Kincade said. “Because they honestly just surrendered.”
Indeed, there was criticism towards the 76ers play as a team, including the role of James Harden’s play on the court. Harden was unable to draw a foul during the entire matchup, an aspect of his game that helped him win the 2017-18 Most Valuable Player award, and only attempted two shots in the entire second half of the game. During the team’s struggles though, another soundtrack was in the minds of some watching from home.
“The Modelo [commercial] – oh my god,” said show co-host Jamie Lynch. “It was on every commercial break.”
At one point in the game, the 76ers were in a 20-point deficit to the Heat – leading to yet another commercial that catalyzed annoyance and instantiated the zeal of Philadelphia sports fans.
“I have YouTube TV, so my ads that I get are probably different than you,” explained show producer Pat Egan. “The one that I’m getting sick of is… a Kia commercial where a guy cleans up the beach for sea turtles. When your team is losing by 20, I ended up screaming ‘F the turtles.’”
Throughout the matchup, Egan was sending out what he called “hate tweets” towards the 76ers on social media, one of which demonstrated the lack of appeal playoff basketball has when watching your favorite team get eliminated on their home floor.
The show hosts continued to manifest their frustration throughout the show. Kincade even used ESPN’s Hubie Brown, a former head coach and former U.S. Army basketball team member, to explain his feelings.
“88-year-old Hubie Brown was already eligible for Social Security the last time this organization made the conference finals,” said Kincade. “Hubie Brown was 66! He was 66 – the last time they made a conference finals. By the way, Miami has now been to the conference finals eight times since.”
Tyler Polumbus: If Peyton Manning Wants To Own A Team, He Should Be A Broadcaster
“If you’re Peyton Manning, you wanna get back into the game, it comes down to what your desires are but sometimes, money–can change desires.”
Tom Brady will be Fox’s top NFL analyst once he retires. His ten-year contract is reportedly worth $375 million. That has lead to a lot of discussion about whether or not he has the personality to succeed on TV.
Tyler Polumbus, co-host of the The Drive on The Fan 104.3, thinks that Peyton Manning stands to benefit from Brady’s deal if he wants to.
“I gotta wonder, does this have an effect on Peyton Manning?” Polumbus said on Thursday’s show. “If you’re Peyton Manning, you wanna get back into the game, it comes down to what your desires are but sometimes, money–can change desires.”
Both Polumbus and his partner Darren McKee agree that Manning could follow in Brady’s footsteps with an even larger contract. Just like their local competition, Kreckman and Lindahl, they believe Manning would be a lot better than Brady will be as a broadcaster.
Polumbus suggested that Manning could “double dip,” creating a deal where the former quarterback can work in the broadcast booth while the network of his choice can carry the ManningCast, which his Omaha Productions company owns.
“ESPN does not own that, they pay Peyton Manning’s company for the rights to put that on-air. He can maintain that, he could put other people on, he could keep a simulcast going, he could go out and put that into college and other sports and he could just double dip all over the place.”
Peyton Manning has been open about his desire to own an NFL franchise. Polumbus said that given the numbers involved in Brady’s deal, a media contract may actually help Manning get closer to that goal than he is right now.
“Right now, Peyton Manning can own like 2% of an NFL team, it’s not gonna be a whole lot. You’ll be a minority share holder that would not have any real influence. That’s the type of money that if he’s patient, maybe he goes through two contracts and make $700 million over the next 15 years, he would still be young that maybe, it’s the type of money that can turn him into a little closer to controlling interest.”