The most talked about story in sports radio circles this week is likely to be extended another week. Entercom, Mike Francesa and CAA Sports have finalized an agreement to bring the New York sports radio icon back to afternoon drive on WFAN starting next Tuesday. Francesa’s show, “Mike’s On”, will be heard weekdays from 3p-6:30p ET. CMB will move to an earlier timeslot.
The new deal which is being promoted as a mixture of radio, digital and live events, includes the addition of a brand new mobile app which features exclusive live video streaming of Francesa’s weekday radio program on WFAN. It will also serve as the exclusive home of the “Mike’s Football Sunday” show, starting with the 2018-19 football season, and provide exclusive audio and video archival content of Francesa dating back through his storied 30-year career at WFAN. The app will be free to download in summer 2018 and offer a subscription option for fans who want to hear and view additional content. The audio stream for Francesa’s radio program on WFAN will be available on Radio.com.
“We are excited about this partnership with Mike and CAA Sports,” said Entercom President and CEO David Field. “We are proud of the terrific lineup on WFAN and are looking forward to bringing Mike back into the mix in this new, multiplatform and innovative way.”
“After exploring several options, this partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom was the perfect fit,” said Francesa. “This partnership allows me the chance to return to WFAN and all of our loyal listeners, as well as significant opportunities, including the app and live events, that are completely new. I look forward to working with both companies on making this a very successful venture.”
WFAN and Francesa have also agreed to join forces for a series of live events across formats and venues, including live broadcasts, one-on-one interviews and a speaker series. More information can be found on www.mikesonnetwork.com.
“From the very beginning of our relationship with Mike, we fielded a tremendous number of offers for him across an array of business areas,” said Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports. “As we got to know Mike, we believed that the best opportunity would capitalize on his entrepreneurial spirit, and build upon the appetite of his multi-generational fan base. Our partnership with Entercom enables Mike to interact with fans across multiple platforms, including digital and live events, bringing him closer to his audience than ever before.”
Charles Barkley Shares Skip Bayless Hate, Retirement Plans With Grant and Danny
Barkley spoke with Danny Rouhier and Grant Paulsen for two segments on Monday.
Danny Rouhier was on Charles Barkley’s home court last week, so Chuck decided to return the favor with a visit on the Grant and Danny show to discuss his career and what’s on the horizon.
Rouhier and Barkley had a good time recalling Rouhier’s spot on Inside the NBA last week, where the sports talk host and comedian interviewed Barkley with his famous impression of “Chuck.” They discussed some of the NSFW chatter from before they started recording, and the conversation moved into cancel culture. Something Barkley is ready to not worry about when he retires in a few years.
“I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60,” said Barkley. “And then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working ’til 60. I’ve already told ’em that. I’m not working until the day I die; that’s just stupid. And if I don’t have enough money by now, I’m an idiot anyway, so they should fire me.”
That firm statement from Barkley puts the end of the line for his media career in 2023. The timeline makes sense, and we’ll have to see if Draymond Green ends up hanging up his NBA sneakers to replace Barkley.
The beloved media figure has tried to be honest with his criticisms of athletes and coaches. He called out one media voice in particular who he’s battled with in the past.
“That’s the one thing I hate about a lot of sportscasters, the one reason I hate on punk-ass Skip Bayless,” said Barkley, “is because he cherry-picks the guys he likes and the guys he don’t like. And if you’ve actually paid attention to him going back, you can just tell he hates that guy, or he loves that guy. And I don’t think that’s the way you should do your job.”
Barkley did a two-segment hit on the program Monday, and fans can listen to Grant & Danny every weekday from 2 to 6:30 p.m. ET on 106.7 The Fan.
Michael Kay: ‘My Skin Is So Thin, It Is Translucent’
“There are parts of me that when someone say something nasty about me in the newspaper that I think is unfair, my first inclination is to strike back at them.”
On Tuesday, Michael Kay added another new job to his many list of jobs. Not only is he the voice of the New York Yankees on YES and a host of The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN Radio in New York City, he is now an author. His book, CenterStage: My MostFascinating Interviews – From A-Rod to Jay-Z was this week released recapping all the memorable interviews he’s done on YES Network’s CenterStage since it first aired in 2002.
Kay was recently a guest on the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast to talk about the book among other topics. Being a host in a large sports market comes with a fair share of criticism and for Kay, it is not easy for him to handle it and at times, he wants to fight back, but knows he can’t.
“I am so incredibly thin-skinned. There are parts of me that when someone say something nasty about me in the newspaper that I think is unfair, my first inclination is to strike back at them. But, my bosses at both places go ‘that doesn’t help you. It’s not productive.’ I think it is.
“People that criticize people do not like to be criticized. My skin is so thin, it is translucent. If I mess up a call and you say wow, Michael messed up a call. Bring it, I deserve it. When you say stuff just the way I do stuff or something that rubs you the wrong way, it bothers me. I don’t understand the meanness of it.”
Kay went into detail with Deitsch about going off on the radio show five years ago about New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick for a criticism Mushnick had about him.
“I went off on the radio like a lunatic. About 21 minutes of lunacy by me. I go to a break and my phone rings and it’s [Mike] Lupica. He goes, you’re happy? I go, yeah. He goes, ok, he’s not going to let you up for 5 years. He goes, what you just did made you feel good for 20 minutes and now you are in his crosshairs for 5 years, so be ready.”
Whenever Kay does play-by-play for a Yankees game or hosts the radio show, the key for him is honesty with the viewer or listener. He doesn’t think there is anybody more critical of the team they broadcast than he is and he credits the Yankees for allowing him to do that.
“The reason I can do it is that the Yankees never say a word because they realize the value of honesty. If you are going to tell people the food stinks, then they are going to believe you when they tell you the food is great. There are so many people around the country that are blowing smoke constantly and I guess that’s what the fanbase wants. I don’t think that would play in New York. I think honesty plays in New York.”
KNBR Program Director Jeremiah Crowe To Exit in Mid-July
“KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe informed his staff on Monday that he’ll be leaving the station in mid-July. Crowe and his family are moving to Las Vegas.”
After enjoying five great years with San Francisco’s sports radio ratings king KNBR, Jeremiah Crowe is ready for a new adventure. The sports leader’s program director informed his staff on Monday that he’ll be leaving the station in mid-July. Crowe and his family are moving to Las Vegas, creating a PD vacancy that should become one of the crown jewel programming opportunities in sports radio.
Crowe joined KNBR’s programming team in May 2016. He initially ran KNBR 1050 and served as KNBR 680’s Assistant Program Director before being elevated to the top job in July 2016. Prior to joining KNBR, Crowe spent four years as the Assistant Program Director for KNBR’s local competitor 95.7 The Game. He was recognized as the 7th best PD in the format in BSM’s Top 20 of 2020.
“After five successful years at Cumulus San Francisco, I’ve decided to move on from my post as KNBR’s Program Director,” said Crowe. “I’d like to thank Dave Milner, Bruce Gilbert, Justin Wittmayer and Larry Blumhagen for their support in entrusting me to lead one of the most prestigious and dominant brands in sports radio history. The privilege of working alongside the best staff in all of radio while experiencing the Bay Area’s rich culture has truly been the experience of a lifetime. I’ll always cherish the deep friendships made around The Sports Leader’s studios, and plan to visit often. Our family looks ahead to our next chapter in Las Vegas, ground-zero for the ever-expanding sports betting industry.”
After accomplishing everything he hoped to in the Bay Area, Crowe has his sights set on making an impact in the sports betting space. The category is one which Crowe is both experienced in and passionate about. He told BSM he’ll begin exploring his professional options once he settles into his new Las Vegas residence. With nearly a decade of programming experience in a top five market, and another ten years spent previously working on the national circuit for ESPN Radio, Crowe should have no problem finding suitors for his services.
Sports radio this year has seen a number of programming changes at top markets and stations. Spike Eskin is leaving WIP in Philadelphia to lead WFAN in New York. Eskin’s exit leaves WIP searching for a new PD, a situation that WEEI in Boston is also going thru. With Crowe leaving KNBR, Cumulus SVP of Sports Bruce Gilbert and new GM Larry Blumhagen immediately begin scouring the nation for the right person to guide the sports leader to future wins. With a strong FM/AM signal, the San Francisco Giants and 49ers play by play rights and a talented staff in place, the next programmer chosen to lead KNBR is stepping into a great situation.
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