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Mike Francesa Returns to WFAN on Tuesday

Jason Barrett

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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.”

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Eli Gold to Call Games in the Arena Football League

“Eli is the gold standard of sports announcing,” said former Titans and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “We are very excited to have him be a key component in helping us return the Nashville Kats and the Arena Football League to the Music City.”

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Eli Gold and the Nashville Kats
Courtesy: Nashville Kats

Eli Gold, who was not retained by the Crimson Tide Sports Network after 35 years calling University of Alabama broadcasts, will be taking his talents to Nashville. Gold has been named the play-by-play broadcaster for the Arena Football League’s Nashville Kats, who are set to kick off in April.

According to a release put out by the team, the games will air on Cromwell Media stations in Nashville, either on 102.5 The Game or Classic Hits 93.3.

“It is an honor and privilege for the Kats to have the legendary Eli Gold be our voice and be part of our franchise in a variety of ways,” said Nashville Kats founding partner and CEO Tamara Dadd Alan, an Alabama graduate. “We are not only excited to hear him on the calls of our games, but also how he will become a leader in the community as part of our franchise outreach.”

“I am so very excited about returning to the Arena Football League as the voice of the Nashville Kats,” Gold said. “I say returning, because I was the TV voice of the league back when the games were on NBC and TNN, and I came to love the product. The Nashville Kats are a franchise with a great history of success, and now with Jeff Fisher and Dean Cokinos heading the football operations, the new Kats should pick right up where the old Kats left off. I look forward to bringing you all the action of the 50-yard indoor war.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of the return of the AFL and the Nashville Kats franchise,” Cromwell Media Nashville general manager Shawn Fort said. “In addition to the great people involved like Jeff Fisher and Eli Gold, we are excited for the opportunity to continue to connect on a local level with football fans in Middle Tennessee.” 

“Eli is the gold standard of sports announcing,” said former Titans and Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “We are very excited to have him be a key component in helping us return the Nashville Kats and the Arena Football League to the Music City.”

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Rob Parker to Launch ‘Sports Rap Radio’ in Detroit

“It will be young people getting opportunities and former athletes, from Detroit or with ties to Detroit.”

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Rob Parker and the Sports Rap Radio logo
Rob Parker Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports

Rob Parker, co-host of The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard on Fox Sports Radio, is launching ‘Sports Rap Radio’ in Detroit. Parker and a group, which includes former NBA player BJ Armstrong, will air the programming on WXYT 1270 AM through an LMA with Audacy who owns the signal. Currently, the station airs Audacy’s BetQL Sports Betting network.

The Detroit News was first to report the announcement and said the brand will feature an all-Black host lineup and plans to hit the airwaves in mid-May. Parker said the lineup will be all local from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will also then carry The Odd Couple at its normal time of 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. About the lineup, Parker told the newspaper, “It will be young people getting opportunities and former athletes, from Detroit or with ties to Detroit.”

Parker said the intent is to build a network of stations in the top 20-25 black markets. He also said he will use the overnight hours to air podcasts with Black hosts.

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Andrew Fillipponi: Jac Collinsworth “Was Dreadful” at Play-by-Play

“Jac Collinsowrth was underqualified…for the position he was in in. He didn’t deserve to have the job, I’m glad he doesnt have that particular job anymore and I dont even feel remotely bad about sayiing it.”

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Andrew Fillipponi and Jac Collinsworth
Andrew Fillipponi Courtesy of 93.7 The Fan Jac Collinsworth Courtesy of NBC

Count The PM Team with Poni & Mueller hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller amongst those who will not miss Jac Collinsworth on Notre Dame broadcasts. The 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh hosts were responding to the news Andrew Marchand of The Athletic had reported earlier in the day that Collinsworth was being taken out of the play-by-play role for Notre Dame games on NBC.

“He just was terrible on those broadcasts,” Fillipponi said. “… if anyone thinks I’m being too hard on a guy who got his job in large measure because of who his dad is, feel free, if I ever lose my job to just dunk on me endlessly…Jac Collinsowrth was underqualified…for the position he was in in. He didn’t deserve to have the job, I’m glad he doesn’t have that particular job anymore and I don’t even feel remotely bad about saying it.”

Reminded that Collinsworth is a Notre Dame graduate, Fillipponi asked, “Do you know how bad you have to suck at the job to be a Notre Dame alum and they don’t even want to keep you on the broadcast?”

“Taking him off that assignment, I bet he’s livid,” Mueller said. “Because he wants to call his alma mater’s games. I wonder how Cris Collinsworth takes it? And it makes me think, ‘is Collinsowrth, the elder, the dad, how much longer is he going to be at NBC?’ If Cris Collinsworth is seeen as their top analyst and someone they want to have call their games until he’s ready to retire ten years from now, they are basically firing his son off of Notre Dame football games.”

“He was dreadful at the job,” Fillipponi added. “As a desk guy, in all those roles, pretty much dreadful.” Fillipponi also went on to say if the response is for Cris Collinsworth to leave NBC, he had a suggestion on who could take his place. “I’d put Greg Olsen with [Mike] Tirico on Sunday Night Football in a heartbeat…I think [Cris] Collinsworth is very good…the fact that virtually every fanbase hates Cris Collinsworth and thinks he hates thier favorite team, is proof positive that he is good at his job.”

In case anyone thought Fillipponi was just mad Jac Collinsowrth got the Notre Dame job because he is the son of Cris Collinsworth, he said, “You don’t hear me going on and on about nepotism with Noah Eagle, because I think Noah Eagle is excellent already at the job.”

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