The Mike’s On app debuts today, Friday. Listeners have been asking Mike Francesa ‘what’s next?’ since early 2016, when he told Katie Nolan his plans to leave WFAN in December of the following year. After months of silence, Francesa returned to WFAN this past May, but insisted his comeback was in conjunction with launching his new project, the Mike’s On app.
“I’ve wanted for a while to have my own content machine – my own content vehicle that I could control and that I would have the ability to go [on-air] when I wanted,” Francesa told TheStreet in an interview on Thursday from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. “I think there’s a market for it.”
Francesa appears to be more committed to the Mike’s On app than his 2012 project, the Audio Roadshow App which was oft ignored and eventually forgotten by the legendary WFAN host. At a steep price of $8.99 per month, Mike has no choice but to remain committed to his new platform.
To compare, SiriusXM, which offers Francesa’s former partner Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, Howard Stern, and hundreds of exclusive channels and sporting events, costs about $13 per month. ESPN+ carries thousands of live sporting events, unique programming and Insider content, while costing just $4.99 per month. For a host that spends four hours each weekday on WFAN at no expense to consumers, Francesa will need to offer a lot of exclusive content to make the $8.99 price fee worthwhile.
According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, the Mike’s On app is expected to launch in two phases. The first phase features just Francesa, the video simulcast of his WFAN show and the ability to hear Mike’s immediate reaction following breaking news or a big game 24/7. The app will also provide consumers with an exclusive Saturday college football show and Mike’s long-running Sunday morning NFL program.
The second phase of the app launch, according to Marchand, will introduce other voices to the app. Francesa has stated on his WFAN show that he will look to use the app as a way to develop other sports radio personalities. While on-air Thursday afternoon, Mike confirmed WFAN overnight host, John Jastremski, will be featured on the app. The enthusiastic Jastremski has frequented Francesa’s WFAN show as a guest in recent months.
For the first two weeks, the Mike’s On app will be available for a free trial, giving fans the opportunity to decide if $8.99 is a worthy fee. WFAN’s parent company, Entercom and Francesa’s agency, CAA are minority partners in the new venture.
Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.
Dave Tepper Leaves Altitude Sports Radio To Become PD of News Radio KOA
“ The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. She was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018.”
There’s a big change taking place in Denver radio. Dave Tepper has left Altitude Sports Radio to become the new program director for Newsradio KOA. The position became available after iHeart Denver recently parted ways with programmers Greg Foster and Tim Spence.
The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. Egger was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018. She left to take the reigns at iHeart in December 2020. Tepper will be responsible for all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence, as well as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Rockies Region.
“We are very excited Dave will be leading our incredible team at KOA,” said Turnbeaugh. “Dave’s track record, vision and leadership is exactly what we need as KOA continues to evolve as Colorado’s, News, Talk and Sports leader.”
Altitude Sports Radio went through a lineup revamp early on under Tepper before settling in the past few years. The station built its morning show around Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, afternoons around Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl, and middays around Ryan Harris, Scott Hastings, and Josh Dover. The station also moved from 950 AM to 92.5 FM, and added an affiliation with VSiN.
At KOA, Tepper will work with both sports and news talk programming. He’s familiar with both formats having previously managed 1620 The Zone and News Talk 1290 KOIL in Omaha. Tepper also previously programmed ESPN 97.5 in Houston, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network Studio Coordinator and National Network Producer for Westwood One’s broadcasts of the College World Series. He has also worked on-air as a sports talk host in Houston and Austin, TX after starting behind the scenes at KLSX and KABC in Los Angeles.
“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks,” said Tepper. “My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once in a lifetime step.”
Altitude Sports Radio hasn’t announced a timeframe for when it expects to hire a new leader.
Travis Demers Steps Away From Rip City Radio 620
Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.
Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Travis Demers is going to be taking some time to enjoy being around his family.
Demers clarified that he will still be calling Blazers games and be involved with the team’s radio production, but he’s going to take this opportunity to be more involved in the lives of his kids.
For now, Doing will fly solo hosting Rip City Drive. iHeartRadio Portland has not announced whether a replacement will be hired.
Dan Le Batard: Hank Goldberg Was a Legend But Terrible To Many People
“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’…I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive.”
Many mourned the passing of Hank Goldberg on Monday. He was a longtime, loud voice in Miami radio on WIOD and even longer with WQAM. He was also a familiar face to ESPN viewers.
Dan Le Batard, beginning in 1990, was also a loud voice in Miami as a columnist with the Miami Herald. He and Goldberg had a strong, often bitter, rivalry that played out in the eyes of the public.
On The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Le Batard commented on the passing of Hank Goldberg and his comments were an “honest” discussion of the two’s history.
“More than merely a legend, I can say this honestly, if not for Hank Goldberg, this would not exist (referencing the now podcast). All of it. The Hank Goldberg coaching tree, the best thing it birthed, sits right next to me. It has belched out little other radio talent but Stugotz is the lasting legacy of what Hank Goldberg did.”
The podcast goes on to tell the story of Stugotz, once the executive producer for Hank Goldberg, needing looking talent when he was part of a group that launched WAXY-AM also known as 790 The Ticket. Stugotz never forgot how much Goldberg did not like Le Batard. Goldberg would read Le Batard’s columns on air and react to them weekly with vitriol. Stugotz got an idea to counter-program Goldberg’s and WQAM’s ratings dominance.
“Because he would talk about Dan so much when I was the executive producer of his show,” Stugotz said, “I figured ‘hey I got to hire this guy to go against Hank Goldberg… if I can get Hank to go against Dan or Dan go against Hank then Dan would have a daily platform to snap back if he wanted to.”
Le Batard would join WAXY and the back-and-forth that came mostly from Goldberg’s frequent bashing of the columnist, now had two sides. Le Batard, who well aware of how his comments may seem, tried to tame the waters some.
“I don’t want to get aggregated as ‘Le Batard Dances on Hank Goldberg’s Grave’ or buries Hank Goldberg. I would never say that I am happy to see anyone die. I am just saying that I was never that happy when he was alive,” Le Batard opined. “He was truly terrible to so many people…you want to talk about this honestly? He was a legend, yeah. And he was an asshole to a whole lot of people”.
Stugotz added more context. “Hank didn’t like you (Le Batard) because Hank had an ego and you were a perceived threat”.
Le Batard referenced stories he didn’t want tell about Goldberg “playing defense” on his career but did say that Goldberg’s impact on the city was undeniable.
“Hank Goldberg in this town, did create a sports voice that helped make us more national. And made gambling a little more normal. And Hank Goldberg in this town, before anyone else, was a big shot in this town…”