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Francesa Addresses Future of App & WFAN Show

Brandon Contes

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WFAN continues a year long stretch of being in the news for the wrong reasons.  On Monday, Mike Francesa commented on the station’s most recent matter which saw Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden owner, James Dolan ban all employees from Entercom owned radio stations.

Dolan’s decision derives from a rant by Maggie Gray this past summer, where the WFAN host took issue with the billionaire’s song titled “I Should Have Known,” about his friend Harvey Weinstein.  Francesa always had a good personal and working relationship with Dolan and the Garden, but the MSG ban includes Mike’s WFAN show.  Although not discussed on-air, the door could be open for Garden personnel to join Francesa on one of his Mike’s On App shows that are not broadcast by WFAN.

Francesa took issue with the Garden public relations team and Dolan for implementing the ban, but he also defended the billionaire owner because Mike believes most disparagement of Dolan in the last 15 years has been unfair.   Francesa went on to criticize his WFAN Maggie Gray, accusing her of going over the top with her now infamous Dolan rant, in an attempt to draw attention to the show, Carlin, Maggie and Bart.

After discussing Entercom’s current relationship with MSG, Francesa closed the segment by dropping a second bombshell regarding the future of a partnership between WFAN and his oft-criticized app.

“I knew it was going to be uncomfortable, and maybe it was more uncomfortable than I thought,” Mike said about his May return to WFAN.  “It’s been successful, we’ve done what we’ve had to do, I think from a business standpoint they’re thrilled, but still, it’s not the most comfortable thing.”  Mike furthered the statement by saying he upset the apple card by changing the station’s lineup and promoting his personal app, which Entercom was supposed to buy an ownership stake in.

Mike often promotes his app while on-air at WFAN, attempting to drive listeners to purchase the platform and listen to his shows that are not broadcast by the station.  Anytime a caller questioned Francesa for advertising the app while on-air, Mike would reiterate Entercom’s ownership in the app, but apparently that partnership has yet to happen.

“We haven’t even come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and the show don’t work together, and maybe that’s something we’re going to have to adjust, one way or the other,” said Francesa. “We’re going to have to wait and see about that, because we still don’t have a deal, so maybe it’s not the right…maybe the app and this show can’t work together. That’s possible. And if it is, we’ll adjust one.”

After James Kratch of NJ.com wrote a story deducting that the above statements could mean the end of the app, Francesa quickly responded to vehemently refute the sentiment.

“And if anything leaves, it will not be the Mike’s On app. So got it?” responded Mike.  “Underline it, put a punctuation mark and own it. The Mike’s On app is going nowhere. Nowhere, and FAN has nothing to do with it. And that, in essence, may be the conflict, because to utilize this show to promote the app may be something that doesn’t work as well as I had hoped it did. That’s all…But the app is going nowhere. Because you guys have been wrong about the app from the beginning.”

Mike continued, “I will be with CAA as long as I’m working professionally. You can take that to the bank. They are great people, I love working with them. They’ve put some wonderful people on the app who have done great work. Their technical people have done great work, everyone has been committed to it in front of my guys, who have done a great job with it. The guys I handpicked to put on it and work on it have done a great job. Everybody’s put in a lot of time and effort, and it’s done incredibly well. CAA is thrilled with it, we’re thrilled with it, it’s going nowhere.

“The other part? We’ll see what happens. Now, see if you can figure it now. Now that I’ve took you there, I’ve left the crumbs for you, let’s see if you can put the pieces together without screwing it up.”

While Francesa certainly made a clear threat that he could leave WFAN, the iconic radio host tried that less than a year ago and quickly returned.  Maybe Francesa now views his app as a stable home for a daily sports show, but it’s also possible he decided to pile on Entercom while they’re vulnerable, attempting to pressure them into purchasing a stake in the Mike’s On platform.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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