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Pete Rose, Neil Best Dragged Into Kay/Francesa Feud

“The New York sports radio war between Michael Kay and Mike Francesa has intensified as the ratings gap closed in the last year, but simultaneously broadcasting an interview with the same guest is a new battle tactic.”

Brandon Contes

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A few weeks ago Michael Kay was in two places at once, hosting the first hour of his radio show while simultaneously calling an afternoon Yankee game.  On Tuesday, Pete Rose performed a similar trick as New York sports radio listeners were able to hear the all-time MLB hit king on two rival stations at once, WFAN and ESPN NY.

The New York sports radio war between Michael Kay and Mike Francesa has intensified as the ratings gap closed in the last year, but simultaneously broadcasting an interview with the same guest is a new battle tactic. 

Francesa promoted the segment with Rose on Monday, touting it as the first stop on his new book tour, unaware that crosstown rival, Michael Kay had plans of conducting the same interview.  

The Rose interview with Kay started at 3:30pm, with Francesa’s set to begin at 4pm, but Rose’s segment on WFAN was pushed to an earlier start time once YES and ESPN began broadcasting his interview with The Michael Kay Show.  The ability to have an abrupt time change led many people on Twitter to assume the WFAN spot with Rose was prerecorded and Kay’s was live, when in fact it was Francesa’s show that had the live interview.

https://twitter.com/BackAftaThis/status/1135993842359054337

If watching the Kay Show on YES, the audience clearly saw the interview presented as “recorded earlier, but radio listeners might not have been aware Kay’s interview with Rose was the one on tape delay.

As Rose was sitting in studio with Francesa, Mike’s On producer, Brian Monzo was on Twitter, seemingly confused why he needed to prove to listeners the interview was occurring live.  Newsday’s Neil Best clarified that Kay’s interview with Rose was indeed prerecorded, which caused the story to take an interesting turn.

Kay sarcastically called Best a “sleuth” on Twitter, triggering the social media account, @BackAftaThis to defend the longtime Newsday columnist.  

https://twitter.com/BackAftaThis/status/1136001896320307200

For his next tweet, Kay referred to Francesa as a legendary broadcaster and directed his animosity toward @BackAftaThis, the Twitter account notorious for making fun of WFAN’s iconic host.  @BackAftaThis has garnered a national following since Francesa unretired a year ago, by continuously sharing Francesa’s on-air gaffs.  The account has yet to be shut down by Entercom and WFAN, consistently helping Francesa to go viral on social media, even if it’s due to people laughing at his mistakes.

Kay questioned whether or not the man behind the curtain of the @BackAftaThis account was working for WFAN.  Although the account does bring Francesa a lot of media attention, it’s hard to imagine Mike allowing FAN to employ someone with the sole purpose of broadcasting his embarrassing mistakes as a full-time job. 

What should have remained a battle between the two New York afternoon sports radio hosts, ended up as a fight between two Francesa foes, all while the Sports Pope pretended to have no idea what was going on. 

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

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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Sports Radio News

BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week

“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”

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BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII. 

Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.

The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.

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