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Mike Francesca Announces He Will Leave WFAN Afternoons

“He cited a desire to spend time with his kids as the reason for taking a step back, and said it was time for the next generation to take over drive time on the station.”

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Mike Francesca will leave the afternoon drive slot on WFAN in December. He told Newsday that he expects to be a part of Radio.com and could have a small role on WFAN in the future.

The Fall ratings book ends on December 4. Neil Best of Newsday speculates that Francesa’s final day on air could be December 6. WFAN has not made any announcement regarding its post-Francesca plans at this time.

Francesa made his official announcement Tuesday afternoon as part of his WFAN show. He cited a desire to spend time with his kids as the reason for taking a step back, and said it was time for the next generation to take over drive time on the station.

“I’m ready to make that transition,” Francesa said “I’m looking forward for whoever sits in here. I hope they do very well. I think the station will do just fine. There is a lot of new faces and new people involved. That’s the way it should be. It’s time for the next generation. Best job there is in this town and I’ve held it for over 30 years.”

You can hear his full comments below.

“While we are still finalizing details,” Entercom Regional, President Susan Larkin, said of Francesa’s soon-to-expand role at Radio.com. “This is an exciting move to bring more of Mike’s iconic sports talk content to fans across broadcast and digital in new, engaging ways wherever and however loyal sports fans want it.  Stay tuned as we will be sharing more details in the weeks to come.”

This obviously won’t be the first time Francesa has stepped away from WFAN. He announced his retirement at the end of 2017 only to come back just a few months later.


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Arizona Sports, KMVP, Wins an NAB Crystal Award

Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their exceptional year-round commitment to community service.

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Graphic of the NAB Crystal Awards and a logo for Arizona Sports

Congratulations go out to Arizona Sports, KMVP in Phoenix, named one of 10 Crystal Award Winners from the National Association of Broadcasters. Winners were announced at the We Are Broadcasters celebration earlier today at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The 10 winners were chosen from a list of 50 finalists. Arizona Sports had been a finalist in 2023.

Since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their exceptional year-round commitment to community service. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges representing the broadcast industry, community service organizations and public relations firms.

“It’s a major part of the fabric of what we do and to have it be recognized sort of brings it all into perspective why we do what we do,” said Bonneville Arizona Director of Programming Operations Brian Long about the commitment the station and cluster make to working within the community.

One example of this saw Arizona Sports and sister station KTAR News 92.3 team up with Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a Give-a-Thon week in 2023 which helped raise $2.15 million for kids and families in need.

Arizona Sports is owned by Bonneville and is overseen by SVP/Market Manager Ryan Hatch.

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Dan Patrick: I Don’t Want to Win Sports Emmy Award Posthumously

“It’s just us – we’re just a couple of guys here in a converted tool rental place.”

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Dan Patrick

Last week, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the Sports Emmy Awards, which take place on Tuesday, May 21 from New York City. Much to the chagrin of those on the Dan Patrick Show, the program was not among the list of nominees within the category of “Outstanding Studio Show – Daily.” Dan Patrick broke the news to the Danettes and members of the audience during Tuesday’s edition of the program, which now only has three more attempts to be nominated before its planned conclusion at the end of 2027.

Patrick acknowledged that he should have mentioned the news on Monday’s program, but added that he needed another 24 hours to process the news because it was painful. He did not mention the topic to ask for sympathy or beg for a nomination; rather, he felt bad about coming up short for the Danettes and audience. Patrick himself has won an award at the ceremony before, but he wants the program to win one before it concludes.

“We’ve got three more tries and then that’s it because I don’t want to get one posthumously,” Patrick said. “When I’m dead, and all of a sudden they say, ‘You know what? On second thought, we should have honored that show because that show did spawn a lot of other shows.’ You don’t have Pat McAfee without this show; you don’t have [Dan] Le Batard without this show. We’ve left a legacy, but it’d be nice with a Sports Emmy for that legacy.”

Patrick “Seton” O’Connor contributed to the discussion by explaining that he believes the Danettes would be neglected if the show was to be honored in this manner. Dan Patrick replied by stating that someone would have to be there to pick it up, and he yielded permission for the Danettes to attend the ceremony to do so. Additionally, he has a plan to bypass the rule that only one person is allowed to speak on behalf of the show while accepting the honor.

“I would like for everybody to speak at the same time, so when they say, ‘Here on behalf of the Dan Patrick Show, it’s Todd Fritz, Seton O’Connor, Marvin Prince and Pauly Pabst,’ and then you guys go up there collectively and then you start the acceptance speech,” Patrick said.

After everyone in the studio simulated what such a speech would sound like, Pabst divulged the nominees within the category, which includes MLB Tonight, NBA Countdown, NFL Live, Pardon The Interruption and SportsCenter. Fritz, however, believes that the show is not classified correctly within the categories because of the topics being covered.

“They need to kind of look into some other categories because so many times we’re put against shows and it doesn’t match up with the traditional sports talk show and other programs,” Fritz explained. “They’re highlight shows – they’re very different than what we do.”

As the discussion continued, Patrick opined that if the nominating committee saw what it took to put everything together for the Dan Patrick Show, the program would win a Sports Emmy Award every year. O’Connor countered with another possibility that it would devalue the nominating process and does not want to win an award in a category for “Best radio show on TV.” Instead, he wants to beat the other people in this category, mentioning how he wants to win the award over the people who work on SportsCenter.

“We’re going up against behemoths,” Patrick said. “It’s just us – we’re just a couple of guys here in a converted tool rental place. I’ve got guys doing jobs they never did before, but you know what, that’s the beauty of it.”

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Steak Shapiro: Stuart Scott Was the Definition of a Talent

“He had the it factor.”

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Photo of Stuart Scott

As news broke this weekend of an upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on former SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott, many have been reminded about just how talented and revolutionary Scott was. Steak Shapiro and Sandra Golden hit on that topic today during The Steakhouse on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.

When Stuart Scott arrived on set, I’m telling you it was a gamechanger of all gamechangers,” said Golden. The show then played audio clips from a tribute SportsCenter ran on Scott the night of his passing featuring his unmatched delivery and his signature catch phrases such as “cool as the other side of the pillow.”

As the clips ended, Shapiro said, “That little montage, that is the definition of smooth. That is the definition of a broadcaster, a talent. Not just his writing, but his cadence…just listen to how smooth he is.”

Golden noted that much of what Scott did was unscripted and how she noticed the anchors who were paired with Scott looking at him with anticipation as they wondered what he would come up with next.

“He had the it factor,” Shapiro said. “…I’d put Patrick’s cadence up there with anybody, Olbermann’s flamboyance and Stuart Scott’s smoothness, if I’m thinking about sports anchors.”

Scott passed away at the age of 49 in January 2015 following a battle with cancer.

The 30 for 30 film will explore his rise up the ranks at ESPN, his influence on media and culture, the pain of a divorce and his fight with cancer that ultimately took his life. Scott’s daughters Taelor and Syndi will also lend their voices to the tribute to their father.

A release date has not yet been announced.

“I’m really looking forward to this because I think we’re going to learn so much…and he was the most beloved at [ESPN] and treated everyone with respect and dignity.”

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