After nearly two decades hosting a national radio show, it only took three years for the platform to lure Mike Greenberg back. But as he noted in the latest BSM podcast, timing had to be right for a radio return and his TV show had to be operating efficiently.
Greenberg said for at least the first 18 months of the show, Get Up required all of his time to figure out what they wanted it to be and how to execute, but now he has time to invest in other projects.
“That’s in no way to suggest I’ve checked out in any way mentally,” Greeny told Jason Barrett. “But Get Up is something that is now rolling along and doesn’t require my being involved in every meeting and every conversation and being on top of it every second, so at that point I started thinking about what else could I start putting my time and energy into.”
Earlier this year, Greenberg said he received an unexpected phone call gauging his interest in returning to ESPN Radio. It was part of ESPN Radio’s plan to formulate their lineup into shorter shows.
The anchor of ESPN Radio’s new lineup is their morning show featuring Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti. The morning trio will undoubtedly face skepticism and criticism from an audience that might be used to something different, but according to Greenberg, their focus needs to be on “getting the show right.”
“If you do a good show, the advantage of being on ESPN is unimaginable, it’s overwhelming. As I always said about Get Up, we’re on a channel people watch. when we figure this out, they’re still going to be there to see,” Greeny said. “Just focus on making the show great and once it is, people will listen to it and people will like it.”
As Keyshawn, Williams and Mehenti launch their morning show, Greenberg joins a midday timeslot that’s new to him, but also presents the exciting opportunity to cover news as it happens. Radio provides an immediacy and intimacy that is inherently special for breaking news.
“I’ve been doing mornings for the last 21 years,” Greeny noted. “And what very seldom happens in the morning in sports is anyone getting hired, fired or traded…the things that constitute big breaking sports stories almost never happen on my watch.”
One variable that certainly influences the immediate success of launching a new sports radio show in 2020 is the ability of leagues to play games during a pandemic. While he’s justifiably skeptical college football will take place, Greeny remains confident that we’ll see the 2020 NFL season.
Sports will support the show, but important social issues won’t be ignored. According to Greenberg, the most important aspect of correctly handling those conversations is taking the appropriate amount of time to do so. Offer multiple sides, speak from the heart and give every opinion a fair amount of time to be expressed.
The latest episode of the BSM podcast includes professional advice from Greenberg on a talk show host’s responsibility to delivering effective teases, why they matter, and how Mike handles executing them during live shows. Greeny also shares his approach to hosting a national program and trying to serve everyone everywhere, as well as memories of former 97.1 The Ticket morning host Jamie Samuelsen, and how he learned of the Detroit sports radio host’s passing.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.