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Howard Stern: Mike Francesa Should Have Fought To Keep Chris Russo At WFAN

“Stern believed Francesa began to get paranoid of prank calls and social media looking to catch him making a mistake, but Russo could have provided protection from that.”

Brandon Contes

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I can’t help but wonder if my interview with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo last month turned out to be a uniter of radio legends. 

During our conversation, Russo said he missed the discourse he had with his former radio partner Mike Francesa. A week later, Mike was on his SiriusXM radio show for an hour. He also told me how much he enjoyed going on The Howard Stern Show despite it being a few years since his last appearance. Less than one month later, Russo joined Stern for almost two hours.

“I’ve been totally into it. But it’s almost like when he gets Mike from Mahopac (Sour Shoes), he feels like he had Chris Russo on, so it’s been awhile, but I love going in there,” Dog told me as he tried to theorize why it’s been so long since he joined Stern as a guest. 

But Stern quickly nixed the theory to Dog, “I want to correct something right away,” Stern told Russo. “You have this feeling, I heard, that I haven’t had you on in a while because Sour Shoes does such a great impression of you…that I feel like I’ve had you on. But that’s not true.” Stern added that he waits for Russo to reach out, figuring he’ll come on whenever he’s ready. 

Shortly after clearing up why it’s been years since Russo was on the show, Stern dove into Dog’s relationship with Francesa. In Stern’s expert radio opinion, he believes Francesa should have fought harder to keep Russo from leaving WFAN for SiriusXM in 2008. 

Not only would it have kept an iconic sports radio duo together, but Stern also thinks it would have helped Francesa’s career near the end. Stern believed Francesa began to get paranoid of prank calls and social media looking to catch him making a mistake, but Russo could have provided protection from that. 

It was Russo’s decision to go and Francesa’s ego was never going to allow him to beg his partner to stay. If Russo was being forced out, Francesa might have fought harder, but that wasn’t the case. 

Ultimately, they each found success as solo acts. Russo’s solo work took a little bit longer to hit stride and Francesa’s flamed out slightly quicker than his former partner. But there’s no question a side of sports radio will always wish Mike and the Mad Dog never split.

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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