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Michael Kay, Don La Greca Talk Dangers Of Hot Mics

“Now, you’re altering everyone to the fact that the Yankees are on right now and [that] it’s a close game. You might be losing some viewers because the Met game – I wouldn’t say it was a blowout – but it seemed like it was at hand.”

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A customary feature of the SNY broadcast is the “game break,” a brief 15 to 20 second pause in the action where Gary Cohen throws to a studio anchor who gives the latest out-of-town scores and news. During Thursday’s Mets game against the San Francisco Giants, Cohen threw to Sal Licata, who proceeded to show highlights of the Yankees game against the Detroit Tigers. Unbeknownst to Cohen, his microphone remained on through the game feed being presented on the new SNY mobile app, and about ten seconds in the “game break,” viewers heard Cohen say: “Why are we showing Yankee highlights?”

On Thursday, The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York spoke about Cohen’s remark, and rather than simply assuming the statement came out of his fandom for the Mets, a team he grew up rooting for, co-host Michael Kay believed the statement came more out of a cognizance towards the business of live television.

“The Yankees are on opposite you,” said Kay, who serves as the play-by-play voice of the Yankees on the YES Network. “Now, you’re altering everyone to the fact that the Yankees are on right now and [that] it’s a close game. You might be losing some viewers because the Met game – I wouldn’t say it was a blowout – but it seemed like it was at hand.”

Don La Greca disagreed.

“I’m a big fan of Gary. He’s terrific,” said La Greca. “He was Met Boy. If I had to guess, that’s Gary saying, ‘I’m a Met guy. Met broadcast. Why are we showing Yankee highlights?’”

While La Greca believes part of the blame for Cohen’s remark going over-the-air was a lapse by the producers at SNY, mistakes are expected to happen especially with the nature of a live broadcast. Hot mic incidents have cost broadcasters their jobs and future broadcasting opportunities, including former Cincinnati Reds play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman, who was cited by Kay as someone who may never recover from his incident.

With the potential for these incidents to occur to anyone not remaining aware of the power the microphone yields to the person behind it, Kay offered a salient piece of advice for aspiring broadcasters looking to make a career in sports media.

“If you have a mic near your face, you have to believe that it’s on, even if it’s not, even if it’s not,” said Kay. “Number one: There could be somebody in the truck that hates your guts and would like nothing better than to expose you. Number two: There are technical sanfus when they think they’ve turned down the mic and it’s not. Don’t say anything when you have a mic near your face!”

La Greca knows that if Kay was heard on a Yankees broadcast questioning why his network was showing highlights from a Mets game, he would receive much negative publicity and draw the chagrin of Mets fans – likely to an extreme degree.

“Oh my goodness,” said Kay in response to La Greca’s assertion. “Met fans would be waiting to lynch me…. They might start another paper just to write about me.”

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Sports Radio News

Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP

“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”

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Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.

One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”

More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”

Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”

An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.

“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.

“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.

Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”

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Sports Radio News

Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road

“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.

“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.

No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.

Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.

On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.

“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”

If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.

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Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”

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Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.

This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.

“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”

McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.

“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”

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