A report surfaced yesterday linking former WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa to a reunion with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on First Take. On The Mike Francesa Podcast Tuesday, he admitted there’s truth to that rumor.
“I know there was a story written yesterday. The story had a lot of — I wouldn’t say it was 100% accurate, but it had a lot of truth to it. I’m gonna tell you exactly what happened,” Francesa began. “They called me last year and wanted me to surprised Dog and Stephen A. on First Take. Dog has been doing the show once a week with Stephen A. They wanted me to surprise them and go on. I was a little leery of surprising anyone. I felt better if they knew about it.
Francesa then claimed a nasty cold kept him from participating in the show.
“We went back and forth trying to find a date. We agreed on a date and I had a bad cold…so I passed on that day. Think it was in March. Said we’d get back to ’em. We never got back to each other again, and that’s where it’s been.”
He added there’s a chance in the next couple of months he could make an appearance on the show.
“I don’t know how it got out,” Francesa said. “It didn’t get out from me. But it is true that there was conversations. They did ask me to do it. They did not talk to me about any offer to do it on a permanent basis or anything like that. It was — as far as I knew — a one time thing. That was my understanding at the time. We haven’t discussed it since last April, maybe May.”
He concluded by saying he hadn’t hear from the folks at First Take in awhile, but when the discussions ended, they wanted him to be apart of a show.
NBA Champion Danny Green Partners with Audacy for Podcast and Analysis
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be in the homes and ears of basketball fans across the country and to share my love of the game with each of them.”
Audacy announced it has partnered with three-time NBA champion Danny Green for his weekly podcast, Inside the Green Room with Danny Green. Green will also be appearing as an NBA analyst on Audacy sports stations across the country.
The podcast, co-hosted by Green and Harrison Sanford, offers an inside look into the life of the NBA veteran and welcomes a wide range of sports journalists, players and coaches as guests. New episodes of “Inside the Green Room with Danny Green” are released on Thursdays everywhere podcasts are available.
“I’m excited to join the Audacy team and to be part of a dynamic organization that’s leading the pack when it comes to its basketball coverage,” said Danny Green. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be in the homes and ears of basketball fans across the country and to share my love of the game with each of them.”
“We’re thrilled to welcome Danny Green to the Audacy family,” said Danny Freisinger, Vice President, Sports, Audacy. “Danny and Harrison are a dynamic duo who do a great job covering the hustle of professional sports as well as the human experience, bringing listeners a true insiders look at the game.”
Green won an NCAA Championship as a member of the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2009 and spent 15 years in the NBA, winning championships with the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, the 2019 Toronto Raptors and the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers.
Dan Le Batard: ‘I Don’t Know If We’ll Make Another Peter King’
“Peter King…leaves a legacy of print journalism being respected by people in football because he did his job well… and he did it for 30 or 40 years.”
During today’s episode of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, Dan Le Batard celebrated the career of Peter King. LeBatard said he doesn’t think we’ll make another sports media member quite like him. Le Batard credits King’s unique blend of charisma and journalistic credibility when discussing his place in sports media.
“I don’t know if we’re even going to make anyone like that anymore, Le Batard said. “The lifetime print journalist in football who has so many relationships, so much credibility, inherited the mantle from Paul Zimmerman…Peter King took what Zimmerman was doing and perfected it, and leaves a legacy of print journalism being respected by people in football because he did his job well, he did his job fair, he cultivated relationships, and he did it for 30 or 40 years.”
King was honored with a Stugotz “Top 5 Kings” list, where he placed second behind DraftKings, the show’s primary sponsor.
King retired after 44 years in a column posted early Monday morning. “Who’s complaining? Not me. I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” King wrote this morning. “To be a long-termer in an increasingly short-term business, to write this column for 27 years, and to be a sportswriter for 44, well, that’s something I’ll always be grateful for. Truly, I’ve loved it all.”
The longtime columnist says his retirement is followed with an asterisk, simply due to the idea that King will continue doing something in the medium space, but just not his weekly column. King said a desire to spend time with his family contributed to his decision.
Le Batard closed the conversation on King with praise of the longtime columnist. “I am grateful for his grace over those years that he would have that many contacts, would be that interested in informing the public, teaching the public about football, and would do what the best of the oldhead dinosaurs do — evolve with the sport the way Kurkjian did instead of fighting the advanced metrics and the changes and the wiz kids, learning how to intermingle with them to keep your career evolving for 40 years and beyond.”
Jeff Kotuby is a nationally-published journalist with bylines on many popular broadcasting and pop culture sites, including The Streamable, eBaum’s World, Twin Galaxies, and more. Jeff grew up in the shadows of New York City and cultivated his love for sports media with the classic broadcasting voices of the area, like Mike & The Mad Dog, Mike “Doc” Emerick, and Michael Kay. You can reach Jeff on Twitter @JeffKotu3y.
Richard Deitsch: Would Not Surprise Me if NFL Had Two Streaming-Exclusive Playoff Games Next Year
“And, I agree, you’re going to see, eventually in the next year or two years, whatever it is, another Wild Card game that is going to be on a streaming platform.”
The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch said on his podcast, Sports Media with Richard Deitsch, he would not be surprised to see more than one streaming-exclusive NFL playoff game by as early as next year. Deitsch had Sports Business Journal’s Managing Editor/Digital Austin Karp as his guest and the two discussed NFL streaming as well as other topics such as the Daytona 500 TV ratings, the upcoming Men’s and Women’s NCAA basketball championships and more.
Last week, CNBC’s Alex Sherman reported Amazon will pay $150 million to exclusively-stream an NFL Wild Card playoff game after reports had first indicated the number would be $120 million. This past season it was Peacock who started the trend as the first to exclusively stream a playoff game, with a $110 million price tag.
“We are going to read this headline now every year,” Deitsch said. “Whether it’s Amazon or someone else, and I would not be surprised if in short order, if we move very quickly to a second postseason game behind a paywall…It would not surprise me if next year someone like an Amazon or somebody else had two of them.”
Karp agreed with Deitsch, saying, “…It has proven out that you can draw a comparable audience for the Wild Card round. As far as sports moving over to streaming with big events like this, it’s incremental. And, I agree, you’re going to see, eventually in the next year or two years, whatever it is, another Wild Card game that is going to be on a streaming platform. It just makes sense, that’s where the eyeballs are going and we have shown that the audience numbers can match what linear TV was able to produce for that round.”
One other item of note covered by Deitsch and Karp was the future of the Sports Media Podcast. Previously the podcast had been hosted by SBJ’s John Ourand along with New York Post senior sports media columnist Andrew Marchand. However, both have changed employers with Ourand now at Puck News and Marchand moving over to The Athletic.
Karp has taken over hosting duties and said, “We are going to stay, obviously, very focused on what our bread and butter is – sports business and sports media, in particular. But, maybe you will see us branch out a little more…We want to try to keep as many of the smart talk elements, and really lean in to what SBJ has been doing for close to 30 years, giving you an insiders look into sports business.”