Sports Radio News
Gregg Giannotti: James Dolan Hates WFAN Because of Maggie Gray Comments
“She called out James Dolan for his Harvey Weinstein song. That was just gross. It was so ridiculous.”
Neither the New York Knicks nor Rangers radio rights rest with WFAN, and there’s an apparent reason for that. According to WFAN morning host Gregg Giannotti, James Dolan — owner of both franchises — hates the radio station for comments made a few years ago.
A discussion about the facial recognition software used by Madison Square Garden to remove guests not welcomed by Dolan on Boomer & Gio brought up the revelation from Giannotti that criticism levied to Dolan by former midday host Maggie Gray is the reasoning behind Dolan’s hatred of WFAN.
“She called out James Dolan for his Harvey Weinstein song. That was just gross. It was so ridiculous,” Giannotti said. “It was all ‘I should have known my friend was pulling out his fish-looking penis and showing it to people’. That was basically his song, so Maggie’s like ‘This is ridiculous’, calls him out on it, and ever since then MSG and WFAN have had this horrible relationship. Because James Dolan hated Maggie for calling him out.”
Giannotti then wondered if Gray would be able to get into Madison Square Garden due to Dolan’s alleged hatred of her. She called into the show to say she actually entered the arena in September of 2021.
“I got invited to the Garden to the WWE SmackDown event,” said Gray, who now hosts the afternoon show on CBS Sports Radio with Andrew Perloff. “I know some people at WWE, they were having a party, and then I got to go to SmackDown. I didn’t buy a ticket or anything and had a mask on. It’s September of 2021, so everyone still had masks on.
“I walked through the metal detector, multiple detectors, they checked my bag, the whole thing. They saw the invitation I had. Then I go up to a party that was in one of the suite levels, took the mask off, mingled at the party for like an hour with people I knew, and took the mask off to watch the show…No one ever approached me. It was really shocking actually.”
After Gray’s call, co-host Boomer Esiason said he remembered the anger from Dolan, saying “I just remember thinking ‘You gotta be kidding me’.”
Giannotti then shared a story about how MSG would donate items for a charity auction put on by the station, but former WFAN Program Director Mark Chernoff was “ambushed” by MSG employees who “hammered” him for Gray’s comments.
“That James Dolan can hold a grudge,” Giannotti concluded.
Sports Radio News
Hans Olsen Joins BYU Radio Crew
“I’m beyond thrilled to now work with Greg, Mitch and Jason to bring my passion for the game to the BYU fans I played for years ago.”
Hans Olsen spent five years in Provo as a member of the BYU football team. He started on the defensive line for his final two seasons and as a senior was named second team all Mountain West. Now, the Cougars are moving into the Big 12 and Olsen is coming along for the ride.
The school announced on Thursday that he will be the new radio analyst. He replaces Riley Nelson, who resigned in January and will work with Greg Wrubell, who has been the voice of the Cougars since 2001.
Calling games runs in the Olsen family. Hans is the nephew of Merlin Olsen, who worked as an analyst for CBS and NBC after a Hall of Fame NFL career.
“I’ve always loved what my Uncle Merlin did in the booth, and I had a dream to see what it was like,” Olsen said. “I’m grateful to Brian Estridge and Bowl Season Radio for giving me the chance to pursue that dream, and I’m beyond thrilled to now work with Greg, Mitch, and Jason to bring my passion for the game to the BYU fans I played for years ago.”
Sports fans in Salt Lake City know Hans Olsen well. He is the co-host of Hans & Scotty G on KSL Sports Zone 97.5. He and Scott Garrard have worked together since 2014.
Sports Radio News
Lou Merloni: Sports Talk Radio Was Grinding On Me
“You wake up every day and search for that negative topic and it wears on you and turns you extremely negative.”
Late last year, WEEI afternoon co-host Lou Merloni announced he was leaving Merloni, Fauria, and Mego as part of a larger shakeup of the Boston sports radio station to work as a game analyst for the Boston Red Sox on both WEEI and NESN.
In an interview with The Athletic, Merloni discussed his exit from the program and admitted after a decade and a half, sports radio had become increasingly difficult. But being a game analyst had always been of interest to him.
“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” Merloni said. “I’ve done games before and that was my happy place. I liked doing sports talk, but after a while, it was 15 years, it started grinding on you more than I wanted it to.”
Merloni — who spent nine seasons in the big leagues with the Red Sox, Padres, Indians, and Angels — added that the negativity of sports radio grew to be an issue for him.
“You wake up every day and search for that negative topic and it wears on you and turns you extremely negative,” he said. “It’s not manufactured, it’s just, that’s your job. If you just talk about nothing but how great the Bruins are, nobody would ever call in. So it’s ‘Why isn’t (David) Pastrnak signed yet?’
“So those are things that get people interacting with sports radio and those are the discussions you have. But you also want to keep it somewhat positive and balanced, it’s just different. There’s always that search for that sort of angle. And that grinds on you, it really does. It turns you into something you’re not, maybe.”
The soon-to-be 52-year-old said joining the NESN booth came at a great time for him.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the TV booth, I just didn’t know when the right time was, so sometimes things work out for a reason,”
Sports Radio News
Michael Kay: MLB Radio Analysts Won’t Have Time to Talk With New Rules
“I think that’s going to be a really different vibe, baseball on the radio this year.”
MLB’s Opening Day is upon us, and with new rules implemented to improve the pace of play, many have questioned how the rules will affect broadcasters. New York Yankees television voice Michael Kay said radio crews are the ones who will be hurt by the new statutes.
During a conference call discussing ESPN’s KayRod Cast, Kay was asked how the new rules would alter not only the usual television broadcast, but also his alternate broadcast with former 14-time All-Star Alex Rodriguez.
“I don’t think it’s going to impact television broadcasts that much. Maybe you won’t be able to see eight replays on a simple ground ball to short because there’s not much time between batters, but I think it’s going to have a big impact on radio broadcasts where the analyst simply is not going to have time to talk. They’re just not,” Kay said.
“There’s no pictures that you can talk over like in baseball. The analysts can talk to a couple of pitches, but in radio that’s just not going to happen. It can’t happen. I think that’s going to be a really different vibe, baseball on the radio this year.”
“I do like the changes, and I think the pace is going to be both better to watch and to announce,” Rodriguez added.
Kay mentioned that while the news rules were an adjustment, he did enjoy the overall speed of the game.
“The pace is so much better. I don’t think there should be a complaint about pitch clock or anything like that. That’s how the game should be played.”