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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mike Francesa and YES Network to split up after 10-year relationship

Screw the Castellammarese…the Parmigiana War is going to be uncourgettable!

It soon will be splitsville for the Sports Pope and the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network.

The 10-year+ simulcast relationship between WFAN’s Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa and the YES Network will be over by the end of January, the Daily News has learned. YES will replace Francesa’s afternoon drive show with ESPN-98.7’s “The Michael Kay Show.”

A TV executive familiar with the situation confirmed the switch. He said the move is strictly a “matter of economics,” with the rights fee WFAN is asking for Francesa’s simulcast becoming too pricey for YES and far exceeding what YES will pay to air the simulcast of Kay’s ESPN soiree. According to the executive nothing has been finalized: “But it’s going to happen.”

WFAN’s simulcast contract with YES for Francesa’s show expires January 31.

Behind the scenes there has been speculation Francesa giving Alex Rodriguez an exclusive platform on his show may have rankled YES and Yankee brass, thus speeding up The Pope’s departure.

“Not true,” the TV exec said. “The framework of the new (simulcast) deal (with ESPN) was already in the works before that ever happened.”

It’s likely Kay’s show, which features his sidekick Don LaGreca, will debut the week leading up the the Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium. Considering the media attention the event will receive, ESPN is probably pushing to plop the Kay simulcast right in the middle of a media circus.

Repoz Posted: December 15, 2013 at 01:26 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: media

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   1. Benji Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:24 AM (#4618218)
Who gets custody of the Diet Coke?
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:33 AM (#4618219)
How many people watch radio on TV? What kind of money are we talking about here?
   3. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:38 AM (#4618220)
The move frees up five and a half hours of daily programming time for replays of the Lee Guetterman "Yankeeography."
   4. SteveM. Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:57 AM (#4618221)
Breaking up his hard to do

Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause breaking up his hard to do

Remember when you held me tight
And you kissed me all through the night
Think of all that we've been through
Breaking up is hard to do

They say that breaking up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 15, 2013 at 03:01 AM (#4618222)



How many people watch radio on TV? What kind of money are we talking about here?


I imagine it's a lot of money.

I don't get AM radio in my apartment in NYC, and I'm not often in my car. And my iPod doesn't get AM radio. So there's nowhere else to listen to him other than on tv (which is easy given DVR).

Not that I need to listen to him but I basically don't watch tv anymore so I often have him on in the background as a "radio."
   6. madvillain Posted: December 15, 2013 at 03:26 AM (#4618230)
Not that I need to listen to him but I basically don't watch tv anymore so I often have him on in the background as a "radio."


Yea, was going to post similar. Now that I don't live in NYC I couldn't give a #### what sour puss says, but he is usually topical for NYCers and a lot of people probably put it on as background on the TV, as it's slightly more entertaining than radio should you glance up from whatever you're doing.

This is still my favorite Francesa moment.
   7. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 15, 2013 at 05:42 AM (#4618235)
How many people watch radio on TV? What kind of money are we talking about here?

I imagine it's a lot of money.


Not in TV terms it isn't. This story about Don Imus estimates he got just $1.5 million a year to jump to Fox Business Network. (The Imus story also suggests that contract amounts are typically overstated for publicity.) At ~17 hours per week times 40-something weeks, that's ~750 hours of airtime for $1.5 million, or $2,000 per hour. Although Fox Business reaches 75 million households, it averages just 50,000 viewers in the mornings, when Imus’ show airs. A Fox News show with that small an audience would likely be able to ask for $400-$500 to air a 30-second ad. It is likely that Fox Business is getting little more than $100 for the same spot.

Francesa is widely reported to be earning $5 million a year for his WFAN gig, about the same as (or not far behind) what Imus is reportedly paid to host his radio show. Presumably his YES Network salary is no better than proportional to Imus’ paycheck for Fox Business. It might be even less than that because of the afternoon slot, and because (other than ballgames) YES gets half of Fox Business' puny viewership. In 2012, YES averaged 27,000 viewing households in the daytime. Anyway, Michael Kay’s simulcast salary is certain to be substantially less than Francesa's.

To a television executive, the appeal of Imus' show, or Francesca's, or Mike & Mike’s, or any radio guy’s, is that it’s astoundingly cheap schedule-filling programming. And for these people who are doing their radio shows anyway, it's free money. It’s a win-win, for low stakes.
   8. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 15, 2013 at 08:40 AM (#4618238)
Ray, I'm about to change your life. WFAN now has an fm signal. 101.9.
   9. catomi01 Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4618278)
Ray, I'm about to change your life. WFAN now has an fm signal. 101.9.


So far in limited exposure, out here on the middle of Long Island (Port Jeff) 660 is still the better bet for signal strength and clarity.
   10. Publius Publicola Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4618286)
My favorite Francesca moment:

Francesspool falls asleep at the mike.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4618295)
This is still my favorite Francesa moment.

Without looking, fungibility?

Edit: nope, but Al Albuquerque was a good one too.
   12. TRBMB Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4618329)
One of his options is to connect with a National network, for which he is opposed. His reluctance would be related to having to expand his insider sources, i.e.. he would have to buy many more newspapers outside of NYC and then make believe he is more widely connected for inside information. The Pope is a Dope.
   13. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4618332)
"Sports Pope"? People actually call this guy "Sports Pope"? Is it something that people spontaneously started calling him (which I'd be totally shocked by)? Or is it more like some asinine scheme he and/or his handlers decided to start calling him it, in hopes that other people would pick it up too?

I've never listened to this guy frequently, but I've known of him, and have occasionally heard dumb little segments from him, for many years - more than a decade certainly, maybe even more than two. I've never before heard him referred to as the "Sports Pope".

In any case, as always, I will take this opportunity to give my impression of the erstwhile "Mike and the Mad Dog" Show:

"Sports Pope": Bluh bluh bluh. Bluh bluh? Bluuuuuuuuh, bluh bluh bluuuuuuh... bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuh. Bluh bluh.

"Mad Dog": Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap! Yap yap yap yap yap! Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap! Yap yap yap!

"Sports Pope": Bluuuuuuuuuuuuh. Bluh bluh bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

"Mad Dog": Yap yap yap yap!

"Sports Pope": Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh.

"Mad Dog": Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap! Yap! Yap yap! Yap yap yap yap!

"Sports Pope": Bluh bluh bluh... bluh bluh. Bluh. Bluh. Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh. Bluh bluh bluh.
   14. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 15, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4618340)
"Sports Pope"? People actually call this guy "Sports Pope"? Is it something that people spontaneously started calling him (which I'd be totally shocked by)? Or is it more like some asinine scheme he and/or his handlers decided to start calling him it, in hopes that other people would pick it up too?

I'm pretty sure it's a name that Bob Raismann, the Daily News local sports media critic, came up with as a send-up of Francesspool's self-importance.
   15. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 15, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4618383)
I thought it might have had something to do with him commenting on the papal election. FWIW, I thought that the show was better with Mad Dog as his partner.
   16. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4618397)
The YES Network can replace Francesa's time with an endless loop of this.
   17. TRBMB Posted: December 15, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4618406)
Yes, Sports Pope is an nickname attached to him by Bob Raismann, the NY News sports media critic, it due to his self importance.

I once had an opportunity to witness The Pope in action, back in the days Bill Mazer hosted the Friday afternoon WFAN show at Mickey Mantle's restaurant. We'd sit at the end of the bar, Mazer at a window table, Mazer was a gentleman, welcomed us being close at hand. On one occasion Mike and The Maddog substituted for Bill, the Pope came in, immediately protested on the seating and our own proximity. He was flat out nasty, I had all I could do to hold back.

Mike Francesa is an arrogant and nasty human being.


Bill Mazer was a wonderful man. Many times the better human being than The Prick.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 15, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4618444)
So Francesca was fungible?
   19. winnipegwhip Posted: December 15, 2013 at 07:09 PM (#4618541)
For no particular reason I thought I would post this parody

Parody
   20. Darren Posted: December 15, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4618550)
We can all agree that Francesa is a big blowhard idiot but can we also agree that Don Lagreca has never said anything remotely interesting in his life? What a cliche machine.
   21. Publius Publicola Posted: December 15, 2013 at 08:19 PM (#4618561)
So Francesca was fungible?


Yeah, he's pretty unique.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 15, 2013 at 09:03 PM (#4618579)
I'll say this for Francesa: his primary focus is to talk about the games on the field. He talks about what actually happened, and is less concerned with the soap opera off the field kind of stuff that goes on, like the locker room quotes and the players' off the field lives and such. Of course this stuff will come up, especially from callers, but he generally likes to discuss what happened on the field. That is why Mike & Mike are so horrible: their primary focus is gossip and the extracurriculars, and not the actual games on the field. (As well as the fact that Greenberg has to tease every commercial break: "Which NFL quarterback may now be dating Taylor Swift? The answer coming up in two minutes.")

   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 15, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4618584)
How many people watch radio on TV? What kind of money are we talking about here?


For some reason, it's pretty big up here in Canada.

We have every weekday..

On SportsNet (7 channels, varying times)/Fan590 (Toronto):
Hockey Central at Noon (1hr)
Tim and Sid (3hr)
Prime Time Sports (3hr)

On TSN2 (the lesser channel)/TSN1050 (Toronto):
Mike Richards in the Morning (1hr)
TSN Drive with Dave Naylor (1hr)

I know that SportsNet is paying big bucks for the Prime Time Sports spot because of the host (Bob McCown).
That was the first show to simulcast on the radio and TV network.
After that happened all the other ones popped up pretty quickly, so there has to be a damn good profit margin for the networks to run the simulcast.
   24. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 15, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4618601)
The YES Network can replace Francesa's time with an endless loop of this.


That is hypnotic
   25. Howie Menckel Posted: December 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM (#4618631)
Two decades ago, Francesa had some college BKB, NFL, and media knowledge from previous gigs. Not a ton that anyone cared about, and he was clueless otherwise but never let on.

Neither exactly became regulars in press boxes, but ex-partner Mad Dog Russo used to act deferential to the beat guys who he realized helped make his show as he commented on their actual work reading out of the newspaper the next day. Francesa, that I saw at least, never had that sense of grace - and the exemplary Al Albuquerque saga is his defining moment, for a guy who will never ever be able to admit he isn't always a genius.

That said, his ego and lack of self-awareness makes his show more entertaining. If a pompous, rich fool ever realizes he's a fool, the show wouldn't work anymore. I prefer that he continue to make ironclad predictions that blow up in smoke days later, with no acknowledgement whatsoever.

   26. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4618835)
I decided to tune into Mike & Mike this morning to get some sort of analysis of last night's games. (And Cris Carter did provide excellent analyst from a WR perspective on the final Romo interception.)

But basically, they opened with the Cowboys - fine - and talked about the comeback by Green Bay and the interceptions/play calling by Dallas. Fine.

But then they spent an entire segment discussing the fact that Dez Bryant left the field with over a minute left on the clock (though with the game effectively over since only the kneel-downs were to follow). Then on the next segment they discussed how the overrated Tom Coughlin blamed some of his players for not trying in the Giants-Seattle game. Then they came back the next segment, and, not content to just move on from the Dez Bryant thing, they spent multiple segments on it, asking Carter about it, asking Ditka about it, discussing it again amongst themselves. Then they discussed Coughlin again. In the interim they found time to talk about the Patriots game, but not much else. The only other subject they found time to talk about in the first 2.5 hours of the show was the Heismann.

Horrible. No talk about the rest of the NFL games, no talk about the NBA or college football (neither of which I'm interested in but I imagine fans are), of course nothing about MLB, etc. Now, maybe the NBA and MLB aren't all that interesting to fans on a football Monday -- but, then, they didn't really talk much football anyway. Just basically the Cowboys, a little on the Pats, and then huge servings on the meaningless Dez Bryan "issue" and Coughlin's blame game.
   27. Publius Publicola Posted: December 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4618878)
Mike & Mike will only talk about football, mostly pro football. If a team in another sport wins a championship, they might spend a few minutes talking about how that happened but mostly it's the NFL, first time, all the time.

Bores the crap out of me.
   28. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4618887)
(As well as the fact that Greenberg has to tease every commercial break: "Which NFL quarterback may now be dating Taylor Swift? The answer coming up in two minutes.")


Thank you for bringing this up! Actually, I think this is the signature style of ESPN radio. It seems like something each host has been required to do, which makes the station unlistenable and grating to the point that WFAN seems like decent radio.

In general, WFAN, which a pretty putrid product, is nonetheless better than ESPN radio because it's less beholden to any television agenda. Mike and Mike are told that sportscenter has video of Dez leaving the field early, and so that becomes a topic for the radio show, so that listeners are worked into a froth for when they encounter the same topic on ESPN TV later.
   29. zonk Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4618898)
All sports talk radio is this way, I've found.... It's all NFL, NFL, NFL, NFL... and they harp on the stupidest crap, beating it to death over and over again.

Prior to this season, I considered myself a sort of 'meh' NFL fan - I never watch it on my own, but I play fantasy football and am used to 'grabbing a beer' on a Sunday meaning that I inevitably will be sitting on a buddy's couch or at a bar with a bunch of TVs.

This season?

I think I actively hate the NFL.... like really and truly despise it. I haven't changed by fantasy football lineup since week 3. I've watched exactly one half of NFL - not by choice. I'll most likely knuckle under come Super Bowl time, but I'm legitimately considering making plans that do not involve watching it. I'm betting that there are a whole host of things -- dinner at restaurants you normally cannot get a table, maybe flights for weekend getaways that are NOT Vegas and the SB site? -- that one can do on Super Bowl Sunday.

The feeling of earwigs boring into my brain incessant NFL chatter is the single biggest reason I do not listen to sports talk radio anymore...
   30. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4618917)
Mike & Mike listeners can relax easy because DEZ HAS APOLOGIZED AND GARRETT WILL SPEAK TO HIM:

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant apologized for leaving the field before the clock ran out in Sunday's loss, explaining that he didn't want to be seen crying on the sideline.

Bryant left the sideline of Sunday's game with 1:21 left on the clock as the Green Bay Packers were running out the clock after completing an epic 37-36 victory, rallying from a 26-3 halftime deficit.

"I was wrong," Bryant told reporters during a Monday morning visit to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. "It didn't have anything to do with my teammates. I just ... I couldn't watch Green Bay kneel the ball down on the field after a tough loss like that.

"I was very emotional. I cried when I got into the locker room. I didn't want to show that stuff on the sideline."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he would discuss the situation with Bryant, who had 11 catches for 153 yards and a spectacular touchdown, on Monday.

"We'll address that with Dez today," Garrett said in his radio interview with 105.3 The Fan Dallas-Fort Worth. "I understand why to a certain extent: They're kneeling the ball, the game essentially is over. He's an emotional guy; we're all very emotional about what we do.

"But he needs to stay out on the field and I'll address that with him today. And just explain why it's important to do that and he'll understand," the coach said.

   31. villageidiom Posted: December 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4618925)
All sports talk radio is this way, I've found.... It's all NFL, NFL, NFL, NFL... and they harp on the stupidest crap, beating it to death over and over again.
Several years ago there was a local (CT) sports talk show in the afternoons on the ESPN Radio affiliate. They've always had such a show, but every couple of years it's another host with another sidekick and whatever.

Probably a decade ago I recall the host (a former NFL player, IIRC) complaining that in December - in the thick of college bowl determinations, the final throes of NFL playoff runs, and the NBA hot and heavy - all his listeners ever wanted to talk about was baseball, and only baseball. Of course, this being CT it was Yankees and Red Sox talk... I know y'all would probably rather hear 7 hours of Dick Vitale and Chris Russo singing the Carpenters' greatest hits than to endure another minute of NY/Boston baseball talk. But it's baseball talk, and it's wonderful.

Last week in the newspaper the local tv/radio critic mentioned his dismay that there was too much radio talk about the rule change on catcher collisions and not enough about UConn football's new head coach. UConn's football program isn't worth paying attention to, but it is the most significant local college football program, and it is a local sports talk radio show after all. Alas.
   32. winnipegwhip Posted: December 16, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4618949)
All sports talk radio is this way, I've found.... It's all NFL, NFL, NFL, NFL... and they harp on the stupidest crap, beating it to death over and over again.


That is why I find Sirius XM Radio a blessing. I never go near ESPN Radio on sat radio because of the aforementioned comments. Yet you have a choice of what you want to listen to. College Sports on 91 (including college baseball talk during the season!), MLB, NHL and if you want football you have NFL radio. If you have a host, guest or topic you don't want to hear you can change stations for a break.

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