Rosenberg, known for having strong opinions and making controversial comments on WFAN (especially with Don Imus), may not have been the first choice for many to get the WINS gig.
“What people have to understand is, I have not given up on my radio talk show….That hasn’t changed,” Rosenberg tells FishbowlNY. ”But given the opportunity on top of that to get my voice on one of the most listened to stations in the country…it was a no brainer for me.”
A polarizing radio figure, Rosenberg says on WINS he’ll find a way to inject his personality into the sportscast.
“It’s going to have a lot of New York flavor, obviously,” Rosenberg, a Brooklyn native, joked. “Just my accent alone gives you that. Certainly, it’s going to be energetic and it’s going to be enthusiastic, and there will be audio every now and then that will make you chuckle.”
While Rosenberg, 43, plans a few minor changes, he cautions that it’s “not a Sid Rosenberg talk show.”
Rosenberg, who also has a weekday talk show on Miami’s WQAM, will handle the 90-second WINS reports from his South Florida home.
Even though preparation time is important for his afternoon talk show, Rosenberg says it was CBS Radio execs that offered him the abbreviated morning shift of 6 to 10 a.m.
There are also fill-in shifts on sister station ‘FAN, a place where Rosenberg has hosted more than 20 times this year. He returned to the sports station in February with a Super Bowl preview last February from Miami, and got several more hosting chances under his belt in the summer. However, Rosenberg says his presence on the all-news CBS-owned station has no connection to that.
“Truthfully …I’ve been asked that a million times,” Rosenberg says. “I don’t believe that one thing has to do with the other. … It’s obvious that when Mark Chernoff [operations manager] and the guys at the ‘FAN have an open date…if there are no conflicts and I’m up in New York at the time, then [they] give me plenty of opportunities, with or without WINS, that wouldn’t change.”
“The idea that I’m going to WINS because that paves an easier path to get back to the ‘FAN seems a little silly when you consider that I just did about 25 shows on the ‘FAN.”
It’s been a gradual New York return for Rosenberg. After several controversial on-air moments during his association with the Imus in the Morning program, a final straw for Rosenberg happened in 2005 when he failed to cover a New York Giants pre-game show. Given the option, he chose to resign. Rosenberg, though, doesn’t see his image needing to be fixed.
“I don’t feel that way, and I don’t think the powers that be feel that way,” Rosenberg admits. “CBS is a pretty big company and they take what they do very, very seriously. They would not put me on WFAN for one minute, let alone for 25 shows, so I don’t think that the ‘INS thing is a continued rehabilitation.”
Rosenberg sees his much-documented on-air troubles as water under the bridge.
“I don’t even talk about that crap anymore. Truth be told, I’ve been down in Florida for five years,” Rosenberg says. “I’ve had a morning show, an afternoon show, which has been great. …All this great stuff going on [he also wrote a tell-all book], and people still under this impression that I’m some out of control, wild maniac—the Imus character from 2003. That guy’s been gone for a long time.”