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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Russo’

WFAN, Mike Francesa in Running for Marconi Awards

WFAN, which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month, is nominated for a pair of Marconi Awards. The Marconis are awarded to stations and personalities for excellence in broadcasting.

WFAN gets named in the legendary station category for this first time ever.

The station is nominated with KYW-AM in Philadelphia, KFOR-AM in Lincoln, Nebraska, KSTP in St. Paul, and WBT-AM in Charlotte.

Mike Francesa, WFAN’s stalwart afternoon host, is recognized as a major market personality. Francesa, flying solo without Chris Russo (“Mad Dog”) since 2008, is the only New York personalty with a nomination.

“[We're] very happy to have finalists in two categories,” Mark Chernoff, WFAN operations manager, tells FishbowlNY.

Emmis’ Hot 97/WQHT is in the major market category, along with KPWR-FM in Los Angeles, WBBM-FM in Chicago, WMMR-FM in Philadelphia, and WTOP-FM in Washington.

Z100′s Elvis Duran and the Morning Show is nominated for Best Network/Syndicated Personality. Among the other nominees is Tom Joyner, formerly heard in New York on KISS FM/WRKS, and Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick.

Winners will be announced September 20 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards in Dallas.

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Mike Francesa Named Most Influential Sports Talker

For several years, Talkers magazine has compiled the “Heavy Hundred” talk radio hosts. With sports such a huge radio genre, the magazine is unveiling its first list of 100 Most Important Sports Talk Hosts in America.

Numerous New York personalities dot the survey. But you can start right at the top, as Mike Francesa (left) is selected as the best. The WFAN afternoon host has been in the driver’s seat alone since 2008 when Chris Russo (a.k.a. Mad Dog) bolted for SiriusXM.

Russo failed to get the same support from Talkers, landing at number 39. He was surpassed by WFAN’s morning team Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, in the high rent district of number 4.

Other WFAN hosts on the inaugural list include: Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts at 42, and original host Steve Somers at 56.

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Mike Francesa ‘50-50’ on Renewing WFAN Contract in Two Years

Whether you call him arrogant, curt, opinionated, argumentative, abrupt, or intolerant, Mike Francesa agrees.

However, as we conclude our celebration of WFAN’s 25th anniversary, the longtime afternoon host was nothing but open and candid during our wide-ranging, sit-down interview.

Francesa, the station’s signature talent, an afternoon mainstay for 23 years, is starting to think about retirement.

“My contract will expire in two years from right now. For the first time ever, we’re not going to negotiate until a year from now,” Francesa admits to FishbowlNY. “… When we’re a year out, we will have a conversation, Dan [Mason, CBS Radio, president and CEO], Mark [Chernoff, WFAN operations manager]. Les Moonves [CBS, president and CEO], if he gets involves. He did last time.

“…Two years could be enough. It would be 25 years. I don’t know. It depends on a lot of things… Right now, I’d say it’s ’50-50,’ it could go either way.”

Francesa, 58, realizes that any decision about his future would be made for him once he stopped being a revenue generator.

“I am an economic realist. I’ve understood from the beginning this is a business,” Francesa says. “And that’s why I feel blessed that I’ve been able to be here in this position for 25 years.”

Of course, the bulk of those years Francesa shared, sometimes contentiously, with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. Their 19-year partnership ended suddenly in 2008 when Russo (“Mad Dog”) bolted for Sirius XM.

“I didn’t begrudge him leaving for one second. I never had an issue with that,” Francesa says. “It just wasn’t handled properly, which I think he now understands it and would readily admit.”

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The Chernoff Chronicles: Celebrating 25 Years of WFAN

The nation’s first all-sports radio station is about to celebrate 25 years, and FishbowlNY is joining in the accolades.

Beginning today, we start a special, week-long series commemorating WFAN’s silver milestone July 1.

There are interviews with two charter members of the station, the first person on the air, and the signature voice a quarter-century later.

But we begin with a look back through the eyes of operations manager Mark Chernoff, who joined WFAN in 1993.

WHN owned the frequency at 1050 when Emmis suits, led by Jeff Smulyan, decided country music had run its course.

Smulyan, sales manager Joel Hollander, and others flipped the battle-tested country format in 1987 to sports. It was a mixed blessing, as WFAN was an untouched canvas on the radio easel.

“Its earliest incarnation was very different from what the ‘FAN eventually became,” Chernoff says.

Specifically, the programs were national in flavor, with many short-form features interspered within the shows. Original programming also consisted of 4 sports updates per hour, as opposed to today’s “20-20″ version. The Mets and WFAN have been perfect together since the station’s inception.

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Exclusive: WFAN’s Peter Schwartz Hosting Weekly Sports Webcast on Sportce.com

Peter Schwartz needs no introduction to sports fans. Since 2009 he has been prominently heard on WFAN providing updates and as the station’s New York Jets beat reporter since last season.  

Schwartz also is an update anchor on Sirius XM Radio for the NFL, Mad Dog (Chris Russo), and Fantasy channels.

But, at both organizations, Schwartz is a part-timer.

So when opportunities arise, he is ready to pounce.

Schwartz (seen here covering Super Bowl XLV for WFAN) is keeping his Tuesday nights free to host a show for newly developed website Sportce.com (Sport Content and Entertainment). Initially, Schwartz will give the program 30-minute of his sports knowledge and rolodex.

“I’d like the show to be a mix of the major sports and the minor sports,” Schwartz tells FishbowlNY exclusively. “I believe that the secondary sports, the alternative sports, deserve a place to be spoken about.”

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Steve Phillips Joins Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio

Steve Phillips‘s long road to career recovery has finally made its last stop.   Yesterday, the former New York Mets general manager and ESPN MLB analyst co-hosted the first episode of “Gary and Phillips in the Morning” alongside Mad Dog Radio’s Gary Williams

Almost a full year removed from his firing from ESPN for an affair with former producer Brooke Hundley, Phillips has returned to broadcasting just in time for the MLB postseason.  Before joining Chris Russo‘s Mad Dog Radio station, Phillips had been a regular guest on WFAN.  He appared in weekly baseball segments with afternoon host Mike Francesa and co-hosted several shows around the time of the MLB trade deadline.

Phillips conveyed his excitement for his new role in a Sirius XM press release:

“Having served as a player, director of player personnel, scout and general manager I have a unique perspective on all issues in sports.  To have the chance to do a national daily radio show, in drive time, on a top notch channel like Mad Dog Radio, is one of the more thrilling opportunities of my career.  For the past several months I’ve seen first-hand the broadcasting quality and freedom that SIRIUS XM offers and I’m excited about taking on a more expanded role.”

Phillips and Williams will span the national sports scene, from college to the pros, and interview all the coaches, players, and newsmakers in their four-hour weekday morning show.  Phillips will also continue to host the Sirius XM Fantasy Baseball Show on the network’s recently launched fantasy sports channel.

“Gary and Phillips in the Morning” airs every Monday through Friday from 6-10 am ET on SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144.