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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Ingram’

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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John Tesh Talks Radio Show, NBA on NBC Theme

John Tesh is an accomplished musician, with gold albums, music Emmy Awards, and sell-out concerts to his credit. 

To a different crowd, Tesh gained household name recognition from his decade run on Entertainment Tonight.

While the versatile performer always has projects on his plate, Tesh’s main focus is his self-titled daily syndicated radio show. Heard on 382 stations, the program is heard locally on Farmingdale, New York’s WKJY/KJOY.

However, Tesh broadcasts his show on most days from Los Angeles.

On this day, Tesh recorded the program in Manhattan, as he would be at a KJOY promotional event in Franklin Square later in the day. That’s where FishbowlNY caught up with him.

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A Golden Anniversary for the Top 40 Gold Standard–Dan Ingram Joined WABC 50 Years Ago This Weekend

While most people celebrated the nation’s 235th birthday, quickly a radio icon marked a milestone over the weekend.  

Dan Ingram is widely considered the greatest Top 40 DJ of all-time. That’s the consensus of critics, fellow broadcasters, and most important—listeners.

For the 40-something crowd and older, Ingram was appointment radio each afternoon on 77 WABC. He took fans through the heyday of Musicradio in the 1960s and 1970s, and stayed with the station until the music died in 1982. (He and dear friend and colleague Ron Lundy were the last voices heard before WABC flipped to talk radio.)

While being raised in Brooklyn, Charles Hollon idolized Big Dan. Even though Hollon, 42, isn’t in the business, Ingram made an impact on his life.

“For an only child growing up in Bensonhurst, the small toot-a-loop radio that was won on Wonderama, was his world,” Hollon says. “The guy who came on everyday at 2 p.m. with some odd drum-based music that he spoke over was a must.”

After stints at big-time rockers KBOX in Dallas and WIL in St. Louis, the Oceanside, New York native and Hofstra graduate was hired by WABC and the Dan Ingram Show was born on July 3, 1961. (Ingram began filling-in three days earlier) 

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Stepping Out of His Father’s Shadow, Chris Ingram Makes His Own Mark in Radio

If you listened to radio between the mid 1960s and 1970s, there’s a good chance you were tuned to WABC. Even more likely, Dan Ingram kept you company on many of those afternoons. He was a constant at Musicradio 77 for 21 years, ending with the station’s switch to a talk format in 1982.

During that time, Ingram became widely recognized as the greatest Top 40 disc jockey of all time.

He has nine children spanning three wives (now married for a fourth time).

One of “Big” Dan’s children is Chris, who remains the most connected to radio.

Ingram, who got his radio start at WEEI in Boston, spent several years working behind the scenes at CBS Radio and TV as a writer and editor. (At WEEI, Chris met his now ex-wife, veteran WCBS-AM morning anchor Pat Carroll. The couple has two children together.) In the last decade, however, the younger Ingram made a career decision to become a DJ.

“Doing news really was making me sick because it was such a denial of who I was and what I wanted to do be doing.”

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Former WCBS-FM Music Director Says Station Now Has ‘No Style’

WCBS-FM has been a ratings juggernaut month after month in the Arbitron PPM survey. There’s no disputing that. The station, since leaving the bad taste from the ill-fated jockless “Jack” format in 2007, has held consistently at number two. Even twice, CBS-FM has reached the top position in the city.

However, what is up for debate is how CBS-FM compares to the original CBS-FM, heard from 1972 to 2005.

Richard Lorenzo (center) was former music director at the Oldies station. FishbowlNY caught up with him recently at the CBS reunion luncheon.

“There’s no style to it anymore,” Lorenzo admits.

CBS-FM had two ingredients that worked for its avid listeners—the music and the jocks. Throughout the years, the DJs showing off their personalities went hand and hand with the format.

“The ones [jocks] then weren’t necessarily more intelligent, but they were more enjoyable because they were into the craft more deeply,” Lorenzo says.

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