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Posts Tagged ‘ESPN 98.7’

Stephen A. Smith Headed to Sirius [Updated]

StephenARuoccoLogoWe agree with New York Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman. The idea of Stephen A. Smith moving from New York’s ESPN Radio to Sirius XM is ripe with possibilities:

Smith will soon leave ESPN 98.7 FM and take his verbal stylings to SXM’s Mad Dog Radio, where he will host his own show, according to satellite radio sources. Smith currently co-hosts a 1 p.m.-3 p.m. program with Ryan Ruocco on 98.7…

The idea of Smith working freestyle in the uncensored world of satellite radio is fascinating. SAS has gone right up to the line, and sometimes crossed it, as he did on Friday on ESPN’s First Take when he went on a rant concerning Ray Rice’s two-game suspension and implied some women should be blamed for domestic violence.

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Michael Kay Inks Multi-Year Extension with YES Network

We’ll be hearing a lot more “See Ya!” on Yankee games. Michael Kay has signed a multi-year extension to remain the Yankees lead broadcaster on the YES Network.

Kay, with the network since its inception in 2002, has been honored with three Emmy Awards and 21 nominations during that time. He’ll also keep his hosting duties with CenterStage and other specials.

“I could not be happier,” Kay says. “Continuing to live a childhood dream as the TV voice of the Yankees while working with the best group of people in the business on the country’s best regional sports network is as good as it gets. I can’t wait to start another season.”

In addition to his YES work, Kay is an afternoon radio personality on ESPN 98.7 FM. In December, Radio Ink magazine named his the second-most influential local sports talk show in America.

“We are pleased that Michael will continue to play a vital role here at YES,” John Filippelli, president of production and programming at the YES Network, says. “For the past decade on YES, Michael has been the voice of the Yankees deftly capturing the drama, intensity, and passion associated with the greatest franchise in sports. He is one of the pre-eminent play-by-play announcers in baseball and is a first-rate interviewer as well, as evidenced by his stellar CenterStage.”

ESPN Deportes to Broadcast Met Games in 2013

ESPN Deportes Nueva York will be the Spanish broadcast home for the New York Mets starting next season. Under the agreement, 1050 AM will originate 150 regular season games, including select spring training, and postseason. In addition, all games on ESPN Deportes will feature pre- and post-game shows.

“We are thrilled to launch our new partnership with ESPN Deportes, which has become a destination station for Hispanic sports fans in New York,” said Dave Howard, executive VP, business operations, New York Mets. “Through ESPN Deportes, we look forward to building our connection with Spanish-speaking fans.”

In September, ESPN 1050 became ESPN Deportes Radio, the first and only Spanish-language 24-hour sports radio station in New York.

“Our commitment to serving the Hispanic sports fan is a top priority for our company,” says Dave Roberts, VP and general manager of ESPN Radio New York 98.7 and ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050 AM. “We are delighted to join forces with the Mets organization for this comprehensive and wide-ranging opportunity.”

The Mets join an ESPN Deportes lineup that already includes New York Jets play-by-play action.

New York Jets to Call ESPN New York Home for Several More Years

Another vital piece of the ESPN 98.7 FM game plan has come to fruition. The station inked a multiyear deal with the New York Jets. As part of the package, 98.7 will continue to be the radio home of the team. The Jets also maintain a presence on ESPN Deportes Nueva York at 1050 AM, the only 24-7 Spanish sports talk station in the city.

“Our partnership with the New York Jets is one of the finest in professional sports,” ESPN New York VP/general manager Dave Roberts tells FishbowlNY.

The Jets contract features all the bells and whistles of game-day coverage, including the pre- and post-game shows on both stations.

In addition, 98.7 keeps its focus on J-E-T-S throughout the season with the Jets Player Spotlight Mondays at 3:30 p.m. Head coach Rex Ryan is interviewed Mondays at 5:15 p.m. on the Michael Kay Show, and the Inside the Jets segment takes place Mondays at 7 p.m.

With the Jets locked in, all current play-by-play properties have been secured long term.  In August, the Knicks and Rangers re-upped with ESPN Radio.

“The Jets, like the Knicks, are part of an overall strategy to serve the sports fans,” Roberts says. “Play-by-play partnerships are a crucial part of what we’re about.”

Chernoff: WFAN to Offer a ’24/7′ FM Simulcast ‘Until Further Notice’

Waiting for WFAN to take its place on the FM band, FishbowlNY spoke to station operations manager Mark Chernoff (left) today, discussing what’s next for the nation’s first all-sports station. As we reported Monday, CBS Radio acquired Merlin Media’s 101.9 FM.

Chernoff tells FishbowlNY, WFAN will begin to simulcast its 660 AM programming onto 101.9 FM “24/7.” Once the local marketing agreement is approved by the FCC, the station will start as WFAN-FM. Chernoff says that should be completed within three to six weeks, with an official purchase of the property thereafter.

Dan Mason, CBS Radio president, was quoted in The New York Times this week saying, “That’s not to say the stations will remain identical forever. We’re taking it one day at a time.”

Chernoff concurs, “Right now, we’re looking at it as a pure simulcast until further notice.”

Any speculation about the future of 660 would be just that–speculation.

CBS Sports Radio is launching round-the-clock early January, leading to the possibility down the road of 660 AM as the local home for the national programming. Chernoff, though, couldn’t discuss any potential plans for after the simulcast ends. He points to the CBS Sports Minute, which already airs daily on WFAN.

“There’s no point in speculating anything, because Dan’s statement really says that we’re doing a simulcast and this is something that he and the company wanted to be consider down the line,” Chernoff says.

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Veteran Knicks Announcer John Andariese to Retire

It’s been a second career for John Andariese as Knicks broadcaster. Andariese is leaving the booth as the new season tips next month. He’s been a fixture with MSG Network in some capacity since 1972 as a radio analyst.

Andariese, coupled with Marv Albert, did games on the TV side from 1986-87 to 1997-98.

“After what seems like a lifetime behind the microphone and having the good fortune and privilege to be part of nearly 40 years of Knicks’ history, I’ve decided it’s time to step away to spend time with my wonderful wife Maureen, my three beautiful daughters and my four grandchildren,” Andariese said in a statement.  “I’ve been blessed to be able to cover one of the greatest sports teams on the planet, one with the most knowledgeable and passionate fans.  It’s now time to shift my focus to my family and my position as CEO of TVI Media.  I’m grateful to MSG Networks and the Knicks for giving me this wonderful opportunity and for all of the love and affection shown to me by our New York basketball savvy fans, who have been such an important part of my life.   I’m pleased beyond words to have been able to share my enthusiasm and passion for Knicks basketball with them.  I’ll miss you all.”

Nicknamed “Johnny Hoops,” Andariese was mainstay on the New York City basketball scene as a standout forward and three-time All-City Player for the Fordham Rams from 1956-1960.  He is a member of the New York City and Fordham Basketball Halls of Fame.

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WLTW Still Number One, WCBS-FM Returns to 2nd

It’s no news that WLTW/Lite FM is the city’s top-rated station. The September Arbitron overall ratings show Lite FM increasing its audience slightly to 7.2.

However, its cushion is slipping. WCBS-FM is back in second place, within .6 of the Clear Channel mainstay. CBS’ Classic Hits offering had an impressive month, gaining .5 after dropping to third position for August.

CBS-FM leapfrogs WBLS, which took a .5 nosedive to 5.8.

As for WHTZ/Z100, a perennial Top 5 participant, is fourth but fell .6 for the month. Its sister station WKTU also went in negative territory, also lost .3 to stand at 4.7.

It’s a steady month for Spanish station WSKQ, holding at 4.2. It’s rival WXNY saw slight gains to 3.8.

Erasing the memory of WEMP and FM News, Merlin’s Alternative Rocker WRXP jumped .5 to 2.1. As a news station, WEMP never eclipsed a .6.

Among current news stations, WINS was tops with a 3.9, although down .2 for September. WCBS 880 had a .4 leap to 3.5.

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WEPN Signs Michael Kay to a Three-Year Extension

Michael Kay will remain on double duty for several years to come. Kay inked a three-year deal as one of the main voices on ESPN New York 98.7 FM/WEPN. Kay hosts the afternoon slot from 3 to 7 p.m. with Don LaGreca, in a pivotal sports talk battle with the venerable Mike Francesa on WFAN.

“We’re delighted that Michael Kay will remain with ESPN New York 98.7,” WEPN VP/general manager Dave Roberts tells FishbowlNY. “Michael’s work ethic and his overall knowledge of sports in New York are key ingredients for nothing but success. He is a true professional and a winner.”

A Fordham University graduate, Kay has been the Yankees TV voice since the YES Network debuted in 2002. That same year, Kay launched his drive time show on ESPN Radio in New York.

FCC Rejects Challenge to Inner City-YMF Deal

The FCC stands firm, rejecting the challenges put forth regarding the bankruptcy sale of Inner City Broadcasting to creditor-owner YMF Media. Inner City has WLIB-AM and WBLS as part of its stable of 16 stations.

Brooklyn Councilman and talk show host Charles Barron and three others filed one claim with the FCC, while a separate petition was also rejected.

Barron’s petition alleged that the sale would “result in an unlawful reduction of programming geared toward Black and local audiences,” according to All Access.

Furthermore, Barron had contended that Fortess Investment Group had control of the new licensee and had violated alien ownership restrictions. Barron also charges that Fortress engaged in predatory and racially discriminating lending practices that led to the demise of Black-owned stations for its part as manager of the D.B. Zwirn hedge funds.

In its ruling, the Commission stated that Fortress does not have an attributable interest in YMF, and the FCC does not take programming decisions into consideration in approving sales.

In April, WBLS, founded in 1974, began to see the pendulum swing in its favor after KISS FM lost the 98.7 signal to ESPN. In the latest Arbitron ratings, WBLS climbed to second place.

ESPN Deportes Debuts This Afternoon on 1050 AM, Signs Deal to Carry Jets Games

ESPN makes the unprecedented move to launch a 24-hour Spanish sports/talk station in New York. ESPN Deportes officially takes the 1050 AM spot on the dial this afternoon. The position was previously held by ESPN’s WEPN, which made a huge step to improve its strength in ratings and its signal when it jumped to FM at 98.7.

ESPN Deportes kicks off with a special introduction by ESPN Radio morning co-host Mike Greenberg, followed by a welcoming show hosted by the ESPN Deportes personalities. Then at 4 p.m., fans get the their fill of live soccer as ESPN Deportes provides exclusive coverage of three consecutive World Cup Qualifiers — Colombia vs. Uruguay, followed by Argentina vs. Paraguay, and Salvador vs. Guyana.

The launch coincides with a three-year agreement to broadcast Jets games. Clemson Smith Muniz, known to many New Yorkers, is the lead announcer.

“We are thrilled to add the New York Jets to our solid roster of play-by-play offerings just in time for our launch,” said Dave Roberts, general manager of ESPN Radio New York 98.7 and ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050AM. “There is tremendous passion for the NFL among the Hispanic community of New York, and this alliance with an elite franchise will further position 1050AM as the Spanish-language audio destination for the Hispanic sports fan in New York.”

As we reported yesterday, WEPN saw slight gains in the overall Arbitron ratings for August at a 1.4. By contrast, WEPN slipped to a 1.1 in the ratings book before the April move.

Ahead of its 2 p.m. start-up, ESPN Deportes aired a loop in English and Spanish informing 98.7 listeners and touting the new format.

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