A quarter-century ago radio execs took a chance on a new format–all-sports. Even more of an unknown was how Steve Somers would handle it?
The original WFAN sound took on more of a national flavor than heard on 660 today. The majority of the update anchors and hosts did not have any, or limited, New York experience, and many ultimately fell by the wayside.
And then there’s Somers. He neither grew up nor worked in New York, and yet from his first shift on WFAN he was a quinnesstial New Yorker.
“That is the most flattering thing everybody can say to me,” Somers says. ”When I was growing up out there [in San Francisco], people thought I was still from New York.”
There’s no mistaking that style. Somers sounds like your older Jewish uncle. He sounded old 25 years ago, and played up his Jewishness, making him a perfect fit for the Big Apple’s melting pot.
“New Yorkers more than anywhere, and more than anybody, can tolerate and accept diversity like no other people anywhere,” Somers says. “It’s the makeup of New York.”
Somers, unlike other hosts, will discuss any sport with callers or guests.
“I do shtick and I have fun,” Somers tells FishbowlNY. “I think I’m obviously the more creative one, or the more inventive one at the station. Everybody else is pretty much courting to talk show formula.”
He says that counter-balance has been one reason for his remarkable longevity.