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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Mason’

1010 WINS Pays Tribute to Stan Brooks

StanBrooksHow’s this for a great first paragraph? It was written by 1010 WINS director of news and programming Ben Mevorach:

His strength was his humility. His stature was his dignity. He was just over 5 feet in height but was a giant of a man. 1010 WINS senior correspondent Stan Brooks died peacefully at his home on Monday afternoon. He was 86 years and 11 months old. He worked until he was 86 years and 10 months old.

They don’t make reporters like Bronx-born “Brooksie” anymore. From his favorite song lyric (Neil Young) to his recollections of calling some bank robbers later immortalized in Dog Day Afternoon, the WINS remembrance by Mevorach and CBS New York VP, editor-in-chief Mark Mason has it all:

On August 22, 1972, John Wojtowicz, along with Salvatore Naturale and Robert Westenberg, attempted to rob a branch of the Chase Manhattan bank on the corner of East Third Street and Avenue P in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Wojtowicz and Naturale held seven bank employees hostage for 14 hours. Wojtowicz, a former bank teller, had some knowledge of bank operations.

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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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Sportscasting Veteran Don Gould Retires After Four Decades

With the state of broadcasting linked to state of the economy, cost-cutting of talent is commonplace. So it’s nice to see a good, old-fashioned retirement!

Don Gould did that Sunday, in walking away from his weekend morning sportscasting role on WINS for the next phase of his career in South Florida. 

It was earlier this year that Sid Rosenberg, while living in Miami, was dismissed from his weekday morning sports duties on WINS. That coupled with Gould’s move south would indicate WINS and Total Traffic (formerly Shadow/Metro) management’s preference to keep its entire staff in one location.

Nevertheless, Gould, who turned the official retirement age of 65 Sunday, says the hours were wearing thin.

His WINS stint started in 2006, after Gould met with then-executive editor Mark Mason. Even though the talent was paid by Shadow/Metro, Mason cast a big “shadow” over the hiring process.  While breaking bread at a diner, Gould, although flattered, told the longtime radio programmer that it may not be the right match.

“I don’t do sports the way everybody else does sports,” Gould recalls.

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With Two Decades as a Controversial Host, The Apple’s Curtis Sliwa Reflects on His Start in Radio

Curtis Sliwa became world renowned for founding the Guardian Angels in the 1970s. But thanks to his role with the Angels, Sliwa’s radio career was born. He has been a broadcasting veteran for more than 20 years. 

Sliwa, who hosts six days a week at 970 The Apple WNYM, recently spoke to FishbowlNY for a wide-ranging discussion about his life on radio.

He describes the first 13 years (1979 to 1992) of the Guardian Angels as “extraordinarily controversial.” Along with having no luck dealing with officials, Sliwa was arrested no less than 76 times during that period.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the precinct, he was given the opportunity to speak out on radio.

“There were really iconic figures in talk radio who would lend me a microphone so that I could do more than just a 30 second sound bite defending myself,” Sliwa says.

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Lunch at Michael’s: Tina Brown, Downright Subdued

lunch_at_michaels_logo.jpgOn the menu at today’s lunch: a tasty stew of pop culture icons, publishing legends and power brokers — with a side of TV’s young-ish guns. There must have been big things afoot. Instead of the usual glad-handing and table-hopping, most diners were deep in conversation and slipped in and out without much fanfare. We barely recognized Dan Abrams, who had exchanged his clean cut pinstripes for a four o’clock shadow and a tieless khaki suit. We had to look twice when a downright subdued Tina Brown almost slipped past us. Then we settled in and watched the show:

Table 1. The top power spot was occupied by some interesting and intriguing folks today. The early show: Howard Rubenstein and guests. Now that we’ve been doing this for a while, we’ve noticed that the master of spin likes to dine, dish and be on his way before most of the other movers and shakers have had a chance to order their Fiji waters. Second shift: Judge Robert Keating presiding over a table full of jovial guests. Here’s an interesting bit of NYC trivia: the bow-tied jurist set up the first Midtown Community Court in Times Square in 1993 when the tourist trap was attracting a whole different type of thrill seeker. His forward-thinking move helped to all but eliminate the low level crime that was so rampant during the mid eighties and early nineties. Remember those dark days?

2. Peter Brown and Time‘s Michael Elliot. The jet-setting Mr. Elliot tells us he is currently based in New York but is splitting his time between Time‘s London office (where he edits the Europe, Middle East and Africa editions) and Hong Kong (for the Asia edition).

3. 60 MinutesSteve Croft and MTV’s John Sykes.

4. Wayne Tabach.

5. Time Inc.’s John Huey with a cool, Grace Kelly-ish blonde we didn’t recognize.

6. MSNBC’s general manager and legal eagle Dan Abrams with Good Morning America‘s newish news anchor Chris Cuomo. Good to see you Chris, after your close call in Iraq …

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