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Posts Tagged ‘WFAN’

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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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY made the most online buzz this week.

  1. Signs in Air for WFAN to Make FM Jump, July 6
  2. Wondering Why WNYW/Channel 5 Made Those Anchor Changes, July 10
  3. Self Launching Fashion Site, July 6
  4. Road & Track Adds Two Editors, July 9
  5. The New Republic Gives Kate Middleton a New Look, July 6
  6. New York Times‘ Social Media Policy: Use Common Sense, Idiot, July 11

 

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

(Video) Staying ‘Fresh’ in Mornings with Jim and Kim at WWFS

Morning team Jim and Kim at the WWFS studios

Jim Douglas and Kim Berk, or simply Jim and Kim, are the morning hosts at CBS’ Fresh 102.7/WWFS. The duo has been together on the wake-up shift for 11 years. In October, it will be three years for Jim and Kim at Fresh, after a long stint at Long Island’s KJOY/WKJY.

However, October is a million miles away. Just last week we reported that Fresh may become an FM simulcast of WFAN.

But before the rumors took flight for the male-dominated station uprooted at 102.7, FishbowlNY visited recently with the early risers.

One thing is clear, they enjoy each other’s company immensely, and bring that dynamic to the air each day.

“We get along tremendously well off the air,” Douglas says. “I think you can hear that on the air.”

“After so many years together, it just works,” Berk laughs. “It works if he lets me do whatever I want to do.”

“And she let me let her do anything that she wants,” Douglas cracks.

Off air, though, Berk says despite being great friends, they don’t socialize much.

“It keeps the show fresh,” Berk contends.

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June PPMs: WLTW Keeps Top Spot, WHTZ Moves into Second

Without any fanfare, it’s a typical month for WLTW/Lite FM. The Adult Contemporary giant was number one in the just-released overall PPM ratings for June.

Lite FM saw its huge numbers dwindle from May (8.1 to 7.7). But the station maintained its 5,600,000 cume (audience).

A surprise at number two, where WLTW sister station WHTZ/Z100 made a nice .5 leap.

Despite only slipping .1 for June, WCBS-FM fell from its usual second-place perch. The Classic Hits format, now under the direction of longtime WLTW programmer Jim Ryan, finds a home in third.

It’s the second ratings book for WBLS since the Urban station gave a voice to several displaced KISS FM/WRKS personalities following ESPN’s takeover of the 98.7 frequency.

WBLS had a fourth-place showing, with only a minimal drop off to 5.6.

As for ESPN/WEPN, the all-sports station lost .2 to 1.6 in the overall ratings. By contrast, rival WFAN improved slightly to 3.3.

More ratings insight after the jump

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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Dave Price Gets Started on Good Day New York, July 2
  2. Greg Kelly (left) Slides into Prime Time as Main WNYW Anchor, July 3
  3. Fox 5/WNYW Rocked by Major Anchor Shakeup, June 28
  4. Mike Francesa ’50-50′ on Renewing WFAN Contract in Two Years, June 29
  5. Reuters Hires Caveman to Write Headlines, July 5
  6. WCBS-FM Celebrating 40th with Reunion Weekend, July 3
  7. With Ann Curry Pushed Aside, Savannah Guthrie Expected to Get Spot on Today Couch, June 28
  8. Battle of Morning News, WLNY Debuts on The Couch, July 2
  9. Sexism Struggles for WFAN’s First Voice, Suzyn Waldman: They Were ‘Terrible to Me,’ June 28
  10. Lionel Poised to Take Helm of Revamped Early Morning WPIX Newscast, June 29

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Signs in Air for WFAN to Make FM Jump

Coming off its silver anniversary celebration, WFAN, the most powerful all-sports station in America, may be positioning itself for a dramatic dial switch to FM.

Several factors are at play for WFAN to make that leap of frequency: First and foremost is last month’s announcement that CBS Sports Radio is being created. Original 24-hour programming will air on stations throughout the country starting in January. But as early as September, CBS Sports Radio will provide updates to affiliated stations.

One of those stations poised to take some of the network content is WFAN. Operations manager Mark Chernoff remains steadfast in the future of 660 AM.

“WFAN is locally programmed, no change.”

But there is much more to this story.

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WFAN Sets Special Lineup to Mark Tomorrow’s 25th Anniversary

newyork.cbslocal.com

The term “sports radio” made its way into New Yorkers’ consciousness with the arrival of WFAN. Other stations already had sports talk segments and play-by-play of sporting events, but WFAN was the first to make it an around-the-clock proposition.

FishbowlNY has been offering a week-long series in preparation for the ‘FAN’s big day. That day is tomorrow! WFAN turns 25, and to commemorate the occasion, the station is welcoming back former hosts for a day to remember.

The special programming lineup is listed after the jump.

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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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Sexism Struggles for WFAN’s First Voice, Suzyn Waldman: They Were ‘Terrible to Me’

America’s first, all-sports radio station–WFAN–had its first, full-blown workout on July 1, 1987 at the stroke of 3 p.m., and at 1050 on the AM dial. Not so incidental is the fact that Suzyn Waldman was the first talent to grace its airwaves.

“I was sitting in my place in the studio, and you could see into the control room, which was all glass.” Waldman recalls. “And the people from WHN were standing there … holding hands, and people were crying. I was very aware that when my voice hit the airwaves, WHN would cease to exist.”

She provided updates that inaugural afternoon for Jim Lampley‘s show.

For the next 14 years, she was heard constantly at the ballpark or in-studio, as host (two years in midday with Jody McDonald) or reporter.

But beneath the surface, right from the beginning, it was not the greatest time of her career. The primary reason was sexism.

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Schmoozing S-P-O-R-T-S for 25 Years, Steve Somers and WFAN Celebrate Milestone

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.

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