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Gary Stanley, Former WCBS 880 Sportscaster, Fired Due to Poor Job Performance

Gary Stanley was a talented sportscaster. For nearly 20 years he was a top-flight sports anchor on WCBS 880. Most of that time he was based in the Shadow Traffic (now Total Traffic) studios in Rutherford, New Jersey.

As we reported earlier this week, Stanley left the company, and in turn the station.

Details are emerging about Stanley’s exit.

FishbowlNY has learned that Stanley was forced to take a leave of absence in the fall due to poor job performance.

We’re told that Stanley was warned to get his act together. He did return to the air, before his now less-than-mysterious departure. Although the specific reason for his firing is not known.

What is known, however, is Stanley was not the friendliest person in the business.

“Nobody at Shadow/Total Traffic liked him,” an insider tells FishbowlNY.

He could be acerbic or downright mean to fellow staffers.

“[He was] miserable to deal with, always complaining,” the source contends. “[He] always looked for shortcuts when it came to doing his job.”

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Veteran WCBS-AM Sports Anchor Gary Stanley Exits the Station, Total Traffic

His voice has been a mainstay on WCBS 880 since the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994. Gary Stanley has left his full-time sportscasting role with WCBS, produced by Total Traffic in New Jersey.

FishbowlNY has obtained the email that was sent to staffers yesterday.

The terse statement gave only two lines about Stanley.

“I regret to share with you that Gary Stanley is no longer with the company.  We appreciate Gary’s years of service very much and wish him only the best.”

The email adds the promotion of Tom Stephens to full-time on the WCBS sports schedule.

FishbowlNY attempted to reach Total Traffic for confirmation.

Stanley’s time on WCBS predates Shadow (now Clear Channel’s Total Traffic) with four years working directly for the All-Newser.

Since 1985, Stanley has been the voice of Iona Basketball radio play-by-play.

He graduated from Fordham University in the mid 1970s with a B.A. in Communications.

YES Network Set for Record Spring Training of Yankee Games

Somewhere between snowstorm and snow melt, pitchers and catchers arrived in Florida. Spring Training begins in earnest on the YES Network on February 24. It’s a record 19 Grapefruit League telecasts for the YES Network this year.

Among the highlights on the exhibition schedule, a matchup with the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team on March 6, the Washington Nationals in D.C. on March 29, and the Army at West Point on March 30.

Over on the Mets and SNY side of the ledger… the sports network announced plans to expand coverage of the Amazins this season. SNY has added Mets First Pitch and Mets Insider to the lineup.

Among the elements of First Pitch are Mets manager Terry Collins‘ pre-game press conference and exclusive one-on-one interviews with players from both dugouts.

Insider, which debuts on March 31, will be produced in a magazine-style format. It will feature shows on a variety of topics, including episodes focused on the Mets draft and prospects, player profiles, and “Where are they Now.”

As for the game coverage, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, and Kevin Burkhardt return to provide fans the action all-season long on SNY. Hall-of-Famer Ralph Kiner returns to the broadcast booth for his 52nd season covering the Mets as a contributing analyst.

Rangers Ride Ratings Surge on MSG Network

The Rangers were definitely missed. Through one-quarter of the shortened season on the MSG Network, the Rangers ratings continue to melt the ice!

After the first 11 games on MSG or MSG+, Rangers telecasts have averaged a 1.95 Nielsen household rating, up 187 percent compared to the first 11 games of the 2011-12 regular season (0.68 household).

A bit more numbers to digest… among adults 25 to 54, MSG Networks’ Rangers broadcasts have averaged a 1.52 rating, up 280 percent compared to the first 11 games of the 2011-12 season.

Starting tonight with the Rangers-Islanders matchup, MSG Network is extending its post game coverage with Rangers Extra, a new 30-minute show that will be added to MSG’s post game schedule for the rest of the regular season.

Yankees Broadcasters’ Sterling and Waldman Return for Another Season on WCBS

It is high, it is far, it is gone. Well not just yet. The ink is drying on the contracts that keep John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman as the Yankees radio voices for 2013 on WCBS.

This could be a “lame duck” season for the Yankees broadcasters. It’s the second season that the team signed a one-year deal with WCBS. He has called every inning since joining the Yankees’ booth in 1989. Waldman teamed with Sterling in 2005.

There has been speculation that ESPN is going to be a major player for the radio package in ’14, now that the network moved to the highly coveted 98.7 FM. Although the signal, especially at night, is not as strong as what 880 offers on the AM dial.

Sister station WFAN could lose its rights to the Mets if CBS Sports Radio takes over the famous frequency– 660.

But for now, it’s status quo, even though it was a fait accompli when the Yankees in August signed up for this year on WCBS.

“They were expected to return and they are,” WCBS news director, Tim Scheld, tells FishbowlNY about the official announcement. “They will be headed to Tampa in days.”
Photo credit: bronxbanterblog.com

MSG Reporter John Giannone Hit in the Face With Puck

“It’s dangerous down at ice level,” MSG Network Rangers play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen said.

MSG Rangers reporter John Giannone knows that all too well.

Late in the second period of last night’s game with the Islanders, a puck was tossed to the sicelines, finding Giannone’s face.

The bloodied Giannone stayed on the air, shown getting medical treatment. While the trainer worked on him, Giannone kept his work ethic intact, shown adjusting the microphone on his headset.

Rosen called his colleague a “gamer.”

As the patch job on Giannone’s nose continued, he was asked about his condition.

“Oh, it’s all good, Sammy. I’ve got a good medical staff with me.”

While he spoke you could see a close-up of his blood-stained face, causing Rosen to moan, “Oh!”

Al Trautwig took over the hosting between periods and echoed the thoughts, undoubtedly, of many fans.

“Did I just see that? Wow, that was scary,” Trautwig said.

 

Photo credit: www.yardbarker.com

‘A Whole New Vibe’ for YES Network’s Ian Eagle Covering the Nets in Brooklyn

Editor’s note: This interview was originally intended to be posted as part of our Back to Brooklyn series, coinciding with the Nets debut in the borough. But due to Superstorm Sandy, this piece could not run until now.

The Nets are taking New York by storm. And now the Nets are bringing big-time sports back to Brooklyn. Our special “Back to Brooklyn” series continues with the man who’ll be courtside for the majority of the games at the just unveiled Barclays Center. Ian Eagle is starting his 11th season as Nets play-by-play announcer on the YES Network. His association with Nets dates back 19 years. (The “Birdman” celebrates his 44th birthday Saturday)

And yet for the versatile sportscaster, it’s like starting anew.

“It feels almost like an expansion team in many ways, except usually with expansion teams you’re not very good.” Eagle says. “The Nets were able to clean the slate and put together a credible roster.”

Typically, when an NBA team packs up for another city, its fans are unable to make the move too. This, however, is a unique situation.

“It’s still the same media market. It’s the same outlet,” Eagle says. “So while you have longtime New Jersey fans that feel badly that the team did leave the Garden State,  you still have a chance to be a part of this and root for the team.”

Older Nets fans will recall the franchise’s origins in the ABA with Julius “Dr. J. Erving at the Nassau Coliseum. Eagle says that the Nets will tap into that fan base.

“I think you have a small base that just stuck with the team, even amidst all of the changes through the years,” Eagle says. “It’s based on the romance of being a sports fan.”

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(VIDEO) Sportscaster Howie Rose Wants to Call ‘Every Last Hockey Game of My Career’ for Islanders

Whether it’s the Mets on WFAN, or the Islanders on MSG, Howie Rose is one of New York’s busiest play-by-play voices on radio and television, if not the best. FishbowlNY caught up with Rose Tuesday, first on the phone, then at the Nassau Coliseum (see video clip below discussing the future of WFAN 660 and the Mets).

His 2013 started out a bit rocky with the latest NHL lockout. The abbreviated season started January 19. But Rose says the blueprint was in place.

“Probably everybody’s design from the beginning including the NHL’s [was] once the lockout ended everybody was going to hit the ground running,” Rose tells FishbowlNY.  “I think it was instructive that there had been two previous lockouts.”

The first lockout in 1994-95 mirrored this season with 48 games played.

“The league kind of pounded its chest and they had this ‘Game On’ slogan. They made all these references to being back, and really drawing attention to the fact that they were away,” Rose says.

However, Rose, the lead Islanders voice since 1995, says the league made an error in judgment at the start of the 2005-06 season.

“When they came back from the full-season lockout they made a huge mistake, which they thankfully did not duplicate this time by putting that Thank you, fans on the ice,” Rose admits. “Because it just came off as disingenuous. Fans didn’t feel that they were thought of one iota by either the owners or the players.”

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YES Network Scores Biggest Regular Season Ratings Ever

What happens when you bring Los Angeles to Brooklyn for a night? It becomes the Nets most-viewed and highest rated regular season showing on the YES Network.

The numbers are staggering.

An average 299,000 total viewers tuned in to see the Barclays b-ball and a 3.08 household rating in New York.

The telecast peaked in the 9:45 to 10 p.m. quarter-hour with a 451,000 total viewers and a 4.47 household mark.

By contrast, the previous record for a Nets game on YES record, set in December against the Heat, was 242,000 viewers and a 2.14 household rating.

Overall, YES is seeing a spike in viewership among several key demographics, including males 25 to 54 (up 200 percent) and people 18 to 49 (up 150 percent).

Bill Parcells ‘Better Than Good’, As Pro Football Hall of Fame Calls

Is it the two Super Bowl rings? The nine NFL seasons with at least 10 wins? The playoff consistency with eight divisional NFC East titles? Whatever the formula, Bill Parcells was officially recognized as one of the league’s all-time great coaches, selected for induction this summer in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Parcells had a 22-year career patrolling the sidelines, half of that was leading the New York Giants. Scott Clark was at WABC-TV for much the Parcells run in East Rutherford, New Jersey, including victories in Super Bowl XXI and XXV.

“[His] record speaks for itself, and to that end, I remember him many times saying, ‘It is what it is fellas. You are what you are.’”

Parcells will join a couple of his former Giants defensive players for enshrinement–Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson.

Before coming to New York, Clark covered another eventual Hall of Fame coach, Joe Gibbs of the Washington Redskins.

“Gibbs and Parcells were vastly different personalities, but they shared similar traits,” Clark tells FishbowlNY. “They out worked everybody else, 24/7. [There were] cots in the office, living, eating, breathing their respective jobs.”

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