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Francesa Addresses Future of App & WFAN Show

Brandon Contes

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WFAN continues a year long stretch of being in the news for the wrong reasons.  On Monday, Mike Francesa commented on the station’s most recent matter which saw Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden owner, James Dolan ban all employees from Entercom owned radio stations.

Dolan’s decision derives from a rant by Maggie Gray this past summer, where the WFAN host took issue with the billionaire’s song titled “I Should Have Known,” about his friend Harvey Weinstein.  Francesa always had a good personal and working relationship with Dolan and the Garden, but the MSG ban includes Mike’s WFAN show.  Although not discussed on-air, the door could be open for Garden personnel to join Francesa on one of his Mike’s On App shows that are not broadcast by WFAN.

Francesa took issue with the Garden public relations team and Dolan for implementing the ban, but he also defended the billionaire owner because Mike believes most disparagement of Dolan in the last 15 years has been unfair.   Francesa went on to criticize his WFAN Maggie Gray, accusing her of going over the top with her now infamous Dolan rant, in an attempt to draw attention to the show, Carlin, Maggie and Bart.

After discussing Entercom’s current relationship with MSG, Francesa closed the segment by dropping a second bombshell regarding the future of a partnership between WFAN and his oft-criticized app.

“I knew it was going to be uncomfortable, and maybe it was more uncomfortable than I thought,” Mike said about his May return to WFAN.  “It’s been successful, we’ve done what we’ve had to do, I think from a business standpoint they’re thrilled, but still, it’s not the most comfortable thing.”  Mike furthered the statement by saying he upset the apple card by changing the station’s lineup and promoting his personal app, which Entercom was supposed to buy an ownership stake in.

Mike often promotes his app while on-air at WFAN, attempting to drive listeners to purchase the platform and listen to his shows that are not broadcast by the station.  Anytime a caller questioned Francesa for advertising the app while on-air, Mike would reiterate Entercom’s ownership in the app, but apparently that partnership has yet to happen.

“We haven’t even come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and the show don’t work together, and maybe that’s something we’re going to have to adjust, one way or the other,” said Francesa. “We’re going to have to wait and see about that, because we still don’t have a deal, so maybe it’s not the right…maybe the app and this show can’t work together. That’s possible. And if it is, we’ll adjust one.”

After James Kratch of NJ.com wrote a story deducting that the above statements could mean the end of the app, Francesa quickly responded to vehemently refute the sentiment.

“And if anything leaves, it will not be the Mike’s On app. So got it?” responded Mike.  “Underline it, put a punctuation mark and own it. The Mike’s On app is going nowhere. Nowhere, and FAN has nothing to do with it. And that, in essence, may be the conflict, because to utilize this show to promote the app may be something that doesn’t work as well as I had hoped it did. That’s all…But the app is going nowhere. Because you guys have been wrong about the app from the beginning.”

Mike continued, “I will be with CAA as long as I’m working professionally. You can take that to the bank. They are great people, I love working with them. They’ve put some wonderful people on the app who have done great work. Their technical people have done great work, everyone has been committed to it in front of my guys, who have done a great job with it. The guys I handpicked to put on it and work on it have done a great job. Everybody’s put in a lot of time and effort, and it’s done incredibly well. CAA is thrilled with it, we’re thrilled with it, it’s going nowhere.

“The other part? We’ll see what happens. Now, see if you can figure it now. Now that I’ve took you there, I’ve left the crumbs for you, let’s see if you can put the pieces together without screwing it up.”

While Francesa certainly made a clear threat that he could leave WFAN, the iconic radio host tried that less than a year ago and quickly returned.  Maybe Francesa now views his app as a stable home for a daily sports show, but it’s also possible he decided to pile on Entercom while they’re vulnerable, attempting to pressure them into purchasing a stake in the Mike’s On platform.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

BetQL Network Going to Arizona for Super Bowl Week

“Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale.”

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BetQL is headed to Radio Row. Audacy’s sports betting radio network will be in Arizona ahead of Super Bowl LVII. 

Three shows will be at the BetMGM Sportsbook in Glendale. BetQL Daily and You Better You Bet will be live Monday through Friday. BetMGM Tonight will be live Monday through Thursday.

The network’s hosts will stay busy in the desert. BetQL is producing 52 hours of live audio and video content. Hosts are also scheduled to make 25 live appearances across other Audacy radio stations and digital channels.

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Sports Radio News

Stan Norfleet To Replace N.D. Kalu On SportsTalk 790 in Houston

“My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

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Change is afoot at SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Chris Gordy will have a new co-host in middays as N.D. Kalu exits and Stan Norfleet comes aboard for Next Up.

Kalu, a former Houston Texans defensive end, has decided to leave radio behind. Instead, he will focus on his real estate business.

“N.D. is a tremendous talent and one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He will be missed,” said iHeartMedia Houston’s head of AM programming, Bryan Erickson.

Stan Norfleet comes to Houston after most recently being on WFNZ in Charlotte. He is no stranger to Texas, though. He finished his college football career at Texas Southern University. He also worked in the sales departments for both the Rockets and the Texans.

“It is a tremendous blessing and honor to join the renowned iHeartMedia Houston family. I have long been a fan and avid listener of Sportstalk 790 and respect the history and contributions of its personalities,” Stan Norfleet said in a press release. “My affinity for Space City spans nearly two decades and I look forward to connecting with old friends and new listeners in the market.”

In addition to his time on air in Charlotte, Norfleet has also been heard on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta and seen on Raycom’s regionally syndicated ACC Network. He is also a former columnist at BSM.

“Stan brings amazing passion to everything he does,” said Erickson. “He has strong local ties and we’re thrilled to add him to the team.”

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Sports Radio News

Mark Sanchez Jokes ‘Tom Brady Is Going To Ruin My Career For a 2nd Time’

“I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”

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Photo: Getty Images

Now that Tom Brady is done on the field, it is only a matter of time before he makes his way to the broadcast booth. Before the 2022 season began, FOX announced that Brady had signed a ten-year deal with the network that will put him in the top NFL play-by-play booth and make him a brand ambassador.

That has created speculation and uncertainty for Greg Olsen, the current analyst on FOX’s top NFL crew, but it won’t stop there. The effects will almost certainly trickle down. Mark Sanchez was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and joked that he knows his place is a little less certain now than it was last week.

“I guess thanks for ruining the trajectory of my career for the second time, Tom,” Sanchez said with a smile. “I get drafted to the guy’s division. Now he’s gotta come to FOX and ruin everything here. I can’t get away from the guy.”

Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to two AFC Championship Games during Tom Brady’s Super Bowl drought. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and the then-Washington Redskins during his ten-year NFL career.

He began his broadcasting career in 2019. He was first with ABC and ESPN as a studio analyst for college football. Before the 2021 NFL season, he moved to FOX, where he joined Kevin Kugler in the broadcast booth.

With a few years and plenty of reps under his belt, Mark Sanchez is a broadcast veteran. He joked that that will give him some clout over Tom Brady when the GOAT makes his FOX debut.

“Hopefully he doesn’t get too annoyed with the hazing we put them through as rookies here at FOX. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too annoying for him.”

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