Earlier this week, John Ourand of Sports Business Daily reported ESPN will shut down its Spanish language radio network on September 8.
Since ESPN Radio in New York flipped to its 98.7 FM frequency in 2012, its original AM signal, 1050 began carrying ESPN Deportes. With ESPN Deportes closing its doors, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports 1050 AM will likely be made into an English-speaking sports station.
1050 could broadcast as a simulcast of 98.7, the same way WFAN airs its programming on both 101.9 FM and 660 AM to cover a much larger area of listeners. ESPN could also decide to have 1050 carry its national programming, while allowing ESPN NY on 98.7 to offer a full local lineup for the first time. When WFAN added its 101.9 FM signal, there was the possibility of 660 AM being flipped to network programming, with the newly launched CBS Sports Radio, but management ultimately chose not to make the switch, instead having both frequencies air WFAN’s lineup.
ESPN, however, has always maintained the importance of offering their national morning show (Golic and Wingo) along with one other network radio program in New York, even though they get crushed by WFAN in the ratings. Moving Golic and Wingo off 98.7 and onto their AM signal would keep the network programming in the New York market, while allowing their FM frequency to have a legitimate chance of competing against WFAN. Now that The Michael Kay Show has closed the ratings gap with its radio rival, Mike Francesa, it might be enticing for ESPN to see what a full local lineup could do against WFAN.
When I spoke to ESPN NY’s Rick DiPietro last month, the midday host acknowledged he preferred when the show was on as a lead-in for The Michael Kay Show because of the added comradery. Currently DiPietro’s show, Humpty, Canty and Rothy are in the 10 – 1 timeslot, sandwiched between the network programming of Golic and Wingo and The Stephen A. Smith Show. With national shows never doing well in the New York sports radio ratings battle, Humpty, Canty and Rothy have the uphill battle of challenging WFAN as a local island in their lineup.
WFAN has been a revolving door of changes since morning show star Craig Carton was arrested in September 2017. Two years later, Andrew Marchand notes those changes at WFAN could continue with their 1 – 3pm show Carlin, Maggie and Bart’s contracts up at the end of the year along with Mike Francesa still working without a deal.
Although Carlin, Maggie and Bart have seen ratings success, paying three hosts for two hours, as the fourth show in their weekday lineup, might not make financial sense. As WFAN continues to retool and The Michael Kay Show proves ESPN can compete with Francesa, bringing 1050 in as an English-speaking sports station could open the door for ESPN NY to create a full lineup that can compete with their crosstown rival.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Jason Fitz: Keyshawn Johnson Cannot Be Serious With Trevor Lawrence Take
“There is no way Trevor Lawrence is the eighth-best quarterback out of eight left in the playoffs after doing what he did after the first quarter of that last game.”
When he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021, Trevor Lawrence was heralded as a once-in-a-lifetime type of prospect. While his career had a bit of a rocky start, he has shown a lot in year two, including leading one of the largest come-from-behind victories in playoff history Saturday night against the Chargers. Jason Fitz cannot believe that isn’t enough to impress Keyshawn Johnson.
The ESPN Radio morning man ranked the eight remaining starting quarterbacks in the NFL playoffs and put Lawrence dead last.
“Trevor Lawrence at eight? I know Keyshawn Johnson is out there in California, but I want to party with Key because obviously, he was doing a little partying before this show, Harry,” Jason Fitz told his partner on Tuesday’s edition of Fitz & Harry. “There is no way Trevor Lawrence is the eighth-best quarterback out of eight left in the playoffs after doing what he did after the first quarter of that last game.”
Fitz noted that during the season people started calling Lawrence “Trevor Tangerines” for the daringness he continued to show even after things looked bad for him and the Jaguars. He said that on Saturday night, he should have been called “Trevor Watermelons”.
Jason Fitz acknowledged that it would be hard to rank anyone ahead of Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Jalen Hurts, which made up Keyshawn Johnson’s top four. But Fitz doesn’t think this is a matter of Lawrence being disrespected for being number eight, behind Brock Purdy, who began the season as the 49ers’ third-string quarterback, instead of number seven.
“Considering the whole body of work and the way that Trevor Lawrence has played since week nine, you wouldn’t have to press hard to put Daniel Jones below Trevor Lawrence.”
He added that Keyshawn Johnson is also being influenced by the uniform Trevor Lawrence wears.
“I think there’s a little element that speaks to the fact that we have a perception on certain organizations. I’m just saying — four interceptions or not — this is the analogy I keep making this week: If Trevor Lawrence had the bounceback game with the star in his helmet as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, today the conversation would be like ‘Well, you can’t hold him down the whole game’.”
Boomer Esiason: ManningCast Proves Peyton Manning Can Never Be a Coach
“He’s got no patience whatsoever.”
Don’t expect to see Peyton Manning on an NFL sideline. He may be one of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen, but Manning isn’t cut out to be a coach according to Boomer Esiason.
On Tuesday morning, Esiason and the rest of the Boomer & Gio cast listened to highlights of the previous night’s ManningCast. They enjoyed the audio of Peyton Manning losing his temper after Cowboys kicker Brent Maher missed his third extra-point attempt of the night.
The clip, which has since gone viral, includes Manning asking if a kicker can be cut at halftime of a playoff game.
“This is why Peyton can’t coach,” Esiason said in response to the audio. “He’s got no patience whatsoever.”
The chemistry and authenticity of Peyton and Eli is often cited as the appeal of the ManningCast. Esiason noted that was what is on display in moments the brothers cannot control.
Boomer Esiason was a guest on the week eight ManningCast, which featured his former team, — the Cincinnati Bengals — playing Cleveland Browns. Esiason said at the time that while it was a distracting way to try and follow a game, being a part of the show is a lot of fun. He echoed that praise Tuesday morning.
“Those things are really unbelievably done. I mean, they are funny.”
NHL All-Star Game Airing Exclusively on SiriusXM After Contract Extension
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter.
SiriusXM and the NHL have reached an extension that will see the satellite service continue to carry every league contest. The new multi-year deal will run through the 2028-2029 season.
Part of the deal includes the NHL All-Star Game airing exclusively on SiriusXM. The game had previously been distributed by Westwood One before Sports USA Media took over the rights in 2021.
The game — held on Saturday, February 4th — will feature Steve Kouleas and Gord Stellick in the booth. Scott Laughlin will work as the broadcast’s rinkside reporter. All three are regulars on NHL Network Radio. Stellick and Laughlin serve as hosts of NHL Morning Skate, while Kouleas hosts the station’s afternoon show, The Power Play.
NHL Network Radio will also provide live coverage of the league’s All-Star Media Day on Thursday, February 2nd and the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday, February 3rd.
The deal includes SiriusXM continuing to produce and distribute SiriusXM NHL Network Radio on the platform for the duration of the contract.
“Hockey fans are among the most passionate sports fans, and our long-term relationship with the NHL enables us to deliver those fans across North America comprehensive access to the league, offering them live broadcasts of every game and the only 24/7 NHL channel in audio,” said SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.
“Live sports, coupled with great, in-depth sports talk, is one of the key elements of our programming and we are very pleased to be extending our content agreement with the NHL for many more years.”