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Chris Oliviero Addresses Craig Carton Rumors, State of WFAN On BSM Podcast

“I think a brand of lesser stature would have been taken out at the knees if they had to take on that magnitude of change within months of each other.”

Brandon Contes

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Chris Oliviero is finishing up his third full month as market manager of Entercom New York, which sees him contribute as the general manager of WFAN, the most prime real estate in sports radio. And as Oliviero said during the latest BSM podcast, he considers it the “best job in broadcasting.” 

Since being hired by Entercom earlier this year, Oliviero has often been asked about the possibility of WFAN reuniting with their former morning star Craig Carton, who was recently released from prison. Oliviero has been consistent in his interest in working with Carton, his friend and former colleague, a sentiment he maintained during his conversation with Jason Barrett. 

“I have spoken to him, we do have a relationship.” Oliviero said while noting those conversations have so far been about life and family and not yet about business. Oliviero added that the business conversations will come when Carton is ready, but he also knows Entercom is not the only company that will approach the radio host. 

“There has been no job offer made to Craig, we will talk at the appropriate time,” Oliviero added. “When that is? I don’t know. There are things in Craig’s life right now that are more important than radio, I think people will understand that. His resume, his success, his history with the station and the company warrants that conversation.”

Despite remaining strong in morning drive without Carton, ESPN New York has narrowed the ratings gap among the overall lineup, but Oliviero still touts the power of WFAN’s brand. 

“It’s a sign of how strong the brand is that FAN was able to withstand that amount of change,” Oliviero said of Francesa’s first retirement and losing Carton within a few months of each other. “I think a brand of lesser stature would have been taken out at the knees if they had to take on that magnitude of change within months of each other.”

One interesting dynamic of potentially bringing Carton back to WFAN, is his now public battle with gambling addiction. As the sports wagering industry continues to become a more accepted practice, the audience will seek related content. During the BSM podcast, Oliviero discussed the importance of gambling content in sports radio, the need to cover betting, and the fact that it offers a new way for hosts to examine games. 

While WFAN’s weekday lineup may have lost household names such as Craig Carton and Mike Francesa in recent years, the attention the brand receives hasn’t wavered. Speculation on changes that could take place within WFAN’s lineup are analyzed and discussed just as much as pro teams in the area are.  Oliviero told Barrett he likes the attention WFAN receives from newspapers and media because it “shows we’re relevant in the year 2020, it shows people care and that’s a reflection of the brand.”

For almost 30 years, the person in charge of WFAN’s lineup changes has been Mark Chernoff. When Chernoff spoke with BSM for an interview earlier this year, the program director expressed a profound desire to keep working. But a change in leadership will inevitably happen, and when it does, Oliviero said Chernoff’s goal will be to do whatever is in the best interest of FAN. He acknowledged already having those conversations with Chernoff to make sure that when the moment comes, WFAN will have ample time to address finding his replacement. 

Owning premier sports radio stations across the country, Entercom has phenomenal in-house talent with a bench of sports radio and audio programming experts. But Oliviero noted the next programmer of FAN could come from outside radio because the world and industry is ever changing.

Sports Radio News

Boomer Esiason: ManningCast Proves Peyton Manning Can Never Be a Coach

“He’s got no patience whatsoever.” 

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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.”

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Sports Radio News

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.

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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.”

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Sports Radio News

Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca

The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.

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The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.

Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.

Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.

The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.

The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.

While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.

“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”

Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”

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