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WFAN’s Sal Licata on Working Overnights: ‘You Have to Love What You Do’

“It can be challenging… to be able to function at three in the morning where you’re in the middle of a show and maybe you’ve already rehashed all the topics you wanted to hit that night.”

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Sal Licata

Hosting a radio show at a legendary station in a major market is an opportunity very few would turn down. Even if that means working the overnight shift.

But doing five hours of radio from midnight to 5 a.m. is an adjustment that changes your life. Working when most are sleeping is a tough transition. Some eventually adapt to the schedule, but others never do. In some cases, it might be fighting a natural rhythm. But some are better at being nocturnal than others.

WFAN’s Sal Licata doesn’t know if he’s suited to the overnight lifestyle yet. He took over the shift in November after the legendary Steve Somers retired from regular work at the station. Getting a full-time position was the payoff after working his way up for 18 years, beginning at WFAN as an intern in 2003 and making it on the air in 2006. But Licata had to grind as a part-timer, even leaving WFAN at one point, before finally earning the gig he coveted.

Appearing on Sports Talk Chicago/WCKG with host Jon Zaghloul, Licata was asked how he manages doing overnight radio.

“I’m still trying to learn to manage it, but you have to figure out a way to balance your schedule and your time, and it’s very difficult,” Licata explained. “Also, I have the other job with SNY, so I still do both. And then my wife and I just had a baby, 11 months old, so you’re managing that as well.

“The shows themselves can be challenging, just because it’s the middle of the night. Especially when there’s no sports going on which, thankfully, right now we don’t have that problem anymore with the baseball lockout ending. But it can be challenging, five hours by yourself, limited calls, limited sports topics.

Much like 670 The Score’s Mark Grote explained to Parkins & Spiegel last week, moving to the overnight shift is not an immediate adjustment. He’s still trying to figure out a consistent routine that works, that’s sustainable.

But to Licata, it comes down to an approach that probably applies to whatever shift anyone in radio, or in any vocation, someone might work.

“I just think A) you have to love what you do. B) You have to figure out a way to get proper rest and sleep, whether it’s naps, whether it’s just six hours straight, and eating right, keeping your energy up. All things like that, to be able to function at three in the morning where you’re in the middle of a show and maybe you’ve already rehashed all the topics you wanted to hit that night, and you’ve gotta come up with something.”

Licata’s entire conversation with Zaghloul is worth your listening time. He talks about his career to this point, beginning at WFAN as an intern and a producer for Somers, then Mike & the Mad Dog before he ever made it to air. But Mike Francesa was supportive and helped him break out from behind the scenes.

Naturally, Licata also talks about New York sports — particularly the Giants, quarterback Daniel Jones, and the coach he wanted the team to hire — in addition to the Mets’ upcoming season. Oh, and Gregg Giannotti prank-calling him on the air also comes up.

You can listen to the Sports Talk Chicago podcast at the show’s website or on apps including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio 94.1 Sells Station Naming Rights To Priority Automotive Group

“The programming on the station does not change.”

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Max Media has found an interesting new revenue stream in Virginia Beach. ESPN Radio 94.1 has sold its naming rights. The station has rebranded as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1 ESPN.

“This is an important partnership for us,” said Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer. “At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1.”

The programming on the station does not change. Listeners in the 757 will still hear the nationally syndicated ESPN Radio lineup except for in afternoon drive when The Tim Donnelly Show is on the air.

“The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies,” President and Market Manager Keith Barton added. “From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive Has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization.”

Priority Automotive owns 17 car dealerships across Virginia.

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Sports Radio News

SiriusXM Plots Super Bowl LVII Coverage

“SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM.”

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SiriusXM has announced its extensive plans for coverage of Super Bowl LVII and the events leading up to the big game.

A dedicated Super Bowl pop-up channel on SiriusXM Channel 104 will be just one of the avenues SiriusXM plans to cover the event. Amber Theoharis will conduct interviews with players, and personalities making their way through Radio Row throughout the week that will air on the pop-up channel.

Mad Dog Sports Radio will have a large presence on Radio Row, with shows hosted by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, Dusty Dvoracek, Danny Kanell, and Steve Torre all airing live on location in Arizona. Former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be on hand to host I Am Athlete Tonight from the event, as well.

“With all eyes and ears focused on Phoenix for Super Bowl Week, SiriusXM will deliver fans around the country the unique mix of sports, music and entertainment programming that you can only find on SiriusXM,” said SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein.

“With multiple game broadcasts, several channels in Phoenix covering the latest news and providing expert analysis on the teams, interviews with many of the celebrities in town for the game, and our exclusive concert with Luke Combs, our subscribers will have exceptional access throughout the biggest week on the NFL calendar.”

ESPNU Radio hosts Colt McCoy, Rick Neuheisel, and Max Starks will also be in Arizona on Radio Row, in addition to Dusty and Danny hosting their shows each day from Radio Row.

Fantasy football expert Jeff Mans and SportsGrid Radio host Scott Ferrall will also originate content from Radio Row.

SiriusXM will offer four different game broadcasts of Super Bowl LVII. The Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles home broadcasts will each air, as will the national Westwood One call. Additionally, a Spanish-language broadcast will also be provided. Listeners will also be able to hear the halftime show — performed by pop star Rihanna — on Sirius XM Hits 1, The Heat, and Super Bowl LVII Radio.

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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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