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Kay Tears Into Francesa

Jason Barrett

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The latest and most vicious salvo in New York’s sports radio war was fired Wednesday when Michael Kay called Mike Francesa a liar in a nine-minute rant on ESPN Radio and YES Network.

According to Kay, Francesa was discussing his November interview with Alex Rodriguez on WFAN. A caller suggested the infamous in-studio interview, during which A-Rod denied PED use and blasted MLB, was the reason Francesa and YES Network parted ways.

Kay, the play-by-play voice of the Yankees on YES, has since taken over the afternoon simulcast slot from Francesa.

“And Francesa said, ‘That’s not the truth, they wanted a show where they can control the editorial and I wasn’t going to give them that,’” a heated Kay said of his rival.

“I don’t know how to say this without being blunt: Mike’s a liar. No one controls this show, but me and [co-host] Don La Greca. That’s it. We have never, ever been called by anybody at YES and critiqued on what we said and how we said it or the truth of it.”

Kay would later correct himself and say that the only time he heard from YES was after his initial simulcast, which he opened by dumping a bottle of Diet Coke, Francesa’s favorite beverage, in the trash.

Francesa has held his significant radio ratings edge over his foe’s head since Kay moved into the midday slot on ESPN Radio. Kay gave what he considers to be the reasons Francesa and YES did not renew their contract in January of this year.

“To say they wanted editorial control, you’re lying to soften the blow that you got taken off a great network and saying we are a house organ,” Kay said. “You are wrong, I am sorry, you are wrong.

“Two reasons: 1. You ended up earning a lot of money, which you earned, but they were losing a lot of money on the show. 2. It’s obvious the proper decision has been made because our ratings are better than your rating when you were on YES.”

And then Kay attacked Francesa for his viral sleeping moment when he dozed off while talking to WFAN’s Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti.

“And let me give you a No. 3: Maybe they didn’t want to broadcast a show where someone was falling asleep on the air,” Kay said.

“That doesn’t make for great television. So, don’t you dare impugn my integrity and reputation by telling people the only reason we are on the air is because we are told what and what not to say. If you want to say that, I need proof and you can’t give me proof because you are lying. Period. I don’t want to get into a hissing war with you. I get the whole “Numbaaa 1.” I get it. I get it. But the bottom line is, don’t lie about me, don’t lie about this guy [La Greca].”

Francesa’s simulcast landed at Fox Sports 1. He has been in a dispute with the network since its inception about the show constantly being pre-empted for soccer coverage and other live events.

Ironically, Kay started his tirade by saying it was unfair to criticize Francesa for the A-Rod interview. He seemed to change his tune by the end.

“I don’t lay down for somebody in order to get an interview with that person. We got scooped on the Alex Rodriguez interview. You know why Alex went to Mike? Because Mike was supporting Alex the entire way to say MLB was going out of its way to crucify Alex, he ripped the Yankees too about it. That’s why Alex got there. Cause Alex got a nice soft landing,” Kay said.

And then a final blow: “You can take a walk with your attitude, with your bloviating. Keep my name out of your mouth,” Kay said. “I don’t treat you like that. And you shouldn’t treat other people like that. And maybe the way you treat people is another reason why YES decided to kick your butt to the curb. We’ll be back…”

Credit to the NY Post who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Barry Jackson, a veteran journalist with the Miami Herald, reports that 790 The Ticket morning hosts Brendan Tobin and Leroy Hoard will move to that 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. WQAM slot during the week of Oct. 3.

In more station movement, Joe Rose’s WQAM morning show with Zach Krantz now will be simulcast on The Ticket, replacing the Tobin/Hoard program. Audacy, which owns both WQAM and The Ticket, also simulcast Marc Hochman’s and Channing Crowder’s afternoon show.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Sports Radio News

Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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