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85 Guests Say Goodbye to Mike Francesa

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Closing out a remarkable 30 year run at WFAN, Mike Francesa’s second to last show was a celebration of his industry creating radio career. Five and a half hours, jam packed with 85 surprise guests live from the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan.

Beginning with Jim Nantz, ending with Lawrence Taylor and a full cast of surprises in between, Mike’s second to last WFAN performance was fast paced and unpredictable. Masterfully produced by Brian Monzo, to get 85 celebrities on and off the program in a timely manner was no easy task.

Highlights of the show were hearing Chris Russo and Don Imus back on WFAN.  John Calipari was the most entertaining guest of the evening, providing great banter and showcasing a special chemistry between the two.

Near the end of the show, station program director Mark Chernoff informed Mike his studio would be forever named the Mike Francesa studio. A well deserved honorary gesture for the host that not only helped build WFAN, but the entire sports radio landscape.

Lawrence Taylor being the final guest of the show was not necessarily a highlight, but his asking Mike for $100 of stripper money will certainly be infamously memorable.

Three guests that would have been interesting to hear from were Pat Riley, Bill Parcells and Boomer Esiason. Francesa often spoke of his severed relationship with Riley ever since he and Dog criticized Pat’s departure from the New York Knicks. A staple of the program during his time as head coach of the Knicks, Riley was requested by producer Brian Monzo, but the invitation was declined.

During Mike and the Maddog, Coach Parcells and Mike Francesa were very close friends, but they’ve distanced over the years. In a recent New York Post article Mike stated “Wish it was better. Sometimes you can be so close — and we were so close — that a lot of things get in the way,” regarding their relationship.

Francesa and Esiason have not had the warmest relationship, but for the last ten years they’ve both anchored the success of WFAN. A quick passing of the torch moment with Esiason remaining as the station’s most recognizable host would have been an interesting listen.

The full slate of 85 guests is listed below. Jim Nantz, Chris Christie, Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Linda Cohn, Rich Eisen, Regis Philbin, Chris Russo and Don Imus to name a few of what made for an impressive send off for one of radio’s most important figures. The full show can be heard by clicking here.

Miscellaneous: 
Mitchell Etess
Chris Kay
Chris Christie
Steve Schirripa

WFAN:
Julio – Mike’s Driver
Suzyn Waldman
Marc Malusis
Eddie Coleman
Sweeny Murti
Carl Banks
Erica Herskowitz
Steve Somers
Joe Benigno
Evan Roberts
Bob Heussler
John Minko
Mark Chernoff
Don Imus
Chris Russo

Athlete/Coach/Front Office:
Victor Cruz
Otis Anderson
Tiki Barber
Steve Phillips
Willie Randolph
Joe Mihalich
Lonn Trost
Jerry Bailey
Brian Cashman
Bobby Valentine
Kurt Warner
Tim Cluess
Bobby Ojeda
Cliff Floyd
Darryl Strawberry
Bob Baffert
John Davidson
Jay Wright
David Diehl
Todd Pletcher
Shaun O’Hara
Jim Fassel
Bernie Williams
Tom Pecora
Neil Smith
Mike Tannenbaum
John Franco
Kenny Smith
PJ Carlesimo
Eli Manning
Brandon Marshall
Eddie Olczyk
Keith Hernandez
John Calipari
Joe Girardi
Tom Coughlin
Lawrence Taylor

Media:
Jim Nantz
Dan Patrick
Dick Ebersol
Jay Horwitz
Doug Gottlieb
Damon Amendolara
Mark Feinsand
Kim Jones
Kevin Burkhardt
Jim Cramer
Brendan Brown
Mike Breen
Joe Micheletti
Regis Philbin
Joel Hollander
Ira Winderman
Pierre McGuire
Julie Stewart-Binks
Linda Cohn
Michael Breed
Katie Nolan
Bob Costas
Jay Glazer
Peter Schrager
Tim McCarver
Ian Eagle
Rich Eisen
Lonnie Quinn
Barry Watkins
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

Pat McAfee Defends His Intellectual Property on Show

A YouTube user had been using videos from McAfee’s show on his own channel and monetizing them.

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Intellectual property is the most important asset a content creator has in the digital space. That’s why it should not come as a surprise when Pat McAfee took to his show today to defend his.

A YouTube user named AntSlant had been acquiring video from Pat McAfee’s daily show for a while and putting it on his YouTube channel as his own content for months. McAfee has been a hot commodity and it seems that the personality may have been alerted to this activity thru potential future partners and their social searches. McAfee apparently reached out and sent a warning and today he addressed the account in what he called a little “house cleaning.”

“I have funded everything that you see (referencing his studio),” McAfee began. “Whenever you talk about stealing people’s footage, stealing people’s content and putting it up on the internet – so you can benefit from it – I don’t know how you think that the person that created, funded and paid for the content, worked their dick off, and their ass off amongst their peers and did everything – how they are the scam artists in this entire thing and not the account.”

Pat McAfee started referencing the offending account’s ability to monetize the videos. “We looked it up because we have this ability, [they] probably made $150,000 off of our content – not remixing the content, not getting in there and speaking and being a content creator – ripping content from us. Putting it together putting it up as their own videos and marketing it as if they work for us. And never reaching out to us one time. Not one time.”

The value of this content is immeasurable especially considering the account using McAfee’s IP is on the same platform (YouTube) as he is. McAfee add, “no network would just let you take their shit and profit off it. Nobody on Earth would let you do that.”

McAfee then revealed that he would partner with another YouTube account Toxic Table Edits. That account, which was doing the same thing as AntSlant, created a community around the Pat McAfee Show image. Things went differently for Toxic because when contacted by McAfee, the owner of that account responded “like a human”. Now the two will partner on future projects.

A Twitter account with the name @AntSlant did tweet shortly thereafter saying that the videos McAfee discussed had been deleted from his YouTube channel.

Upon an inspection of a YouTube account named AntSlant, the videos are no longer.

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Sports Radio News

Parker Hillis Named Brand Manager of Sports Radio 610

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Goodbye snow and hello heat! Parker Hillis is headed to Houston. Audacy has announced that he will be the new brand manager for Sports Radio 610.

“Parker is a rising star,” Sarah Frazier, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy in Houston, said in a press release. “He has impressed us since day one with his innovative ideas, focus on talent coaching and work ethic. We’re thrilled to have him join our Audacy team.”

Hillis comes to the market from Denver. He has spent the last three years with Bonneville’s 104.3 The Fan. He started as the station’s executive producer before rising to APD earlier this year.

In announcing his exit from The Fan on his Facebook page, Hillis thanked Fan PD Raj Sharan for preparing him for this opportunity.

“His leadership and guidance set the stage for me to continue to grow and develop in this industry, one that I absolutely love,” Hillis wrote. “This is a special place, one that I am honored to have been a part of and so sad to leave.”

Sports Radio 610 began the process to find a new brand manager in February when Armen Williams announced he was leaving the role. Williams also came to Houston from Denver. He started his own business outside the radio industry.

“I’m excited to join the Sports Radio 610 team in Houston,” said Hillis. “The opportunity to direct and grow an already incredible Audacy brand is truly an honor.”

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Sports Radio News

Schopp & Bulldog: NFL Has To Figure Out Pro Bowl Alternative That Draws Same Audience

“The game just could not be less interesting.”

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After years of criticism and declining television ratings, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell publicly stated this week that the Pro Bowl, as it is currently contested, is no longer a viable option for the league and that there would be discussions at the league meetings to find another way to showcase the league’s best players.

Yesterday afternoon, Schopp and Bulldog on WGR in Buffalo discussed the growing possibility of the game being discontinued, and how the NFL could improve on the ratings it generates with new programming.

“The same number of people [who] watched some recent… game 7 between Milwaukee and Boston… had the same audience as the Pro Bowl had last year,” said co-host Chris “The Bulldog” Parker. “….Enough people watch it to make it worth their while; it’s good business. They’ll put something in that place even though the game is a joke.”

One of the potential outcomes of abolishing the Pro Bowl would be replacing it with a skills showdown akin to what the league held last year prior to the game in Las Vegas. Some of the competitions held within this event centered around pass precision, highlight catches and a non-traditional football competition: Dodgeball. Alternatively, the league could revisit the events it held in 2021 due to the cancellation of the Pro Bowl because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which included a virtual Madden showdown and highlight battle, appealing to football fans in the digital age.

Stefon Diggs and Dion Dawkins of the Buffalo Bills were selected to the AFC Pro Bowl roster this past season, and while it is a distinct honor, some fans would rather see the game transformed or ceased entirely – largely because of the risks associated with exhibition games.

In 1999, the NFL held a rookie flag football game on a beach in Waikiki, Hawaii before the Pro Bowl in which New England Patriots running back Robert Edwards severely dislocated his knee while trying to catch a pass. He nearly had to have his leg amputated in the hospital, being told that there was a possibility he may never walk again. Upon returning to the league four seasons later with the Miami Dolphins, Edwards was able to play in 12 games, but then lost his roster spot at the end of the season, marking the end of his NFL career.

“You might not want to get too crazy with this stuff, but there’d have to be some actual contests to have it be worth doing at all,” expressed show co-host Mike Schopp. “Do you not have a game? I don’t know.”

The future of the Sunday before the Super Bowl is very much in the air, yet Goodell has hardly been reticent in expressing that there needs to be a change made in the league to better feature and promote the game’s top players. In fact, he’s been saying it since his first days as league commissioner in 2006, evincing a type of sympathy for the players participating in the contest, despite it generating reasonable television ratings and advertising revenue.

“Maybe the time has come for them to really figure out a better idea, and maybe that’s what’s notable [about] Goodell restating that he’s got a problem with it,” said Parker. “If there’s some sort of momentum about a conversation [on] creating a very different event that could still draw your 6.7 million eyeballs, maybe they’ll figure out a way to do something other than the game, because the game just could not be less interesting.”

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