The Mike’s On app debuts today, Friday. Listeners have been asking Mike Francesa ‘what’s next?’ since early 2016, when he told Katie Nolan his plans to leave WFAN in December of the following year. After months of silence, Francesa returned to WFAN this past May, but insisted his comeback was in conjunction with launching his new project, the Mike’s On app.
“I’ve wanted for a while to have my own content machine – my own content vehicle that I could control and that I would have the ability to go [on-air] when I wanted,” Francesa told TheStreet in an interview on Thursday from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. “I think there’s a market for it.”
Francesa appears to be more committed to the Mike’s On app than his 2012 project, the Audio Roadshow App which was oft ignored and eventually forgotten by the legendary WFAN host. At a steep price of $8.99 per month, Mike has no choice but to remain committed to his new platform.
To compare, SiriusXM, which offers Francesa’s former partner Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, Howard Stern, and hundreds of exclusive channels and sporting events, costs about $13 per month. ESPN+ carries thousands of live sporting events, unique programming and Insider content, while costing just $4.99 per month. For a host that spends four hours each weekday on WFAN at no expense to consumers, Francesa will need to offer a lot of exclusive content to make the $8.99 price fee worthwhile.
According to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post, the Mike’s On app is expected to launch in two phases. The first phase features just Francesa, the video simulcast of his WFAN show and the ability to hear Mike’s immediate reaction following breaking news or a big game 24/7. The app will also provide consumers with an exclusive Saturday college football show and Mike’s long-running Sunday morning NFL program.
The second phase of the app launch, according to Marchand, will introduce other voices to the app. Francesa has stated on his WFAN show that he will look to use the app as a way to develop other sports radio personalities. While on-air Thursday afternoon, Mike confirmed WFAN overnight host, John Jastremski, will be featured on the app. The enthusiastic Jastremski has frequented Francesa’s WFAN show as a guest in recent months.
For the first two weeks, the Mike’s On app will be available for a free trial, giving fans the opportunity to decide if $8.99 is a worthy fee. WFAN’s parent company, Entercom and Francesa’s agency, CAA are minority partners in the new venture.
Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.
Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM
An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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”.