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Mad Dog on Francesa Reunion: That Ship Has Sailed

“With Francesa recently stating his interest in adding a second voice to the show and Russo’s SiriusXM contract nearing expiration, it seemed like a good time to reignite the reunion rumors.”

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Mike Francesa is letting everyone know not to call him, he’ll call you if he’s interested in a co-host.  At the same time, his ex-partner, Christopher Russo made it clear to WFAN, Mike and the Mad Dog reunion is off the table.

Every couple of years, rumors about Russo returning to WFAN pops up.  With Francesa recently stating his interest in adding a second voice to the show and Russo’s SiriusXM contract nearing expiration, it seemed like a good time to reignite the reunion rumors.

“I thought there was a chance, maybe a couple of years ago when that 30-for-30 came out.”  Russo told The Michael Kay Show, referring to the 2017 ESPN Mike and the Mad Dog documentary.  “I thought there was a chance there a couple of years ago that that could occur. That did not, so I would say probably safely that ship has sailed,” Dog said regarding a possible return to WFAN.

Michael Kay’s co-host, Don La Greca pressed the issue, wondering what Russo would do if WFAN and its parent company, Entercom asked him to return.  “They won’t ask, No. 1, so it’s a hypothetical, I probably at this point in my life I would not.”

Kay chimed in on the hypothetical, presenting the “what if” Entercom offered Russo for $5 million for a return to terrestrial radio.

“They won’t,” Russo said. “If they did, I would probably say no.”  Russo went on to compliment his current company, SiriusXM, stating he likes the content he can do on the satellite platform.  

“First off, let’s be fair: I’m not that important,” Russo added.  “Entercom, Mark Chernoff or anybody else, or Mikey, they’re not going to come back and say, ‘hey Chris, by the way, we love you so much, here’s five million, let’s topple ESPN Radio with the ratings.’ They are not going to tell me that.  It’s a nice hypothetical, Mike. I know you’re trying to get me in a little trouble. I would say they wouldn’t want me and I wouldn’t go.”

This wasn’t the first time Russo joined The Michael Kay Show, but it was probably the most controversial as the segment came on the final day of the winter ratings book.  With Kay and Francesa neck and neck in a ratings battle, one that the iconic WFAN host has never lost, it appeared as if Russo was rooting against his former partner.

“Believe it or not, I didn’t even realize that this was sort of the end of the ratings period, this day. . . I can see I’m a pawn and a sacrifice,” Russo said.  

“That would not have been my intention, because obviously FAN was my home for 20 years with Mike. So I did not think that, but listen, the fact that there’s still people who care in New York is a good sign.”

Although the winter book closed on Wednesday, the ratings won’t be revealed until mid-April, when both hosts are likely to claim victory.  ESPN includes streaming numbers in their rating, while WFAN does not, allowing them to sell digital advertising separately from terrestrial radio.  If Francesa’s stream was included, it’s likely he would have a higher number than Kay, but Nielsen will not report the ratings that way.

And by the way, Dog did talk sports while joining The Michael Kay Show.  Dolan, the New York Football Giants, Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame and free agency were all on tap in the 20-minute interview which can be heard by clicking here.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Scott Zolak: Tom Brady Should Retire And Go To Fox Right Now

“When I hear Tom Brady say how he has more to prove, what exactly, what is it?!”

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Whenever Tom Brady decides to actually quit playing in the NFL for good, we now know what his next chapter will be.

News broke Tuesday that Brady has signed a contract to become the new lead analyst for FOX’s top NFL broadcast booth. The deal, according to reports, is for 10 years, $375 million.

Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand came back from commercial break on Tuesday after having just talked about Brady’s move when they heard the official financial figures involved in the deal.

Zolak said there’s no question Brady should quit sooner rather than later.

“When I hear Tom Brady say how he has more to prove, what exactly, what is it?!” he said. “Like those numbers? Come on!”

Bertrand took the conversation in a different direction saying that this mega-contract is setting Brady up to eventually be a sports team owner.

“Ownership of something will be in play,” he said. “With his connections, as he’s starting to spread out…There’s something else coming on top of this after this. This is step one of the process. This guy’s got a plan.”

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Bob Heussler Reflects On WFAN Career

“I will be in the rotation a little bit. It’s not like I’m going to completely disappear.”

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Another longtime voice at WFAN is stepping away from the microphone. This time, it is Bob Heussler cutting down his work schedule. He won’t be gone completely from the station though.

Heussler, who has been at the station since 1993 and is affectionately known to listeners as “Mr. Met,” will no longer be a full-time voice on WFAN’s airwaves. His last day as a full-timer will be May 12th.

“This is my last week as a full-timer,” he said on Tiki & Tierney. “I will be in the rotation a little bit. It’s not like I’m going to completely disappear. I’ll pick up a part-time shift here or there. But for all intents and purposes, Brandon, this is it as far as an everyday presence is concerned.”

Heussler reflected on being an original listener of WFAN when it went live in 1987. He said he’s always been an avid radio listener and been passionate about the industry. Getting to work at WFAN was at the top of his career achievements list.

“Arriving at The Fan was a huge moment for me,” he said. “I told some people recently that I am one of those people who was listening on July 1, 1987 when The Fan went on the air.”

Heussler also talked about the evolution of the role update anchors play. With how fast news travels nowadays, the role has changed.

“Back then, and certainly at the beginning in 1987, the updates were the key to the works early on,” he said.

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Nate Kreckman: If Tom Brady Gets $375 Million, How Much Would Peyton Manning Get?

“Everybody knows that Peyton Manning would be better than Brady at that role.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady made headlines yet again on Tuesday. He signed a 10-year deal to become an analyst with FOX Sports whenever he decides to retire.

On Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 in Denver, Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl reacted to the news of Brady’s $375 million contract and wondered what someone like Peyton Manning would earn if he pursued a full-time career in broadcasting.

“Everybody knows that Peyton Manning would be better than Brady at that role,” Kreckman said. “It’s because he’s an inherently more charismatic and entertaining individual.”

Lindahl said it would become like a normal quarterback negotiation at that point. If Brady is making $37.5 million per season, Manning could start by asking for $40 million. Kreckman countered saying that Manning could make $50 million per season if a network really wanted him.

Whether or not that is a valid point, we will likely never know. ESPN has given Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions a serious commitment and ultimate flexibility with the ManningCast. It would be hard to imagine Peyton giving that up to become part of a traditional television booth.

Lindahl added that the amount Brady will make is still just a surreal figure.

“I just am shocked, I am shocked, that we’re talking about $37.5 million for a guy to call games,” he said. “That’s not hedging a bet at all. That’s just saying, ‘We’re all in.'”

The duo wondered what would happen if things didn’t work out with Brady in the booth. There are legends of various sports working as analysts, but not all of them are good at the job. There certainly have been guys in NFL broadcast booths who didn’t succeed. Tom Brady will get plenty of time to get it right.

“Could he be any worse than Wayne Gretzky? I don’t think TNT’s getting rid of Wayne Gretzky,” Lindahl said. “Why? Because he’s Wayne Gretzky.”

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