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Gregg Giannotti Tells WFAN Management To Stick With New Lineup

“So whether it’s pairing Carton with Roberts, or finding a former professional athlete for Craig to work with, let this be the move that lasts.”

Brandon Contes

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I don’t watch soap operas or wrestling, and my reality TV consumption remains pretty low, but that’s OK, because I get my guilty pleasure fix of drama from WFAN. Once a model of stability, New York’s heritage sports radio station has struggled to find continuity with their lineup recently. 

In the last three years, WFAN saw one mainstay host go to jail, their iconic afternoon host retire twice, the replacement afternoon show move to middays and later lose two hosts to ESPN. Their long running midday show was then moved to afternoons, and now it’s likely to change again with the formerly imprisoned host set to make a triumphant return. The longest running weekday spot for WFAN is currently Craig Carton’s former show, hosted by Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti in morning drive. 

And if Giannotti has one piece of advice for station management, it’s stick to their next lineup. 

On Thursday, Gio shared with listeners the recommendation he made to program director Mark Chernoff regarding more pending changes at The Fan. 

“Whatever you guys decide, and don’t tell me anything, I don’t even care anymore,” Gio told Chernoff. “Whatever you guys decide, keep it that way. Unless somebody has had a major illness or something horrible happens, god forbid. But keep it that way”

Carlin, Maggie and Bart had four months in afternoon drive, but they were punted for Mike Francesa who had no plans on staying much longer than a year. Francesa was later replaced with Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno, even though Benigno similarly did not want to stay more than one year. Now afternoon drive is on the verge of changing again. 

After reportedly striking out on Barstool’s Willie Colon and ESPN’s Bart Scott, Evan Roberts is becoming a heavy favorite to remain in afternoon drive with the soon to be returning Craig Carton. So whether it’s pairing Carton with Roberts, or finding a former professional athlete for Craig to work with, let this be the move that lasts. 

Carton and Roberts seem like an odd pairing. Despite having a background hosting on the old Sirius Maxim Radio channel, Roberts likes to stick to sports, while Carton attempts to take every exit and detour he can possibly find. But despite a recent lineup in flux, and rumors being leaked, WFAN has smart people making its decisions with track records of building successful shows. Similarly, Carton won’t put himself in a situation with a co-host that he doesn’t believe he can win with. 

Sports Radio News

Keyshawn Johnson: ‘I Don’t Like Sunday Night Baseball Putting Mics on Players’

“I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

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Most people seem to really like Sunday Night Baseball adding mics to players in the field this season. Fans and critics alike have commended ESPN for giving fans access that they have never had before. But don’t expect Keyshawn Johnson to join that praise chorus anytime soon.

“I don’t like the interaction with broadcast teams talking to players during the game, in the field,” he said on Monday morning’s edition of Keyshawn, JWill and Max.

The ESPN Radio morning man is convinced that eventually, the in-game conversations are going to cause a costly error.

Freddie Coleman, who was filling in for both Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, played a clip from Sunday night’s game for Johnson. In the clip, listeners could hear the Padres’ newly acquired slugger Juan Soto pleading with a ball hit by Cody Bellinger to stay in the park during the team’s 0-4 shutout loss to the Dodgers.

“I don’t like that as a player,” Johnson said. “I know the fans love it.”

He said that when he sees players mic’d up and answering a question during the game, he is constantly worried about how it will affect what happens on the field. He said he felt some empathy for the fielder on the mic once the ball is put into play, because if it comes that fielder’s way and he is distracted, the instant reaction from the crowd will be to question the player’s effort or ability rather than ask if the distraction is worth it.

Coleman pointed out that there is some very famous video of Keyshawn Johnson during his playing career mic’d up on the sidelines. Johnson defended NFL Films, saying that getting live sound of a game is very different than what Major League Baseball is making players do.

“That’s different than interacting with Karl Ravech and company in the booth. I’ve got an IFB in my ear and I’m trying to pay attention to the game and I’ve got air traffic control talking to me. There’s no way you can tell me that doesn’t affect you.”

The closing months of the regular season as playoff races start to take shape are not the ideal times for networks to be having conversations with guys in the middle of the field. That doesn’t mean it is never good content. Keyshawn Johnson said that as a viewer, he would welcome in-game interviews during Spring Training and the All-Star Game. He just has trouble believing players are happy to participate.

“It’s cool. I’m not mad that it’s being done. I just wouldn’t like it as a player,” he said.

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Sports Radio News

Rob Hipp Named New Voice of North Dakota State

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

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Rob Hipp is the new “Voice of the Bison”.

The former Sam Houston State play-by-play announcer will serve in the same capacity for North Dakota State. He replaces Jeff Culhane, who left the position for a similar role at Florida State earlier this summer.

In addition to his role as the play-by-play announcer for Bison football and basketball, Hipp will also serve as the Director of Operations for Bison 1660.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and blessing to be here. The word that comes to mind with everything associated with NDSU is excellence,” Hipp said. “Matt Larsen, Coach (Matt) Entz, Coach (David) Richman, the support staff and everyone with Bison Sports Properties led by Josh Hartman made this a transparent and smooth process. I also want to thank Tom Boman with Learfield as well as Nancy Odney and the great people at Radio FM Media. My family and I are proud to be in Fargo!”

“We are thrilled to have Rob join the team at Radio FM Media as the new voice of the Bison, Director of Operations for Bison 1660-92.7, and Sports Director for our group,” said Radio FM COO Nancy Odney. “Rob is a very talented play-by-play announcer and a top sports radio host. His creative energy, new content, and passion for sports and broadcasting is going to be an exciting addition to the team.”

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Sports Radio News

Dan Graca Joining ESPN New York For Nighttime Show

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to the place where it all began for me, once upon a time, as a wide-eyed intern,” he said in a tweet announcing the move.

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SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio host Dan Graca is joining ESPN New York as their new night time host.

Graca, who will host a show from 7:00 PM-10:00 PM had been with SiriusXM for the past 12 years. It’s a coming home moment for Graca, who interned at the station.

“I couldn’t be more excited to come back to the place where it all began for me, once upon a time, as a wide-eyed intern,” he said in a tweet announcing the move.

The 7:00 PM-10:00 PM position had previously been held by Chris Carlin, who moved to the national afternoon slot to pair with Chris Canty in April.

In addition to his new nighttime show, Graca will continue as the pre and post-game host for ESPN New York’s coverage of the New York Jets, a position he’s held the past four seasons.

His show is slated to begin on Monday, August 15th.

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