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Howard Stern: Mike Francesa Should Have Fought To Keep Chris Russo At WFAN

“Stern believed Francesa began to get paranoid of prank calls and social media looking to catch him making a mistake, but Russo could have provided protection from that.”

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I can’t help but wonder if my interview with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo last month turned out to be a uniter of radio legends. 

During our conversation, Russo said he missed the discourse he had with his former radio partner Mike Francesa. A week later, Mike was on his SiriusXM radio show for an hour. He also told me how much he enjoyed going on The Howard Stern Show despite it being a few years since his last appearance. Less than one month later, Russo joined Stern for almost two hours.

“I’ve been totally into it. But it’s almost like when he gets Mike from Mahopac (Sour Shoes), he feels like he had Chris Russo on, so it’s been awhile, but I love going in there,” Dog told me as he tried to theorize why it’s been so long since he joined Stern as a guest. 

But Stern quickly nixed the theory to Dog, “I want to correct something right away,” Stern told Russo. “You have this feeling, I heard, that I haven’t had you on in a while because Sour Shoes does such a great impression of you…that I feel like I’ve had you on. But that’s not true.” Stern added that he waits for Russo to reach out, figuring he’ll come on whenever he’s ready. 

Shortly after clearing up why it’s been years since Russo was on the show, Stern dove into Dog’s relationship with Francesa. In Stern’s expert radio opinion, he believes Francesa should have fought harder to keep Russo from leaving WFAN for SiriusXM in 2008. 

Not only would it have kept an iconic sports radio duo together, but Stern also thinks it would have helped Francesa’s career near the end. Stern believed Francesa began to get paranoid of prank calls and social media looking to catch him making a mistake, but Russo could have provided protection from that. 

It was Russo’s decision to go and Francesa’s ego was never going to allow him to beg his partner to stay. If Russo was being forced out, Francesa might have fought harder, but that wasn’t the case. 

Ultimately, they each found success as solo acts. Russo’s solo work took a little bit longer to hit stride and Francesa’s flamed out slightly quicker than his former partner. But there’s no question a side of sports radio will always wish Mike and the Mad Dog never split.

Sports Radio News

Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’

“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

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What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.

On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.

“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.

“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”

Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.

The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.

“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”

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