History was made on Tuesday night as Keith McPherson made his hosting debut on WFAN in New York replacing Steve Somers after the latter’s extraordinary 34-year run at the station. Prior to joining WFAN, McPherson, 33, was a host of both the Pinstripe Strong and Talkin’ Nets podcasts at Jomboy Media, and managed social media for the company as well. Additionally, he had experience as a digital marketing and strategy manager at Roc Nation Sports, which represents prominent athletes across many leagues, such as Saquon Barkley, Immanuel Quickley and Robinson Canó, and was a social media manager at fuboTV.
“We did it. Let’s go!,” opened McPherson on his first show. “So much energy [is] running through me right now… WFAN, New York City — club going up on a Tuesday!”
McPherson thanked those listening to his inaugural program on-air, and, much like his predecessor Steve Somers, invited listeners to join the conversation and talk about their favorite New York teams.
“If you decided at 7:00 tonight [that] this is what you were going to do — listen to me talk sports — I appreciate you,” said McPherson. “Twitter, Instagram, texts, everything — it’s been crazy; it’s been an overload. It’s been a wild ride, and now we’re here. Now it starts. This is night one, and the torch has been passed.”
Before McPherson proceeded with his program, he sent a special message to Somers, who officially retired from WFAN after 34 years on the air; McPherson here, and Somers there, seemingly enough. Keith McPherson called Somers the greatest of all time at his craft, hence the title “G.O.A.T.,” and looked forward to beginning the challenge of crafting his own sound and style just as “The Schmoozer” did himself.
“I have to send a shout out to the G.O.A.T. — Steve Somers — forever G.O.A.T.E.D!,” exclaimed McPherson. “There was a lot of talk about his replacement; a lot of talk about shoes being filled. I deadened that every chance I could… because you can’t replace a guy like Steve Somers… That’s a voice we will never be able to replace, and no one will ever take his place — and definitely not me. I am glad to carry the torch; glad to take this mic, take this seat; and lead us into the future, whatever that future may be, New York.”
WFAN’s newest on-air host briefly discussed the process in joining the station, and how so many things in his life have rapidly changed over the last few months.
“If they would have told me three months ago… that I was going to be trying out to be the nighttime host… If they would have told me that the press release was going to come out saying that you’re replacing Steve Somers, I would have said: ‘Woah, woah. Hey — take it easy. I don’t know if I’m ready for all that.”
Three months later, though, Keith McPherson is ready for his chance on live radio, getting his start in the number one media market in the world: the Big Apple.
“It’s not about if you’re ready,” explained McPherson. “It’s about staying ready so you don’t have to get ready, and I’m ready to rock tonight.”
Keith McPherson hopes that his new role at WFAN will be the start of a new era of great things for the station amid a changing media landscape and consistent ratings battle with 98.7 ESPN New York. Furthermore, he hopes the sports teams in the New York-Metropolitan area give their fans even more memorable moments and things to cheer about, and subsequently come talk about on New York’s FAN.
“[I] hope you become a fan of the FAN,” said McPherson. “I’m just a fan at the FAN. We’re all fans — die-hard fans, long-suffering fans, casual fans, bandwagon fans — we’re all here.”
Paul Finebaum Writing Book on Nick Saban/Jimbo Fisher Feud
“I think there’s a lot that has not been uncovered, and I feel very confident we are well under way of breaking this code in many different ways,” Finebaum told AL.com’s Mark Heim.
ESPN’s Paul Finebaum is taking some time to work on a book, and some of the subject matter is going to be juicy.
Finebaum plans to work with John Talty of AL.com to write the book. This will be Finebaum’s first book since 2014.
Plans are to highlight the rivalry between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher. That rivalry was amplified this past spring when the two coaches traded verbal jabs about recruiting and NIL.
“I think there’s a lot that has not been uncovered, and I feel very confident we are well under way of breaking this code in many different ways,” Finebaum told AL.com’s Mark Heim. “There is a great appeal. I’ve looked at other things in the past but, to me, this is the most intriguing story that I’ve seen in many many years.”
The book will be published by Penguin press and has a fall 2023 release date. Even Hollywood will be paying attention to the book, as a potential TV series or movie could arise.
Finebaum added that he hopes to take a deeper dive into NIL and talk to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
“The main goal is to get the truth, unvarnished and as accurate displayed as we can through individuals speaking on the record or through sources,” he said. “That’s all you can hope to do. The goal is to get beneath the surface and go where you can’t go in a 3-hour radio show or a 750-word column.”
Mason & Ireland Ink Contract Extensions with ESPN Los Angeles
The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo in L.A.
The long-running West Coast sounds of Mason & Ireland will continue. The pair signed a multi-year contract and that will ensure they continue to be the longest-running duo for ESPN Los Angeles.
Steve Mason and John Ireland have been on-and-off partners in radio since 1992.
Mason said of the extension, “I love L.A. sports and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. I really appreciate ESPN and our new owner Good Karm Brands. We’ve got a really good team on Mason & Ireland with producer Greg Bergman and associate producer Jorge Briones. And I especially love doing the show every day with John Ireland, my friend of 30 years.”
Ireland also has a statement that read, “It’s both an honor and a privilege to continue this ride with ESPN. During the course of our last deal, the Lakers, Rams and Dodgers all won titles. Obviously, we were able to mistakenly convince our bosses that we had something to do with that, so they’re letting us continue. Please, nobody tell them.”
Mason & Ireland airs weekdays from 1-4p PT on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles.
Mike Francesa and Phil Mushnick Lock Horns Over Golf Bets
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claiming his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Phil Mushnick of The New York Post, is no fan of Mike Francesa. The latest bout between the two was triggered by a series of erroneous golf bets that Francesa has given out in each of the last three majors.
Francesa, on his podcast with BetRivers Network, told folks that the best bet to win the Masters was Brooks Koepka. The best bet to win the PGA Championship was Scottie Scheffler. He also said the best bet to win The U.S. Open was Cameron Smith. Neither won. Neither even made the cut.
That led to a Mushnick article lambasting the “soothsayer of colossal doom”. Mushnick continued to attack Francesa and claimed his legacy was as a “self-deluded, boastful blowhard”.
Francesa heard about, or read, the piece and responded on Twitter, calling Mushnick “sad, pathetic” and said that Mushnick’s writings make him look “like the jealous old man that he is”.
Moments later, Francesa tweeted again, “Ask him to add up how much the horses I own have won the past two years. What a complete, obsessed fool.”
As AMNY points out, these two have rammed horns before.
Mushnick once said he had alleged tapes of Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo demanding loyalty oaths from Jews after 9/11.
The writer would also accuse Francesa of fighting with his then-boss Mark Chernoff, after losing to ESPN New York’s Michael Kay in ratings, an accusation Francesa denies.