Connect with us

Sports Radio News

WFAN’s Sal Licata on Working Overnights: ‘You Have to Love What You Do’

“It can be challenging… to be able to function at three in the morning where you’re in the middle of a show and maybe you’ve already rehashed all the topics you wanted to hit that night.”



Hosting a radio show at a legendary station in a major market is an opportunity very few would turn down. Even if that means working the overnight shift.

But doing five hours of radio from midnight to 5 a.m. is an adjustment that changes your life. Working when most are sleeping is a tough transition. Some eventually adapt to the schedule, but others never do. In some cases, it might be fighting a natural rhythm. But some are better at being nocturnal than others.

WFAN’s Sal Licata doesn’t know if he’s suited to the overnight lifestyle yet. He took over the shift in November after the legendary Steve Somers retired from regular work at the station. Getting a full-time position was the payoff after working his way up for 18 years, beginning at WFAN as an intern in 2003 and making it on the air in 2006. But Licata had to grind as a part-timer, even leaving WFAN at one point, before finally earning the gig he coveted.

Appearing on Sports Talk Chicago/WCKG with host Jon Zaghloul, Licata was asked how he manages doing overnight radio.

“I’m still trying to learn to manage it, but you have to figure out a way to balance your schedule and your time, and it’s very difficult,” Licata explained. “Also, I have the other job with SNY, so I still do both. And then my wife and I just had a baby, 11 months old, so you’re managing that as well.

“The shows themselves can be challenging, just because it’s the middle of the night. Especially when there’s no sports going on which, thankfully, right now we don’t have that problem anymore with the baseball lockout ending. But it can be challenging, five hours by yourself, limited calls, limited sports topics.

Much like 670 The Score’s Mark Grote explained to Parkins & Spiegel last week, moving to the overnight shift is not an immediate adjustment. He’s still trying to figure out a consistent routine that works, that’s sustainable.

But to Licata, it comes down to an approach that probably applies to whatever shift anyone in radio, or in any vocation, someone might work.

“I just think A) you have to love what you do. B) You have to figure out a way to get proper rest and sleep, whether it’s naps, whether it’s just six hours straight, and eating right, keeping your energy up. All things like that, to be able to function at three in the morning where you’re in the middle of a show and maybe you’ve already rehashed all the topics you wanted to hit that night, and you’ve gotta come up with something.”

Licata’s entire conversation with Zaghloul is worth your listening time. He talks about his career to this point, beginning at WFAN as an intern and a producer for Somers, then Mike & the Mad Dog before he ever made it to air. But Mike Francesa was supportive and helped him break out from behind the scenes.

Naturally, Licata also talks about New York sports — particularly the Giants, quarterback Daniel Jones, and the coach he wanted the team to hire — in addition to the Mets’ upcoming season. Oh, and Gregg Giannotti prank-calling him on the air also comes up.

You can listen to the Sports Talk Chicago podcast at the show’s website or on apps including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Sports Radio News

NBC Sports Names Al Michaels To Emeritus Role

The partnership will keep Michaels on for the Olympics and NBC’s NFL playoff coverage.



Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

NBC Sports, which had been the home of Al Michaels since 2006, will still feature the veteran broadcaster despite Michaels’ moving to Amazon for Thursday Night Football.

The network announced that Michaels will still be a part of NBC Sports’ high-profile broadcasting properties including the Olympics and NFL Playoffs. Michaels’ last broadcast with the network had been Super Bowl LVI in February, his eleventh Super Bowl.

NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement, “Revered by viewers and colleagues, Al has been the soundtrack for many of the greatest moments in sports television history. We are thrilled that he’s staying in the family and raising the stature of our events for years to come.”

“I’m looking forward to continuing my longtime NBC relationship while also launching the Thursday Night Football package on Amazon this fall. A special thanks to NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua and the folks at NBCUniversal for their help in making this happen,” Michaels said.

Michaels moved to Amazon Prime Video this season for their Thursday Night Football package. He will be paired with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. This season will mark his 37th NFL play-by-play campaign in primetime.

Following another historic broadcasting moment in which Michaels deftly demonstrated his expertise and versatility, he became just the second sportscaster in history to receive a News Emmy nomination for his coverage of the San Francisco earthquake during the 1989 World Series.

In addition to the 11 Super Bowls, Michaels has worked nine Olympics and called eight World Series.

In December 2020, Michaels was honored with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Michaels is one of only five distinguished broadcasters to be recognized with the baseball honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award (Dick Enberg, Lindsey Nelson, Jack Buck, and Curt Gowdy).

One of television’s most respected journalists, Michaels has covered more major sports events than any sportscaster, including 20 years as the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football. He is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host the Stanley Cup Final for network television. In addition, Michaels called the classic 1985 championship boxing match between Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns and “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.

Among his many accolades, Michaels has captured eight Emmy Awards – seven for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play and one in 2011 for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and has three times (1980, 1983 and 1986) received the NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association; he was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1998. Michaels was named Sportscaster of the Year in 1996 by the American Sportscasters Association, and, in 1991, he was named Sportscaster of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Thom Brennaman Continues to Search for a Second Chance

Brennaman has been searching for a broadcasting gig since he spoke a homophobic slur in August 2020 on a Cincinnati Reds broadcast.



USA Today

The last time Thom Brennaman sported the microphone for a major broadcast was August 19, 2020. It was game that featured a doubleheader between the Cincinnati Reds and the Kanasas City Royals and in between the two, Brennaman blurted a homophobic slur that has thus far kept him off radio and television.

Brennaman has struggled to find his footing since that error. Recently, Brennaman recorded an episode of Tell Me A Story I Don’t Know, a podcast hosted George Ofman. That episode was available Tuesday and in it, Ofman asks where Brennaman thinks he’ll be in six months.

Brennaman said, “I have no idea. I really don’t. There were a couple of times I thought that maybe somebody out there was going to give me a chance to broadcast again and then this same thing comes up again.”

Brennaman sounded baffled that he’s still searching for work, citing other influential local leaders and what they opined in the days after the incident. “You know what you find out George, the guy who’s considered to be the leading voice of the LGBT community here in Cincinnati, he’s a big executive with Johnson and Johnson, a guy named Ryan Messer. He had written, and I had never met Ryan Messer at this point in time, like two days after what I said, he wrote a letter to the editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, local paper, that Thom Brennaman should not be fired. There is room for growth here in so many areas and a great opportunity for him, for the gay community, for the Reds, for our society.”

Brennaman added that the two met as well as did Brennaman with other leaders in the LGBT community at the time. “I reached out to the guy and made contact with him and he’s the guy who’s house we went to that I made reference to earlier in listening to a bunch of the stories with some gay leaders. But anyway, I said ‘if you have people there – and I know you do – that are gay that work there, I would put up the amount of hours that I have spent in the gay community in some form or fashion over the last year against anybody you have that works in that office that’s gay’.”

Despite his efforts, the broadcasting veteran is dismayed that it’s failed to sway opinion, “it’s almost like in some cases it just falls on deaf ears.”

Regardless of where he is at now, he’s confident that eventually he’ll be afforded another opportunity. “But I ‘d like to think there’s somebody out there – and there will be and all it takes is one – is just to say ‘you know what, this was a mistake. Here’s the documentation of what the guy’s tried to do since then. We’re going to take a chance – answer some tough questions – and take a chance and get him back in the booth.”

And if another opportunity doesn’t present itself? “If it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to be the end of my life.”

Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

The Rundown With Jeff Michael Coming To SportsMap Radio

“The Rundown with Jeff Michael will debut on June 6.”



Jeff Michael is getting a promotion at SportsMap Radio. He is moving from the part-time staff into a new midday show.

The Rundown with Jeff Michael will debut on June 6. The network describes the new two-hour show as energetic and fast-paced.

“Sports talk radio always meant the world to me,” Jeff Michael said in a press release. “Having an opportunity to reach such a large national audience is something I do not take lightly. While I’m so grateful for the opportunity, my focus will always be on creating captivating and informative content.”

Michael has been with SportsMap Radio since 2020. He has also been a prolific host in the podcasting space.

“I feel this is a perfect format for Jeff to excel,” CEO David Gow added. “From listening to fill-in appearances, you can tell he has tremendous command of his audience. You cannot easily teach what Jeff Michael already possesses.”

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2021 Barrett Media.