Mike Francesa Makes WFAN Return Official
Entercom Sports 660 WFAN/101.9 WFAN-FM New York made the return of Mike Francesa official.
Francesa will return to a shorter afternoon slot or 3-630pm on Tuesday, May 1, and will be accompanied by an app based platform that will include a live video stream of his show, archives from his career at WFAN, and be the exclusive home of his Sunday morning show during the football season.
The partnership with CAA Sports will also include a variety of live events as well.
Entercom, Mike Francesa and CAA Sports on Friday announced a partnership spanning broadcast radio, digital and live events. The partnership includes the debut of the “Mike’s On” radio show, featuring Mike Francesa, airing Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM, beginning Tuesday. The partnership also includes the launch of a mobile app and online destination by the same name, “Mike’s On,” which will feature exclusive live video streaming of Francesa’s weekday radio program on WFAN.
“We are excited about this partnership with Mike and CAA Sports,” said Entercom President and CEO David Field. “We are proud of the terrific lineup on WFAN and are looking forward to bringing Mike back into the mix in this new, multiplatform and innovative way.”
“After exploring several options, this partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom was the perfect fit,” said Francesa. “This partnership allows me the chance to return to WFAN and all of our loyal listeners, as well as significant opportunities, including the app and live events, that are completely new. I look forward to working with both companies on making this a very successful venture.”
The “Mike’s On” app and website will be the exclusive home of the “Mike’s Football Sunday” show, beginning with the 2018-19 football season. It will also provide exclusive audio and video archival content of Francesa dating back through his storied 30-year career at WFAN, in addition to a live audio stream of Francesa’s WFAN show for sports fans in New York and throughout the country. The app will be free to download in summer 2018 and will offer a subscription option for fans who want to hear and view additional content. WFAN and “Mike’s On” will be hosting live events across formats and venues, including live broadcasts, one-on-one interviews and a speaker series. For more information, visit www.mikesonnetwork.com.
“From the very beginning of our relationship with Mike, we fielded a tremendous number of offers for him across an array of business areas,” said Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports. “As we got to know Mike, we believed that the best opportunity would capitalize on his entrepreneurial spirit, and build upon the appetite of his multi-generational fan base. Our partnership with Entercom enables Mike to interact with fans across multiple platforms, including digital and live events, bringing him closer to his audience than ever before.”
The audio stream for the “Mike’s On” radio program on WFAN will also be available on Radio.com.
The official and complete WFAN lineup will be announced separately.
Update 4/24: WFAN has released a brief statement confirming their talks with Mike Francesa to return to the station:
WFAN confirms that we are in ongoing discussions with Mike Francesa about the possibility of him returning to the station,” a statement read. “We also confirm that we are very proud of our current line-up at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures. As a matter of policy, we do not comment on pending negotiations and have nothing further to add at this moment.”
Original Report 11:30am: Just four months after completing a two year “retirement” tour at Entercom Sports 660 WFAN/101.9 WFAN-FM New York, Mike Francesa is set to return to the station.
The New York Daily News, New York Post, and Newsday all report that Francesa is in negotiations through CAA for a deal which will likely see him return to the afternoon drive slot he held from 1989 until last December, but likely in the 3-7pm timeslot as opposed to his old 1-630 one.
The return of Francesa would reportedly see Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott, who replaced him at the start of this year bumped to the 1-3pm slot while Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts lose the 1pm hour they gained at the time and revert back to 1-3pm.
Andrew Marchand of the Post reported yesterday that the talks with WFAN began after negotiations with “ESPN 98.7” WEPN-FM and iHeartMedia Talk 710 WOR proved fruitless. Since leaving WFAN, Francesa has made regular podcast appearances with Bill Simmons, did a one-off guest appearance on WOR, and a one-day co-hosting slot with former partner Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo on his MLB Network show which included attacks by the duo on their former WFAN co-workers and management. That may at least slightly complicate efforts by Francesa to return to the studio which was renamed in his honor when he left. He also told Newsday that his return is related to a cryptic conspiracy to keep him from from returning “This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back” and not over his inability to find another job to meet his demands.