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Terry Collins Rather Be Tortured Than Talk to Francesa

By Mike Silva ~ March 25th, 2011. Filed under: Sports Media Commentary.

Update: According to Francesa, the Mets called him today to say that Terry Collins was “only kidding” about his comments in the Phil Mushnick story. I always believe the truth lies somewhere in between. Apparently Jeff Wilpon personally called Mike to clear the air.

As always, there is always a misunderstanding at WFAN. It’s never their fault, and excuses fly. It would behoove the station to give the Collins spot to Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno. They would do a better job, and ask far more intelligent questions.

via Phil Mushnick of the NY Post.

And this real deal ear/eyewitnesses report from Florida: New Mets manager Terry Collins didn’t know Francesa from Francis Lewis Boulevard before or after his first on-air chat with Francesa (during which time Francesa explained baseball to him).

So when Mets’ p.r. man Jay Horwitz told Collins that he’ll be doing a weekly spot on WFAN, Collins asked with whom. Told it would be with the same fellow, Francesa, he was just on with, Collins said, “Why don’t you just put me on a cross and throw darts at me?”

So put yourself in the seat of a CBS executive. You are paying Mike Francesa a ton of money (some reports have him making upwards of $5 million dollars a year), he treats your customers (aka callers) like garbage even yelling at them to be “quiet.” He fails to prepare daily and makes numerous statements that are not based on fact. Now New York sports luminaries are begging out of spots with him. At what point do you question if you could do more with less in that time slot? Are the ratings really a product of Mike Francesa or the real estate? Couldn’t you put another competent host in that time slot (Evan Roberts, Sid Rosenberg, Adam the Bull) and achieve the same? How are you going to feel when the next generation of adults doesn’t turn on your station? Will you learn then, or will it be too late?

I would be calling WFAN Operations Manager, V/P Programming CBS Radio New York, and V/P Sports Programming CBS Radio Mark Chernoff and WFAN program director Eric Spitz into my office today. My message would be either Francesa shapes up or both of them should be looking for a new job. Maybe it’s time for Francesa to spend some time on a minor league assignment. I know 1240 AM WGBB is always looking for someone to talk sports between 9-11 on Sunday night. I could teach him the art of fact based discussion for a small fee.

Check out our good friend Bob’s Blitz who comments on this as well

I will be coming out with two stories next week. One looking at a time when WFAN actually had a “fastball” and reported news. It was a time the station was a “must listen” daily. The second is an unbelievable off the air quote from Mike Francesa and Chris Russo given to me by a New York sports luminary.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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10 Responses to Terry Collins Rather Be Tortured Than Talk to Francesa

  1. TT

    MF has highest ratings in area and it’s their flagship station. Collins should be begging to talk everyday to him. Don’t they need to promote and sell tickets?

  2. Nik

    TT… I disagree that Collin should be begging. I don’t think MF helps the Mets sell tickets; I think it’s just the opposite. The lack of preparation is more my issue than the rudeness. For that kind of money, he should at least read all there is to read, watch video and have an education opinion.

    That said, after hearing Roberts and Beningo not call out Harold Reynolds for his uninformed and biased take on the Mets, I’m not sure there’s anyone better for Collins to talk to.

    The morning show seems to have some insight, but you never hear it because Carton can’t stop riffing and spewing that played out Howard Stern shtick.

  3. Dave

    I think Mike’s reference to FAN not being what they used to be is more to the point. I recall a time when Mike worked with Eddie C in the 10-1slot and it was chock full of insight and news.
    Joe and Evan, well Joe is the guy at the station who is most like many of the callers-nuff said.
    The station has become so vanilla, in order to appease sponsors.

  4. CharlieH


    Bear in mind, Joe used to BE a regular caller. He won a contest & got his own gig about 10 or 12 years ago.

  5. Scott Pronesti

    Mike, The one thing I will give Frances credit for is he rips a caller and defends the mets if they have no clue what they are talking bout or if they do not know their facts. I agree he cuts off too many callers, only lets callers talk about what he wants to talk about & yells too much. I think you could absolutely put joe & Evan in his slot and not miss a beat. At least francesa defends the mets at times. Adam the bull is the worst. I will not ever listen to him, he hates the mets and rips them at any chance he gets and never gives them an ounce of credit for anything.

  6. Cisco

    Amen, When did MF become the authority on all things sports. The way he speaks to his callers is inexcusable and his opinion based discussion is boring at best. At least Mad-dog brought character to the show. Now we just have Mike, the pompous, condescending, opinion guy who hates his audience.

  7. John

    I no longer live in the area, but am there about 10 or 12 times a year. And I can tell you that Mike Francesa is unlistenable. His questions go on for an eternity, he repeats himself over and over again in the same sentence and then answers the question for who ever he is interviewing. It is interesting to listen to some of the annoyance in the voice of the person being interviewed. I would be surprised if he has many repeat guests that aren’t booked for a weekly spot like Collins.
    I stopped listening to WFAN in the afternoon when I am in the area because he is just intolerable. And that has nothing to do with his opinions.
    Which is a shame. Because when Francesa first started at FAN (he had a Saturday show) he was pretty good. He wasn’t a pompous blowhard in those days.

  8. Dave

    I travel a lot by car in the Northeast and my belief is that even now FAN is sill a better listen than Boston or Philly radio for example. The yelling and ranting there is unreal. Francesa is a bully for sure and his ego is gigantic, especially now that he is solo-all his talk in the immediate aftermath of losing Dog, was just that, talk. There may be other seats in that studio but there is no room for anyone else on that show.
    BTW I do know that Joe used to be a caller and won a contest-just think that people who are on the air should be better than he is that is all. Frankly Joe reminds me of some of the guys on Boston and Phully radio.

  9. Russ

    I never thought I’d ever make this statement a couple of years ago but when his contract with Sirius is up, WFAN needs to back up the Brinks truck and beg Mad Dog to come back.

    I didn’t realize it when Mike & the Dog were together because I was distracted by Russo’s heel schtick and the fact that he’s such a major league spazz but Russo’s biggest contribution to that show was being the conductor that kept the Francessa ego train on the track by challenging him. Since Dog left, Francessa’s ego has driven that train right off the rails. (You could also make an argument that it’s no coincidence that his blowhard ego star trip getting out of control coincides with Imus leaving as well) He’s become this awful interviewer who talks both over and down to his guests then they act surprised when they can’t book guests. It would be very easy to do, since they all are posted on iTunes, so someone should track the number of non-paid guests Francessa gets per week. I guarantee when you look at the total compared to the number of hours he’s on the air, it would be clear that there is an issue there. Sometimes he goes DAYS without a guest, that was unheard of in the Mike & the Dog days.

    One more thing that no one talks about…When Dog left, Mike announced that he was searching for a new co-host because with the number of hours he’s on the air, he felt he needed someone to banter with and help fill time. There were even reports that they approached Bill Simmons when his ESPN deal came up for renewal and also published reports that Brandon Tierney was getting the gig. Then suddenly….silence.

    I’d like to know what happened with the sidekick search (Mike is clearly too big of a star for a true “co-host”). Did no one want to put up with his ego trips and overbearing pomposity or did Mike feel that it was impossible for anyone to live up to his standards of “broadcasting excellence”? With what we’ve heard since, I don’t think either scenario would surprise anyone.

  10. Stu B

    @CharlieH: Joe’s run actually began about 17 years ago (1994).

    @Russ: You’re not crazy to suggest that, but it always struck me that Russo was one to spout opinions without much thought. However, I suppose Francesa isn’t much different now.

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