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Mike Francesa Compares Himself to Derek Jeter

By Mike Silva ~ June 3rd, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, Sports Media Commentary.

Mike Francesa, aka The Sports Pope, can be the only person that says in one breath he’s not comparing himself to Derek Jeter, but then promptly compares himself to Derek Jeter. Neil Best of Newsday caught up with Francesa, as well as WFAN Operations Manager, V/P Programming CBS Radio New York, and V/P Sports Programming CBS Radio Mark Chernoff and ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay. Best talked about the transition from “Mike and the Mad Dog,” competition with Kay, and Francesa’s recent fall to #2 in the market (he blames people listening to FM music). When discussing the transition due to the departure of Mad Dog, this is what Francesa said:

Francesa: “Other shows shut down. We never did that. We actually liked our time to work by ourselves, and I think we were competitive about it, too. We were highly competitive about it. That’s part of what Dog and I always were about. It was a team but it also was a highly competitive aspect of our relationship.

“I can’t tell you the company wasn’t worried, and I can’t tell you that I wasn’t at least saying, hey, I know what I have to do here. I knew that people were lining up. They’ve been waiting for a long time. They’re still waiting for a long time. You get to a point in this town where the only thing left is to write someone’s demise.”

Best: Sounds like what Derek Jeter is going through . . .

Francesa: “I actually have watched what’s going on with Jeter and thought, geez! I am not comparing myself to Jeter. What I’m saying is when you’ve had a lot of success over a long period of time, some people are going to revel. I think Jeter is incredibly popular. A lot more people are going to revel in my demise, many more. I readily admit that.

“I do understand that the big story that everyone was lined up for was, hey, this could be it, finally. And it didn’t happen and I’m sure it disappointed a lot of people. But I tell you, I was very concerned about it. I took it seriously. I felt there was a lot of pressure, no question about it. But what I went in to do was just basically do what I do and be true to who I am and what my personality is.

The funniest part of the interview is when Francesa tells Best his way of “keeping up with the younger audience” is to watch American Idol and listen to Katy Perry.

I like Neil Best’s work, but the amount of propaganda and BS that Chernoff and Francesa spewed in this interview is nauseating. Here are some questions I would have liked to see:

1. Mr. Chernoff, compare your rating now to 10 years ago. Has your audience remained the same or shrunk?

2. Mr. Chernoff, is it fair to say that people are listening to WFAN less than a decade ago? Why do you think that is the case?

3. Mr. Chernoff, why are you so behind the internet age? How come a majority of your hosts do not incorporate any popular internet sports writers into your guest list and discussion? Explain to me why your FAN bloggers are never given a role on the station?

4. Give a prospective radio host a career path at WFAN. How are you recognizing talent to grow WFAN for the next 10 years post Francesa?

5. Mr. Chernoff, how is the Fantasy Phenom Contest fair to your hard working people that have put in numerous hours at your station for low pay, but are going to run the board for some person that won a contest at a local mall? Is that a long term plan for success? Is that a way to motivate your employees?

6. Mr. Chernoff, with reports that SNY is bleeding cash, is it fair to say the economy has done the same to WFAN? With the low end commercials and constant remotes, isn’t that a signal (no pun intended) of financial distress? Especially when you are currently doing a promotion where a listener can host a show with Francesa for the day.

7. Hey Mike. You say you are keeping current with the younger generation. How come you don’t use that thing called a computer in front of you? Tell me the listening habits of the next wave of 25 year olds?

8. Mike, why do you yell at your callers like they’re school kids?

9. Mike, do you give a $5 million dollar (reported salary) effort every day? Why is the guest list so dry? Why are most segments of the paid variety? Why does it appear many luminaries don’t want to come on your show, but will go on the Morning Show?

10. Do you think the listeners didn’t go to FM Stations, as you claim, but just stopped listening to do other things?

11. Final question. Mike, do you realize how lame is it for an adult in his late fifties to squeal over the summer coming like a school boy? This is something you have done consistently the last week. You do realize that people in the real world don’t get “summer vacation,” but rather take a week here or there while they do their job?

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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7 Responses to Mike Francesa Compares Himself to Derek Jeter

  1. Stu B

    Fun fact about Neil Best: I knew him in college, and his last name was Fidelman! He later chose to change it - I believe Best was his mom’s maiden name.

  2. Michael Maggi

    I find Francesa highly amusing!

  3. chooch

    Francesa is at his best when he talks about his baseball career. Which, from all reports ended at the high school level on the junior varsity.

  4. njmet86

    Remember Mike, Francesa has won a lot of championships.

    I listen to Francesa for two reasons, one it is the best source of unintentional comedy that you can find, and two, the competition is awful.

    One question I would have liked was, how come you turn up Mike’s volume and turn down the volume on the caller when anyone tries to question the Sports Pope?

  5. Abe Frohman

    I like fatcessa. Mad dog is horrific , but francessa is actually entertaining in a train wreck way.. What else is there? Tradition has it’s place. Long live the pope!

  6. Stosh

    Neil Best resembles the Uncle Leo character on “Seinfeld” … funny guy who is the star of the NY area tabloid sports media critics - small group but it doesn’t take much to outdo Raissman and Mushnick.

  7. Wolf

    Francesa is a gutty legend and is beloved by all my friends who happen to all have just graduated from UCONN and are 22 years of age. Speak for yourself if you don’t think young people love the guy but I’ve got a count of at least 50 of my boys that listen to the guy and while all may not like him, they listen because no one drives sports talk like him. No one stews over what a contemporary in terms of age like Evan Roberts says because he can’t lace Mike’s boots unless you covet Nets basketball and hockey coverage. The only reason I found this blog is because i typed Mike’s name in a google search. I should be thanked for giving you an extra hit to this fine blog you have dedicated to in large part to bashing Francesa.

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