“Sports media mailbag: This doomed Mike Francesa experiment is over”
How much longer will the awful Francesa Radio.com experiment continue? Lots of tech issues where he’s not even on, limited audience. — Rich Sergi
At the moment, it is over, as Francesa is now doing a show from 6-7 p.m. on FAN, which is simulcast on Radio.com.
This setup makes more sense than when he was doing the 5-6 p.m. strictly Radio.com broadcasts, which competed with Joe & Evan on WFAN.
Stream vs. Stream, Joe & Evan, according to sources, beat Francesa in that time slot, but still Francesa’s listeners, you would have to figure, were taking away from FAN.
When Francesa would come on the FAN for his ridiculously short 6-6:30 p.m. program, the ratings would go down as compared to Joe & Evan from 2-6 p.m..
There really is no prominent place for Francesa on the FAN anymore, which is not his fault. The Radio.com folks gave him a three-year contract, which never made sense. They were going to build around a semi-retired radio legend, who has been mailing it in for years? The late start, the format, Francesa’s lost vigor, everything didn’t add up.
It didn’t work, and now because the Radio.com exclusive plug has been temporarily pulled, it makes sense it will become permanent.
Francesa is sort of out-of-sight, out-of-mind these days. He had his one viral moment when he went after President Trump over his handling of the pandemic and then every once in a while he engages with the Twitter handle @BackAftaThis.
Besides that, it is very quiet, which makes you wonder if Francesa will cut down even further and just do his Sunday NFL show come the fall.
What is Al Trautwig’s situation? — Rick McDonough
Nothing has really changed with Trautwig. He had not been a host on Knicks or Rangers on MSG Network all season because of a personal issue. He did an interview with Rangers president John Davidson, but that was a taped, one-off assignment.
Do you think Marv Albert and the Knicks will ever get back together and honor him like he deserves?
I would doubt it as long as James Dolan owns the team. The right thing to do would be reconcile.
We could go into all the history that led them to this point, but it would be a good thing if Dolan reached out his hand to Albert and gave him a night. Albert is the greatest NBA play-by-player of all time and a lot of it was with the Knicks. When you walk into the Garden that should be acknowledged. Dolan would have to be a big man to do it — and, if he did, he would look very good.
I’m always interested to hear what established journalists think about the journalism school-first vs. experience/blogging-first route. Would they take the same route they did if they could do it over? — @DunlapSports
There is no right answer, but I think the more experience the better, so as early as someone can write is ideal. For young writers finding their own voice generally takes practice.
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Journalism school is good for the basics and the right professor can make a difference, but you learn by doing, so the earlier and the more often an up-and-comer can write, the better.
With most if not all radio shows being done remotely now, is there any chance that this will continue in the post-pandemic era? Is there really much more of an advantage to being in studio as far as the product is concerned? — @MillManner
I think most, if not all, will go back to their studios. The shows have all done a good job of using technology and making it sound seamless from home. However, there is an advantage for being in the same office for preplanning and for eye contact and hand signals during the program. So they will be back in studios, I believe.
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