Sports media mailbag: The Yankees have noticed all those Mets fan hosts on WFAN
You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: sports media.
Why does WFAN broadcast Yankees games and spend so little (talk show) time on the Bombers? Most hosts are Met fans and don’t hide it. I believe the ratings have fallen because people are tired of it. — Vincent Panico
Vincent isn’t alone in feeling this way. Yankees officials have also felt for a long time that FAN’s hosts have skewed too much toward Mets fans, according to sources.
With the diminishment of Yankees fan Mike Francesa’s profile on the station and the ascension of Mets fans Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts in his place, this has been exacerbated.
Boomer Esiason, Gregg Giannotti, Benigno, Roberts, and Maggie Gray are all Mets fans. Among FAN’s regular daytime hosts, only Marc Malusis is a Yankees fan.
The issue really is how the hosts present themselves. Boomer & Gio, as well as Gray, play it pretty straight in terms of interest in both teams, while Joe and Evan sound as if they are doing a chore talking about the Yankees.
Their discussions lack the passion as compared to when they opine (whine) about the Mets.
So it is an issue, but I don’t think you can pick hosts based on which teams they root for. It does not make the Yankees happy. Nor do I think Vincent is alone.
However, let’s be clear on one thing, there is no data that this negatively impacts FAN’s ratings. Though, it may not help.
What will happen to Sean McDonough & other (college football) play-by-players with (Joe) Tessitore returning to CFB? — @BroadyArmand
ESPN is going to have spots, but it is a question of who is slated in that coveted No. 2 position behind National Championship game-caller Chris Fowler. It has been McDonough, and he is a very good play-by-player.
If Steve Levy gets the “Monday Night Football” gig, that would open another prime spot. Plus, Adam Amin left for Fox, so Thursday night is in need of a play-by-player. And, Bob Wischusen and Dave Pasch are due promotions, so there are a lot of moving chairs and options.
Will HBO still have a “Hard Knocks” show this summer with a pandemic? — @NYCKING
The plan, as of right now, is yes. Though it hasn’t been announced, the Los Angeles teams, the Rams and Chargers, are set to be the first double-featured franchises.
Of course, it would not be a surprise if the NFL and HBO end up postponing for a year because of the virus. Let’s hope not, because “Hard Knocks” is perennially a fun show and, if it is able to be produced, that would likely be good news in a lot of ways.
Who gets considered to replace Adam Amin on the women’s Final Four? I’m thinking it’s one of Beth Mowins or Ryan Ruocco. — @JeffWirth2002
I would say Ruocco would be the leading candidate. He already works with Rebecca Lobo on the WNBA Finals. Plus, Lobo and Holly Rowe seem to be big fans of Ruocco. I’m not sure it would work with his NBA schedule with ESPN then doing some Nets on YES.
Do you think @FOXSports will make a run at the @NBA when the next TV contract negotiations come up? — @TheBRSports1
The NBA deals are not up until after the 2024-25 season, but I would say yes. Fox has been doing the Jr. NBA and, if you watch that production, it is pretty obvious they are sending a message of how first-class they could eventually treat the league.
We are, of course, in a potentially redefining time. But Fox’s network strategy is clearly centered around sports.
They were disappointed they really never got to take a swing at the top SEC package that ESPN will eventually take over from CBS. Going on the assumption business returns to a semblance of what was normal, then, yes, I think Fox could be big future players for the NBA.
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