November 21, 2013

Yesterday Is Why Leaving WFAN For WOR Is A Downgrade

Unless you live under a sports rock, you know that Alex Rodriguez joined Mike Francesa on WFAN yesterday after walking out of his arbitration hearing. The interview was, in my opinion, a little soft, but just the landing of A-Rod was a big deal. It was the first time he'd spoken out publicly since the beginning of these proceedings. In the sports world, this was big.

So big, in fact, that even ESPN, the Worldwide Leader In Sports, couldn't ignore the interview, much as they probably would have liked to following the Olbermann-WFAN on air spat in the past couple of weeks. The station is a fixture on the sports media landscape. Yes, I recognize that it is a local station, but it is local in the biggest market in the country, and it dominates it. This interview is on the front pages of newspapers, websites, local and national blogs all over the country. Francesa regularly lands the bigger names and better interviews than the unlistenable Michael Kay program. Like Boomer and Carton in the morning or not, their local presence and impact really can't be denied, either.

Then, WFAN lands the Yankees broadcast rights. The biggest team, in the biggest town, on the biggest stage. The Mets had been broadcast on a premier station. After the game, even after Mets Extra, the sports continued, with many commutes home being chaperoned by Steve Somers (with me here, and him there). The days of setting your dial to the Fan in April and leaving it are over.

Howie Rose and Ed Coleman
Photo by Michael Baron
When the front office tours the 50,000 watts and the reach of the station as reasons why this is not a downgrade, it's hard to take them seriously. When they boast that the deal will pay them more money (which, incidentally, they don't seem to be willing to spend), they have to realize that I don't care. After a big win, I don't want to hear news radio. Truly, I don't. I also now cannot tune back into the Fan for reaction, because they will almost certainly still be broadcasting whatever four hour game the Yankees are playing that night, plus post-game. The end of the game will be the end of the night, no instant reaction, no Schmooze produced highlight snippets, no fans calling in talking about the feeling of the crowd. Just John Sterling stumbling over last names and mis-calling home runs, and someone on our home station droning on about politics or past lives.

The move to WOR is a downgrade, Mr. Wilpon.  Please don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining.


  1. Do you read what you write? This is dumb. WOR is as good or better for themets to be broadcast on. Idiot.

    1. Did you read what I wrote? It's a news channel. Are you just angling to be the first WOR fanboy?