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(Grantland)   Massive oral history of WFAN, the first all-sports talk radio station   (grantland.com) divider line 40
    More: Interesting, WFAN, sports talk, Sound and the Fury, Howard Cosell, Wally Backman, music licensing, CBS Radio, WABC  
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731 clicks; posted to Sports » on 11 Jul 2012 at 2:49 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-11 11:04:33 AM
I really enjoyed this, especially after I got past the Imus stuff. I never really game a damn about Imus.

I'm glad they gave Steve Somers his due. He's a terrific broadcaster. It's a shame that Francesa, whose show is currently unlistenable, is the face of the station.

The FAN is pretty much the last place in NY radio that you can go for local, call-in radio. Curtis Sliwa is good on AM970, but nearly everything else is some bland nationally-syndicated show.
 
2012-07-11 11:24:51 AM
Back at the end of high school/beginning of college I had a summer job in an office. They didn't give me internet, so my only outlet was the radio. And the FAN was really the only station I could stand all day. Joe and Sid at the beginning of the day, and then Mike and the Dog at the end. Really entertaining, sometimes in a train-wrecky sort of way, and - to agree with Bill Simmons - nobody's more fun to imitate than Mike and the Dog. My favorite thing was when they'd play John Sterling's home run calls from the night before and just laugh. They really need to cut the shiat and get back together.

/aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH...GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYBODY!
 
2012-07-11 02:24:27 PM
Not a New Yorker, but I remember the first days of The Score in Chicago. Good stuff. Except Mike North.
 
2012-07-11 02:34:55 PM
Steve Somers is the poet laureate of sports radio. He's awesome. But Joe Benigno, who used to come on after him, was a better listen.

/RIP Doris from Rego Park
 
2012-07-11 02:55:45 PM

FishyFred: Steve Somers is the poet laureate of sports radio. He's awesome. But Joe Benigno, who used to come on after him, was a better listen.


Benigno's overnight show monologue used to be a must-listen on Sunday's after a particularly tough loss for his Jets.

I absolutely adore Steve Somers, he's tremendous.

/*the* Eddie Scozzare?
//no, Eddie Giacomin, who am I talking about here
 
2012-07-11 02:57:10 PM
"Dog. Dog. Dog. Hey, Dog."

Simmons' podcasts never get as funny as when he's simply saying that, lol.
 
2012-07-11 03:03:56 PM
The little I've heard of WFAN from my area.. it is pretty awful.. but that was several years ago. Prreeeeciate it
 
2012-07-11 03:18:45 PM

FishyFred: Steve Somers is the poet laureate of sports radio. He's awesome. But Joe Benigno, who used to come on after him, was a better listen.

/RIP Doris from Rego Park


Beningo* is fun to listen to once in a while, but his schtick gets old day in day out. Okay, the Mets suck. The Knicks suck. The Jets suck. We heard you the last 1,450 times.

*It's funny how he always pronounces his own name wrong.
**Amen on Doris -- I've never heard of an old lady staying up as late as she does.
 
2012-07-11 03:19:52 PM
Saw the one guy mentioned Miriam from Forest Hills. Back when he was a functioning writer, Rick Reilly did a nice article about her.
 
2012-07-11 03:28:18 PM

Arkanaut: Beningo*


No, I spelled it right the first time.
 
2012-07-11 03:29:44 PM
"We can do what they do. They can't do what we do."
theticket.com


/That is all
 
2012-07-11 03:34:41 PM
AKA: the station that the fat kid everyone went to school with would parot all day long.
 
2012-07-11 03:49:31 PM
I miss being in range of WFAN, and hearing "We'll be schmoozing S-P-O-R-T-S"
I miss Bob Murphy's "back with the happy recap after these messages"
I don't miss a thing about Susan Waldman
I always wondered if Ann LaGory was good looking, because she had a cute voice.
 
2012-07-11 04:02:07 PM

FishyFred: Arkanaut: Beningo*

No, I spelled it right the first time.


You were right, I'm just spelling it the way he pronounces it. Theoretically it should be pronounced "Be-NI-nio".
 
2012-07-11 04:04:37 PM
They make Imus come off as a sharp individual who helped invent 24 hour sports talk radio. This column is invalid.
There are plenty of other people to hate and blame for nitwit radio, Imus already holds an isolated place in my brain, cast to a corner where I am completely baffled that someone could listen to him for more than 30 seconds. To each his own, I s'pose.
 
2012-07-11 04:04:57 PM

FishyFred: Steve Somers is the poet laureate of sports radio. He's awesome. But Joe Benigno, who used to come on after him, was a better listen.

Good afternoon, and how you be? At four oh four and fifty-six seconds on a Wednesday afternoon on your FAN New York City! Steve Somers here and you there. And one, seven one eight, nine three seven, six six six six: that's the telephone number for a Wednesday schmooze until Metropolitans baseball at six thirty. And now it's time for the flash, the twenty-twenty, the update, the whole thing with Bob Huessler!

/RIP Doris from Rego Park


*cough* *cough*

/i keed
 
2012-07-11 04:19:30 PM

4NTLRZ: "We can do what they do. They can't do what we do."
[theticket.com image 239x151]

/That is all


Testify, Brother P1!
 
2012-07-11 04:21:59 PM

Nana's Vibrator: They make Imus come off as a sharp individual who helped invent 24 hour sports talk radio. This column is invalid.


He helped legitimize WFAN and provided serious ad revenue and a ratings lead-in to sports programming at a time when the format was still in its infancy and struggling.
 
2012-07-11 04:41:37 PM

jimpoz: FishyFred: Steve Somers is the poet laureate of sports radio. He's awesome. But Joe Benigno, who used to come on after him, was a better listen.

Good afternoon, and how you be? At four oh four and fifty-six seconds on a Wednesday afternoon on your FAN New York City! Steve Somers here and you there. And one, seven one eight, nine three seven, six six six six: that's the telephone number for a Wednesday schmooze until Metropolitans baseball at six thirty. And now it's time for the flash, the twenty-twenty, the update, the whole thing with Bob Huessler!

/RIP Doris from Rego Park

*cough* *cough*

/i keed


That made my day :)
 
2012-07-11 04:45:49 PM

JerseyTim: I really enjoyed this, especially after I got past the Imus stuff. I never really game a damn about Imus.

I'm glad they gave Steve Somers his due. He's a terrific broadcaster. It's a shame that Francesa, whose show is currently unlistenable, is the face of the station.

The FAN is pretty much the last place in NY radio that you can go for local, call-in radio. Curtis Sliwa is good on AM970, but nearly everything else is some bland nationally-syndicated show.


Was there when they first came on at 660 with Imus and Pete Franklin at Shea before game 3 of Mets/Dodgers. Was listening to Howie Rose the night Billy Martin died. Listened to Marv Albert call the final seconds of the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup in 1994. Swore them off after how they fired Imus (during the radiothon, they were right to fire him); haven't given a shiate about them since.

But for a while, the FAN was a fun place to listen/talk about sports.

/Boss still listens to it as background noise
//Francesa's still a blowhard
 
2012-07-11 04:46:53 PM

robsul82: "Dog. Dog. Dog. Hey, Dog."

Simmons' podcasts never get as funny as when he's simply saying that, lol.


Him and Uncle Sal as Mike and the Dog: GOLD, JERRY! COMEDY GOLD!
 
2012-07-11 04:48:39 PM

Nana's Vibrator: They make Imus come off as a sharp individual who helped invent 24 hour sports talk radio. This column is invalid.


Uh, yeah. Yeah, he was. By dissing everyone at the FAN, he was giving credence to it.

There was a method to his madness.
 
2012-07-11 05:05:45 PM
I became a Knicks fan because of my insomnia - or rather, my inability to fall asleep without the radio turned on. Montreal could receive The Fan's radio signal on most nights -- not to mention WBAL in Baltimore. As a result, I began to learn a great deal about basketball and the Knicks in the early 90s. And when Starks and Oakley were traded away, I felt remorse even though I had no idea what these players looked like.

Now I don't care for sports that much except for soccer. But I was amazed how informative the WFAN hosts were about the local teams. They seemed like nuclear physicists compared to the yahoos spouting off on Montreal's English all-sports radio station.

/ did not read the entire article.
 
2012-07-11 05:25:22 PM
The one time I listened to WFAN, Mike Francesca and Chris Russo were enmeshed in a compelling analysis of what sort of ratings college bowl games were going to get.

I never tuned in again.
 
2012-07-11 05:31:43 PM
Am I the only one who read Suzyn Waldman's parts of that story in her voice, like she was exclaiming about Roger Clemens again? And then was I the only one who needed a double dose of aspirin after doing that?
 
2012-07-11 05:36:35 PM
I listen to the FAN everyday. I enjoy all the personalities, even Evan.
 
2012-07-11 06:07:25 PM

zarberg: I miss being in range of WFAN, and hearing "We'll be schmoozing S-P-O-R-T-S"
I miss Bob Murphy's "back with the happy recap after these messages"
I don't miss a thing about Susan Waldman
I always wondered if Ann LaGory was good looking, because she had a cute voice.


Ann Liguori:

a0.twimg.com
 
2012-07-11 06:17:54 PM
I loved reading that, except the note on WEEI in Boston being the second all-sports radio (in the 90s) was completely, utterly wrong. WIP (610 AM) in Philly was already in the middle of the all-sports transition about the time WFAN started, and was all-sports shortly thereafter.
 
2012-07-11 06:20:47 PM

JuicePats: zarberg: I miss being in range of WFAN, and hearing "We'll be schmoozing S-P-O-R-T-S"
I miss Bob Murphy's "back with the happy recap after these messages"
I don't miss a thing about Susan Waldman
I always wondered if Ann LaGory was good looking, because she had a cute voice.

Ann Liguori:

[a0.twimg.com image 400x500]


Thank you for both the picture and the correct spelling on the name.

/eh, not unattractive, at least.
 
2012-07-11 06:55:45 PM
My dad turned me on to WFAN back when Pete Franklin was the afternoon host. Jody MacDonald would do a weekend show where he would spend hours on end talking about pro wrestling.

Miss Steve Somers and the crazy callers since I moved out to central PA. Was it Eli from Westchester that actually got banned, or was it Jerome from Manhattan?

Probably my favorite moment was when at the end of an agonizing Mets win against the Phillies, Bob Murphy saying "The Mets win the damn game 9 to 8" (probably got the quote wrong, but it was funny as hell).
 
2012-07-11 09:21:25 PM

Krustofsky: My dad turned me on to WFAN back when Pete Franklin was the afternoon host. Jody MacDonald would do a weekend show where he would spend hours on end talking about pro wrestling.

Miss Steve Somers and the crazy callers since I moved out to central PA. Was it Eli from Westchester that actually got banned, or was it Jerome from Manhattan?

Probably my favorite moment was when at the end of an agonizing Mets win against the Phillies, Bob Murphy saying "The Mets win the damn game 9 to 8" (probably got the quote wrong, but it was funny as hell).


You can listen using the Radio.com app if you have a smart phone.
 
2012-07-11 09:22:26 PM
you had me at "Massive oral"
 
2012-07-11 10:43:13 PM

Arkanaut: FishyFred: Steve Somers is the poet laureate of sports radio. He's awesome. But Joe Benigno, who used to come on after him, was a better listen.

/RIP Doris from Rego Park

Beningo* is fun to listen to once in a while, but his schtick gets old day in day out. Okay, the Mets suck. The Knicks suck. The Jets suck. We heard you the last 1,450 times.

*It's funny how he always pronounces his own name wrong.
**Amen on Doris -- I've never heard of an old lady staying up as late as she does.


I don't know. Joe Benigno is my favorite broadcaster on the station. I am quite happy that he and Evan have been on during Francesa's time slot the past few weeks....I can actually hear them on my way home from work.

I find Mike Francesa to be awful. I can't stand listening to his show. Although, I will say, I do generally enjoy his interviews, and I will listen when I know he is at a stadium or something and he will be interviewing lots of people during the course of the show.

Caller trade proposals are probably the funniest/most infuriating part of all radio shows with the call-in format.
 
2012-07-12 01:20:57 AM

Jeteupthemiddle: Caller trade proposals are probably the funniest/most infuriating part of all radio shows with the call-in format.


"I have a good trade proposal for the team"

(sighs, rolls eye at producer, who just shrugs) "Go ahead"

"They need pitching, right? Well, what they should do is call up Detroit. I figure if they offer reliever-with-more-HRs-allowed-than-innings-pitched, left-handed pinch hitter with .185 average, prospect-that-will-never-go-beyond-AA, and 39-year-old veteran-RHP-on-a-minor-league-contract, we should be able to pry away Verlander without too much problem."

"... What? Why would the Tigers EVER even consider that for the slightest fraction of a second?"

"Why wouldn't they? It's a great trade for both teams! And, heck, if you throw in two low-ceiling, light-hitting AAA guys, they should be willing to give away Prince Fielder and that awful contract, too! Can you imagine..."

"I'm sorry, but we're up against a break" (cut to score update plus commercials)
 
2012-07-12 08:36:10 AM
It was really interesting, but I felt like it was missing the last page, like, it just kind of ended without an ending or explaining where it stands presently.
 
2012-07-12 10:08:20 AM
I'm so old I used to listen to Pete Franklin when he was in Cleveland. I can only get WFAN at night, so I have no Mike and the Mad Dog experience, but I always loved the Smoozer, Beningo and my favorite Tony Paige.
 
2012-07-12 11:41:54 AM
Listening to Imus totally rip his channel mates used to be hysterical, and made me keep the channel tuned to see if any of them had the nerve to take him on....

/RATINGS, BABY!
 
2012-07-12 05:48:43 PM
Nothing was better than Mike and Dawg for sportsfans. I was one of only a handful of people who used to listen all the way down in Philly-but I listened religiously from 92 until the end. When they both would kill people it was great radio. When the parted ways, it was like a friend died.
Still miss the Marquis Super Bowl trivia.
 
2012-07-12 07:48:17 PM
"Say something funny, Mikey!"
 
2012-07-12 08:23:40 PM

Gunny Highway: You can listen using the Radio.com app if you have a smart phone.


Thanks for the heads-up. Now I need a smart phone.
 
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