Boomer Defends Blowing Up Ray Lewis On Super Bowl Broadcast: "Somebody Has To Say Something"







Boomer Esiason explained on his WFAN radio show why he went after Ray Lewis on CBS' Super Bowl pregame show the day before.

Boomer Esiason explained on his WFAN radio show why he went after Ray Lewis on CBS’ Super Bowl pregame show the day before.

Boomer Esiason is not a big fan of Ray Lewis.

That much was made known during CBS’ Super Bowl XLVII pregame show.

After the network aired a pre-recorded interview with Lewis that was conducted by Shannon Sharpe, Boomer’s colleague and Ray’s former teammate, Esiason expressed his skepticism of the now-retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker, who will soon join him in the sports broadcasting field.

At one point during the piece, Lewis blamed “our system” for not being effective in prevailing with “the bottom line truth” of the murder case that the player was involved with in 2000.

“I’m not so sure that I buy the answer,” Esiason commented. “He was involved in a double murder… He knows what went on there. And he can obviously come out and say it, but he doesn’t want to say it; he paid off the families.”

As CBS would show Lewis giving his Ravens teammates one final pregame pep talk – the Ravens would go on to upend the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31 – Esiason once again took a potshot at him. “I’m getting sick and tired of Ray Lewis,” he was quoted as saying. “This is not the Ray Lewis show.”

The next morning, a caller had brought up Esiason’s being fired up about Lewis (to borrow a quote from Lewis himself) on WFAN/New York’s “Boomer & Carton” morning show.

“Marino’s not going to say anything, Bill Cowher’s not going to say anything, and I get it,” Esiason said. “I’m there in the end; somebody has to say something.”

And sure enough, Boomer lowered the boom.

“I said to Shannon, ‘I appreciate you asking him a direct question’… And I understand the difficulties that a former teammate might have in that situation. and I know why Shannon went there, because Shannon has a great friendship with Ray Lewis; they spent time together this week in Ray’s hotel room.” And it was during that time that the “deer antler spray” allegations emerged, but “that’s a whole ‘nother issue… We only have two minutes to discuss these things.

“These guys are coming back from injuries quicker than anybody in the history of sports.”

At that point, Esiason’s radio colleague, Craig Carton, reminded listeners that Lewis recalled doctors telling him that his particular injury was one that no player has ever overcome in order to continue his career.

“Now, Ray Lewis is going to want to tell us that this is God’s plan,” Esiason shot back.

I guess it’s a good thing it wasn’t in God’s plan for Ray Lewis to join CBS Sports. Those pre-show meetings would be awkward.

Mike Francesa Calls Out WFAN Co-Hosts For Leaving His Studio In Disarray (Video)







Mike Francesa rants about his studio being left “a mess” by WFAN colleagues Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, and suggests the station “fumigate” the studio between their shows.

Since WFAN in New York signed on the air back in 1987, virtually all of their live programming emanated from a studio located in a basement in the Kaufman Astoria Studios in the borough of Queens.

Eventually, WFAN became under the ownership of CBS Radio, which decided that all of their radio stations in the New York market be housed into one central building. And so, as of late 2009, WFAN’s talent have been doing their shows from studios in the TriBeCa section of lower Manhattan. However, since morning duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton and afternoon host Mike Francesa conduct shows that are simulcast on television (MSG Network and YES Network, respectively), they require their own exclusive studios, each possessing a distinctive aura.

Enter the CBS Sports Radio Network, which started broadcasting this week and operates out of New York. And it looks like CBSSR is also being run in the same building as CBS’ New York news, talk and music stations. That much was revealed at the beginning of Mike Francesa’s show on Friday afternoon, as he complained about what used to be his personal studio being left unkempt by the WFAN co-hosts that precede him every weekday, Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts.

“We have everybody in the same studios now,” Francesa explained. “We don’t have enough room here, because the network’s next door.”

Time will tell if such rants will become a regular occurence on “Mike’s On”, or if CBS seeks out additional space for its broadcasting properties.

“It’s disgusting,” Francesa said. “I’m neat. I can’t deal with that stuff.”

Looks like there’s a real-life version of “The Odd Couple” on sports radio in New York.

The full transcript of Francesa’s rant is below – but it’s worth hearing what some are already calling “the best opening in sports radio history.” The person at YES running the Twitter account dedicated to Francesa’s show seems to agree.

“I’ve gotta fumigate when I come in here now. Everyone uses my studio now. And now, they, it, it, they can’t e — oh, my God. Have your producers clean up after you if you can’t clean up. Geez! Coffee stains, garbage all over the place, God almighty. Ugh. I have to — we have everybody in the same studios now, because we don’t have enough room here, because the network’s next door. So, I’ve got Joe and Evan on top of me, and they can’t even come in the studio before 1 o’clock, and then the place is a mess. I gotta spend ten minutes cleaning it before we come on the air. So… fixed the things, everything’s knocked down, I mean, it’s just unbelievable. I’m glad – I’m glad I don’t let them in my house. Geez. My God. Microphone, ugh. God. I need a half hour in between (our shows) to fumigate it. Geez. All right, we begin on a Friday — nice way to start, but you know, listen, the place is a me — come on, there’s coffee stains all over the place, there’s stuff, there’s papers… you know, tissues, ugh. It’s disgusting. I’m neat. I can’t deal with that stuff. Ugh.”

CBS Sports Radio To Score FM Affiliates In Top 3 Markets


CBS and Cumulus are serious about clearing their new CBS Sports Radio Network in the top three markets, and all on the FM dial. Los Angeles, where Jim Rome’s radio show originates from, has never had an FM sports radio station.

With less than four weeks to launch, the CBS Sports Radio Network seems to have all of the talent for their major dayparts in place.

Now, they just need to lock down clearances for the networks in three major markets.

We have known since the announcement of the network’s creation this summer that roughly 100 affiliates would be carrying programming from the network, with San Francisco being the biggest radio market (No. 4 overall).

Up until now, the top three markets – New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – have been unspoken for.

But it looks like CBSSR is going to be heard in all three of those markets – in stereo.

Word out of Chicago is that Cumulus is seeking to purchase Merlin Media’s radio properties in the market, WLUP (97.9) and WIQI (101.1). And that an agreement is already in place between Cumulus and CBS to broadcast the network on the latter frequency.

You may recall that CBS and Cumulus are both major partners in the new radio network. Currently, CBS is maxed out on media properties in the Chicago market, while Cumulus owns just one AM and FM station. It would make for quite an odd sports radio situation in the Windy City, where the upstart sports radio service is granted an FM spot, while the established WSCR/”670 The Score”, owned by CBS Radio, remains banished to the AM dial.

Which is a perfect time to focus on New York for a moment. You may recall Merlin Media previously pawned off 101.9 FM to CBS Radio earlier this year; that is now occupied by a simulcast of WFAN/”Sports Radio 66 and 101.9 FM, The Fan”. It is logical to think that this simulcast will break off come January 2, when CBSSR launches full-time (a similar plan is scheduled to be executed on WIP-AM/FM in Philadelphia). But at the time the sale of 101.9 from Merlin to CBS was made public, CBS Radio honcho Dan Mason sounded quite adamant about the AM/FM simulcast of WFAN remaining well into 2013.

Oh, and then there’s WFME-FM in the New York City area, long rumored to be the subject of a sale to a broadcaster for the simulcast of an AM sports radio station in the market. Recently, WFME-FM was sold to Cumulus – the same Cumulus that’s proposing to purchase a couple of FM stations in Chicago – where CBSSR will be supplanted on at least one of them. If this is their plan for Chicago, how can it not be the case for New York? That being said, WFME-FM may indeed end up being a sports station, as we’ve suspected – expect it’ll consist of national sports programming, and not so much local voices.

And rounding out our trifecta is Los Angeles. A market where four sports stations – all on the AM dial – exist. CBS Radio is in a position to convert one of their underperforming FM properties, either KTWV/”94.7 The Wave” or KCBS-FM/”93.1 Jack-FM” to the CBSSR outlet in Hollywood. Or, why not send Cumulus to purchase an FM station. After all, just like in the Chicago market prior to the Merlin deal, and New York City prior to the agreement to acquire WFME-FM from Family Stations, Inc., Cumulus owns just one AM and one FM station in L.A. Any FM sticks for sale in the market? How about an independent broadcaster – did somebody say KKGO? It’s good to see a station make a go of it (no pun intended) with country music in the L.A. market – but for the right price, Cumulus could turn that station from Garth and Trisha to Gottlieb and Tierney.

And don’t forget, Southern California’s own Jim Rome will be joining CBS Sports Radio. It would mean a lot to him for his show to be heard on his turf on the FM dial, I’m sure.

For CBS and Cumulus, it isn’t just about having an FM clearance for CBSSR in L.A.: they would be the very first sports radio station on FM in L.A. If all else fails, expect the network to end up on KFWB/980 AM, previously owned by CBS Radio but placed in an asset trust since CBS was approaching the media cap in that market – and I’m sure they’d “trust” Cumulus to take KFWB under its wing.

So expect at least two shoes to drop between now and Christmas.

They’d better be the perfect fit for CBS Sports Radio if they plan to kick ESPN Radio’s butt in the sports radio war.

Audio: 66 WFAN Starts On 101.9 FM

This aircheck consists of the end of the alternative music format on WRXP (“New Rock 101.9”) – the final song being Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye” – and the start of the simulcast of Sports Radio 66 WFAN, via a CBS Radio local marketing agreement with Merlin Media.

Trivia: The first voice heard on WFAN on FM was… Steve Somers, at three minutes to midnight, bringing Suzyn Waldman on the phone, so that she can be the first official voice of the station on the FM dial. “Didn’t we do this once before?”, she joked. After a drumroll, she gave the first ID of the simulcasting stations (the legal ID would follow later). Afterward, Somers asked Waldman, the color commentator of New York Yankees radio broadcasts: “I haven’t heard you on the radio since October; I wonder what happened.” Waldman says that she, like many others in Westchester, have no power as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which the two went on to talk about for a few minutes. So the first topic discussed on the new 101.9 FM WFAN was – not the Yankees, not the Giants, but Hurricane Sandy – which forced the postponement of what would have been the first-ever game played by the Nets in Brooklyn. It does not, however, appear to deter the running of the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Waldman called the thought of people “celebrating… with little numbers on your chest” during the race “appalling.” By the way, “Mo from Brooklyn” was the first WFAN caller in frequency modulation. (As you’ll hear, two out of the first five calls taken on FM are dropped calls.) And toward the end, you’ll hear the first new WFAN jingle.

More trivia: The songs preceding “Last Goodbye” on the old format were Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”, Semisonic’s “Closing Time” and the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (which may have been a good song to enter the new format with, had the Nets won their home opener – had it been played on Thursday night).

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Hollywood Heights For CBS Sports Radio?

With CBS Radio announcing plans to launch an all-sports station on FM in Atlanta, it's only a matter of time before CBS follows suit in Los Angeles - such a move would give the radio conglomerate a sports station in each of the top ten markets. The new FM sports station in L.A. could easily be in the mix for Dodgers broadcasts.

“Dave’s not here, man.”

The famous line from a Cheech & Chong comedy routine is what many Atlanta radio listeners – okay, not very many – will be saying this fall, as CBS Radio has announced that WZGC-FM, the rock station once known as “Z93,” currently going by the name “92.9 Dave-FM”, will be replaced by – we’ve heard this before – a brand new FM sports radio station.

CBS Radio has had a recent penchant for launching mostly-local sports stations on the FM dial in major markets. Following the debut of “98.7 The Fan” in Tampa, which is officially scheduled for this Thursday, the Atlanta station will be the tenth FM sports property in CBS Radio’s portfolio.

And while CBS also has a penchant for naming their FM sports talkers “The Fan,” the Atlanta station will reportedly have the simple branding of “Sports Radio 92.9.”

Currently, there are two major sports radio stations in the Big Peach: Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI/”790 The Zone” and Cumulus’ WCNN/”680 The Fan.” The interesting thing here is that the latter station, which simulcasts on an FM translator at 93.7, has already agreed to carry some programming from the new CBS Sports Radio Network that they will be assisting CBS with.

Does this mean shows like “Buck And Kincade” and “The Rude Awakening” will be moving to 92.9 while 680 becomes a 24/7 repeater of CBSSRN, with “Boomer And Carton” in morning drive? Not necessarily. Rick Caffey, CBS Radio/Atlanta’s market manager, has went on the record as saying Sports Radio 92.9’s “accent will be local personalities,” though he added that having local ties to Atlanta would not be required.

Not only will this not be the first time CBS launches an FM sports talk station in a major or large market, but it’ll be doing so once again in a market that up until that point only had sports radio stations on the AM dial. Think about it: when CBS launched new FM sports talkers in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., preexisting sports stations were only operating on the AM band – in most cases, at least two of them had been on the air (a longtime ESPN Radio station on AM 1250 in Pittsburgh had shut down in 2010, months after “93.7 The Fan” debuted).

And there’s one more market to consider: not only a market whose sports stations are currently exclusively on the AM dial, but a very major market – and a glaring omission on the vast list of cities which will be graced with the presence of the CBS Sports Radio Network this September at the earliest.

Yep, the City of Angels.

Ever since the announcement of CBSSRN’s launch, rumors had been healthily circulating that CBS Radio would flip one of its FM properties in Los Angeles, specifically KCBS-FM/”93.1 Jack-FM”, to an FM sports station. In the most recent L.A. PPM’s, “Jack” finished in sixteenth place overall. In the April PPM period, they finished in 22nd place with a matching 2.2 rating.

Meanwhile, there are three sports stations in Los Angeles, all on AM: KSPN/”ESPN 710,” owned and operated by the Worldwide Leader’s parent company, Disney; Clear Channel’s KLAC/”Fox Sports 570″; and KLAA/AM 830, owned by the Angels franchise. The highest ranking sports station in the most recent PPM’s is “710 ESPN”, in 25th place. But when it comes to the sports radio format, revenue matters more than ratings because it’s an easy sell. It’s where the dollars are – 1,000+ stations can’t be wrong.

Expect CBS Radio to make an announcement perhaps in the fall for one of its FM stations in Los Angeles to convert to sports. It’s not like it’ll interfere with a local NFL team’s season or anything. But should CBS pull the trigger on an FM sports talker in L.A., you can bet they’ll be wheeling and dealing for radio play-by-play of a local sports franchise. I don’t think the Angels will be going anywhere, but the Dodgers just started a three-year deal with KLAC. When “93.7 The Fan” in Pittsburgh launched in 2010, they waited two years before they finally poached Pirates games from Clear Channel, who had held a local monopoly on sports play-by-play on the radio. And “92.3 The Fan” in Cleveland figures to be active in discussion when the Indians’ current radio contract with Clear Channel expires at year’s end.

Consider how many MLB teams have either made the move to FM or are pining to make the move – which is the catalyst for either the New York Yankees or Mets possibly bringing their broadcasts to FM after many years on AM; both of their current radio contracts simultaneously expire at the end of the season.

Incidentally, the Dodgers were once heard on a CBS-owned radio station for five years starting in 2003, KFWB/AM 980, which recently had been placed in an ownership trust due to CBS reaching the maximum media ownership limit in the Los Angeles market. Meanwhile, KFWB does currently hold radio rights to Clippers basketball games, which could be moved to whichever FM station CBS turns into a sports radio station. (For the record, the Lakers are heard on “710 ESPN”.)

And how about those Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, whose existence had been a rumor throughout their playoff run on their current flagship station, KTLK/AM 1150? I’m sure on a CBS-run sports station on AM, let alone FM, they’d feel like royalty.

One more thing to consider: Once “Sports Radio 92.9” launches in Atlanta, CBS will have a live and local sports station, on AM or FM, in each of the top ten radio markets – all, that is, except Market No. 2. (Edit: As well as San Francisco, but CBSSR will be cleared in that market via two Cumulus stations.)

So don’t be surprised if CBS Radio makes waves by jacking up one of its FM stations and rocking the sports radio landscape in Los Angeles. (Read into that previous sentence what you will, radio nerds.)

And if CBS is not considering such a move in L.A. – well, they could be as high as Cheech and Chong.

(But seriously… don’t do drugs, kids.)

Dan Sileo To CBS Sports Radio?

Controversial radio host Dan Sileo is a near-lock to be named a host on the new CBS Sports Radio, after recently having lunch with a top radio exec. It could also lead to a return to the airwaves in Tampa, where he was displaced after making a remark about "monkeys" on WDAE.

“Time to move on and up!”

That’s what Florida-based sports radio host Dan Sileo tweeted this morning – and we may have an idea why.

You may recall that earlier this year, Sileo was booted by WDAE in Tampa Bay after many years as their morning host. But less than a month later, he traveled down I-75 and agreed to become the new afternoon host on Miami’s WQAM, a vacancy made possible by the departure of Sid “I’ll Have Another” Rosenberg.

And if recent correspondence from Sileo’s Twitter account is any indication, he’s getting ready to make another move – not just across Florida, but across the country.

By now, you know that CBS has announced the launch of the new CBS Sports Radio network this fall, with sales and syndication being handled by Cumulus Media.

So last weekend, Sileo was setting up a lunch date with one Mike McVay – who happens to be the Senior Vice President of Cumulus Media. McVay planned to be in South Beach late last week for a radio convention, so we believe the lunch took place on Friday afternoon.

The day after – this morning – Sileo tweeted to McVay: “It was great seeing you for lunch! Very cool. I was happy to hear Mark Chernoff is a Dan Sileo fan… lol… I know you are!”

Wait – what?

Yes, the Mark Chernoff, the operations manager at the soon-to-be-25-year-old WFAN in New York, who doubles as the Vice President of Sports Programming for CBS Radio. That Mark Chernoff.

In fact, on Friday morning – the day after the plans for the new CBS Sports Radio network was unveiled – Sileo tweeted: “Wow… An executive at WFAN actually likes me now? It’s been a long time for us to get together.” Perhaps Sileo and Chernoff crossed paths back in the summer of 2010, when Sileo had a brief weekend stint as a sports anchor on WPIX/11 in New York City. No word if Chernoff was on hand for Sileo and McVay’s bistro tet a tet on Friday.

It’s clear that Sileo is one name being thrown around as a full-time sports radio host on CBS Sports Radio, which will begin a 24/7 schedule of sports talk on January 2 of next year. The fact that Sileo is meeting with a top executive from a major radio company involved with the new sports network – and said top executive acknowledging their meeting – is proof of that.

And there’s another interesting wrinkle to this development: I’ve already pointed out that Sileo had been heard on the radio in Tampa Bay for years. This week, CBS Radio announced that, in addition to CBSSR, which will officially launch on September 4, they will sign on a new FM sports radio station in Tampa Bay, “98.7 The Fan,” in August. This station will most likely be carrying some national programming from the CBS Sports Radio network – and if Sileo becomes one of CBSSR’s air talents, you can bet that “The Fan” will clear it in Tampa.

Adding fuel to this speculation is Sileo sending a “congrats” tweet to CBS Radio’s announcement of CBSSR – which he did exactly one minute after the “wow, an executive at WFAN actually likes me now?” tweet.

The plot thickens.

A bit of advice for CBS: If they are able to hire Dan Sileo and, as I speculated earlier, fellow University of Miami alum Warren Sapp, to the “98.7 The Fan” air personality roster, they’d be wise not to schedule their shows back-to-back. Just sayin’.