Too bad radio ratings are not released daily. Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa and Michael Kay could then rip each other Monday-Friday, rather than once every few months when the official numbers are released.
Face it, hearing ESPN-98.7’s Kay tell Francesa, “you’re embarrassing yourself, people in the industry are laughing at you,” or listening to the Pope call Kay’s boss Tim McCarthy “the Stump Merill of local radio” then say, “You’re ESPN and you get beat like a rented mule for 20 years, it’s got to hurt,” is sports talk radio at its finest.
Definitely more compelling than the ratings minutia these insults are based on. In this case all the acrimony is over the recently released winter ratings book. When it comes to analyzing the numbers, these Gasbags cannot be trusted. They both sounded like U.S. Attorney General William Barr interpreting the Mueller Report.
Kay claims he beat Francesa, for the first time, in the key demographic (men 25-54) with a 5.9 share compared to the pontiff’s 5.5 share. Those numbers do not include Francesa’s live streaming audience. When that category is included, Francesa says he won with a 6.2 share compared to Kay’s 5.9. Then, to further confuse everyone, they toss in other outlets where their shows can be accessed. They go on and on and on until you think you’re back in a chemistry class and your head explodes.
It’s not a reach to suggest that in the future, both Gasbags will find another way to spin the ratings in their favor once again. If anything, both these mouths are experts at bending the truth (a polite term for lying). There is one way to solve this, if they are really interested. The only thing that matters in their business is how much advertising revenue each show generates, no matter what the ratings are. Neither side knows exactly how much money the other station makes in afternoon drive.
So, if either Francesa or Kay want to claim they legitimately are the No. 1 afternoon-drive sports talk show, release your advertising revenue. The one who brings in the most money, the one who bills the most, is No. 1.
Ratings dictate what a station can charge advertisers. Still, there are other elements that factor into why an advertiser buys time on a certain show. Ultimately, neither station is likely to release its ad revenue numbers, even if it would make one of their ego-maniacs look good. Especially now, when the Valley of the Stupid cognoscenti are tuning in to hear how they will 1) Spin their ratings 2) Come up with new ways to insult each other.
In reality, all this stuff comes off as a smokescreen. Yet it’s not blinding us from the fact neither show is No. 1 overall in the market.
Making it to that particular promised land is the pinnacle. And neither Kay or Francesa will have to issue any spin if they are lucky enough to ever get there.
Listening to Gary Cohen’s Tuesday report that Ron Darling’s operation to have a mass removed from his chest went well, got us thinking how two significant points in the former Mets pitcher’s life-journey had collided.
While Darling was taking heat for excerpts from his new book, he knew (and few others had a clue) that he was facing a much more serious medical crisis. How does one get through something like this?
It didn’t help that some scribes jumped to the conclusion that somehow the pending operation was a way to chill the controversy surrounding the book.
At a time when he needed peace of mind, Darling had former teammates blasting him for what he wrote. Yet while Darling tried figuring out how to deal with that reality, he also knew he would be facing serious surgery. From the far outside looking in we believe his faith and family helped him. Also, no matter what was said or alleged in his book, no matter how much he was ripped over some passages (which he stood by) there is an overwhelming consistency in Darling’s life providing evidence he is a good guy.
Some of his former teammates refer to him as “Mr. Perfect,” but that neglects the fact Darling has soul. Recent nemesis Lenny Dykstra, who filed a lawsuit against Darling in connection with the book, acknowledged this when he graciously tweeted: “Regardless of everything else, wishing good luck to @RonDarlingJr in his medical procedure and a speedy recovery thereafter.”
Dykstra could have remained silent. The fact he did not is mighty telling.
Chet Coppock could turn a few hours of sportstalk into an event.
Bombastic, fearless, and connected, Coppock, 70, who died Wednesday from injuries suffered in a car wreck near Hilton Head, South Carolina, saw through the jive in the sports world while, at the same time, maintaining his enthusiasm for the games people play.
He made his bones in Indiana before taking Chicago by storm as a TV sports anchor, who actually got out on the street and reported. His insider view of Michael Jordan’s Bulls helped him build his reputation. New York was fortunate to have him around from 1994-1997 when he went to work for Charles Dolan’s SportsChannel.
Coppock could bloviate with the best of them. He fancied wearing suspenders, which was a trademark. He was pompous, but it came with a sense of humor and self-awareness.
“I’m the first to tell you, and you can put this on my tombstone: Love me, hate me but please react to me,” Coppock once told a reporter. “How many people in this town do make people react? There are not too many who do.”
Chet Coppock made up for most of them.
PANIC IN THE BOOTH
With the Yankees hardly clicking on all cylinders, who is panicking more. The fans? Or the Yankees broadcasters?
It’s the Gasbags in the booth. As usual, when the Yankees are losing, John (Pa Pinstripe) Sterling and Suzyn (Ma Pinstripe) Waldman, are either conducting a funeral or a silent radiocast. Even when they read the commercials, they show no energy. If I were an advertiser, I would demand a refund.
But when Brett Gardner hit a grand slam in the seventh inning Wednesday night against Boston, Sterling’s call was of World Series proportions. The next night, during a loss to Kansas City, it was back to the funeral.
Maybe they should install a smoke machine in the radio booth.
AROUND THE DIAL
Don’t fall asleep on CMB (Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, Bart Scott). While all the hot air is being devoted to afternoon-drive, CMB scored an impressive 6.8 (Streaming included. Men 25-54 demo), kicking Stephen A. Smith’s (he scored an anemic 3.1 on ESPN-98.7) tuchis. The Bristol Faculty considers SAS the face/mouth of ESPN. So, CMB’s ability to crush a StarMan is no small accomplishment. It makes me wonder what CMB could do if the FANdroids put them in afternoon drive? ... Hope CMB doesn’t lose its mojo when Gray, the star of the show, goes on maternity leave. ... Expanding on the NFL Draft, Sal Licata, yakking on SNY’s Loudmouths, told the truth, saying: “I love how everybody says they know what they are talking about and they don’t.” Was he referring to most of the VOS — or just his partner, Jon Hein? ... Islanders fans, including some disguised as media members, already whining about having to move their next playoff series from the suddenly iconic “old barn" on Long Island to Brooklyn’s Barclays. Is this a built-in excuse if they lose in the next round? ... Jonas Schwartz has adapted so well to SNY’s late shift, aka SportsNite, he may soon be referred to as The Vampire.
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DUDE OF THE WEEK: MICAH HERNDON
The former Marine brings new meaning to the word “determination.” The image of Herndon crawling to and across the finish line at the Boston Marathon to honor three fallen soldiers, underscores the power of commitment and honor. His performance also serves as an inspiration to all who watched it.
DWEEB OF THE WEEK: JOEL EMBIID/AMIR JOHNSON
For being preoccupied. The two Sixers, sitting on the bench during Game 1 of their playoff series with the Nets, decided it was a great idea to focus on a cell phone. There has been much speculation as to what they were doing, but suffice it to say they weren’t paying attention to what was happening on the court. A bad look, to say the least.
What Dave Gettleman said: “So if you’re asking me: How urgent do I feel that we need to do this? I’m not gonna put a level on that. Doing this, you let the draft come to you.”