Mike Francesa is properly conscious there will be some lingering “hurt feelings” when he returns to WFAN on Tuesday, however he stated his major focus will be the duty at hand.
“My job is to go there and be No. 1,” he stated in a wide-ranging interview Friday shortly after Entercom, which owns WFAN, introduced he would return after four ½ months off the air.
“That’s my job, to go there and do what I’ve always done, which is to try to drive my program to No. 1. The other stuff that comes with that, if I have to take a leadership role, I’ve never been afraid of taking that.”
By that he meant assembly with colleagues to clear the air, presumably together with Chris Carlin, a former “Mike and the Mad Dog” producer whose relationship with Francesa has been strained, and Carlin’s colleagues Bart Scott and Maggie Gray.
Those three are anticipated to transfer to 1 to three p.m. weekdays from their present 2 to 6:30 slot to make method for Francesa from three to 6:30 p.m.
Francesa stated he already has been requested by administration “to take a leadership role in terms of certain things,” however that he would observe its lead in navigating a state of affairs Carlin acknowledged can be “awkward.”
“If they ask me to meet with someone, I’ll meet with them,” Francesa stated. “If they ask me not to meet with them I won’t meet with them. I’ll do what they ask me to do. I’ll take their cue.”
Francesa insisted his return is about greater than a mere radio program; it’s half of a bigger challenge constructed round a new app he’s creating in partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom.
But he admitted he’s keen to reconnect along with his previous viewers.
“The chance to come back and get in front of the fans for a couple of hours a day is a joy for me, because I’ve missed them,” he stated. “I’ve missed them a ton. I’ve missed not performing.
“After all this stuff that’s gone on, I can’t wait to get in front of my audience who I love being in front of and I can’t wait to connect with again.”
While Carlin, Gray and Scott have resisted firing again at Francesa or the station, Francesa has taken flak from a number of instructions, including from morning co-host Boomer Esiason, who on the air referred to as his return “pathetic.”
Francesa spent greater than a yr getting ready publicly for his departure on Dec. 15, full with particular occasions and tributes. Many have criticized and/or mocked him for his fast turnaround.
“I don’t worry about it,” he stated. “Listen, let different individuals fear about it. I’ve no time to fear about that. I’m trying ahead. I dwell my life this manner: At the time that was all actual. Every little bit of it was actual.
“If you had said to me in January I was going back to FAN, I would have never believed it. If you had said to me in February I was going back to FAN, I never would have believed it. I wouldn’t have believed it maybe even three weeks ago that I was still going back.”
But Francesa stated he has been talking to Entercom CEO David Field since December about attempting to purchase the rights to the “Mike and the Mad Dog” archives and title to be used on his app.
Francesa stated he was ready to make a take care of Entercom for these rights and then go elsewhere for a new day by day platform however that in current months Field had pushed him to return in some kind to WFAN.
“I made it very clear to everyone on the Entercom side and on the FAN side that if anybody in management or any person had any issue with me going back I would gladly go to another station in New York,” he stated.
“But here’s what was going to happen: There was going to be a third sports station in the afternoon. That’s what was going to happen. They didn’t want any part of that.”
Francesa wouldn’t say what station he was referring to. WOR has the rights to Mets video games, nevertheless it has a robust afternoon lineup of political speak.
In the tip, Francesa stated, it made sense in enterprise phrases for Entercom to convey him again. Carlin, Gray and Scott lost narrowly within the rankings race to ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show” amongst males ages 25-54 from January to March.
“None of you [reporters] ever discuss business,” he stated. “You guys by no means convey up enterprise in something you do. You speak about, ‘this guy said this, this guy doesn’t need that.’ You know what: it is a enterprise deal! It’s all enterprise.
“Why do you think the owner wants me there? Because it’s better for his company. Are they better the day I show up there at 3 o’clock? They’re much better. We all know that. You would have to be dumb to claim otherwise.”
Francesa’s rebooted present will be referred to as “Mike’s On,” as will the app, which is about to launch in late summer season. The plan is to have a video stream of the radio present on the app, which additionally will embody archived materials.
The app will stream a new model of Francesa’s previous Sunday morning NFL present, which for now will not be on radio however would possibly discover a TV house. Francesa additionally needs to develop new sports activities speak voices by means of the app.
His partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom is also to embody dwell occasions.
Francesa stated the radio present will emanate from “multiple sites,” presumably together with each the station’s decrease Manhattan studios and one in his Manhasset house.
What will the breakdown be?
“I will not be giving you guys the schedule, sorry,” he stated.
He stated he wouldn’t take almost as a lot day without work this summer season as he has prior to now.
Francesa, whose new contract runs by means of 2020, wouldn’t focus on his wage past saying he will be paid “extremely well” and on the “same level I’ve been paid in the past.”
But he famous that his present will be two hours shorter than it was prior to now, presumably a sign that his pay will be comparable per hour however lower than it was for five ½ hours of labor.
“The idea they wouldn’t pay me extremely well doesn’t make any sense to me,” he stated.
On Tuesday, Francesa informed Newsday that he planned to return to WFAN however cryptically talked about this as a purpose:
“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back. For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.”
On Friday, he stated he was reacting to nameless quotes in information accounts through which WFAN staffers stated “it would be terrible for the station and no one wanted me back. That was basically hoping that I would say I don’t need this and go away.”
He added, “The solely purpose I even went public was as a result of there have been tales written and there have been nasty feedback within the tales. Now, except the feedback, which had been FAN sources and FAN hosts making nasty feedback, except they had been fabricated feedback, they had been fairly nasty feedback about how nobody wished me again, which is nonsense.
“If you’re a host are you happy I’m coming back? Probably not, because it makes it look like I have to come back to save the season, which that’s not what I’m trying to do here. But if the station was hitting it out of the park in every day part they probably wouldn’t be trying to bring me back right now.”
He added, “Somebody saying I wasn’t welcome there was not going to keep me from going back was my point.”
Those tales appeared on Monday, although. Wasn’t Francesa’s return to WFAN already properly in movement by then? When pressed on the timing, Francesa grew impatient.
“I had not made up my mind completely, but my point was they weren’t going to keep me away,” he stated. “That was written to attempt to hold me away and saying, ‘Don’t come right here; you’re not wished.’ But you’re making method an excessive amount of of this.
“The owner of the company wanted me to come to FAN in the worst way; management wanted me to come back in the worst way. Those are facts.”
Francesa pushed again in opposition to a report that WFAN’s vp of programming, Mark Chernoff, was in opposition to his return.
“If Mark Chernoff didn’t want me at FAN I wouldn’t set foot in the building, ever,” he stated. “You think I’d go to a place where the program director didn’t want me? Not in a thousand years. If anyone had done anything except urged me – and you can underline urged – me to go back, I would never have gone back.”
Francesa added, “What’s been written is absolute fiction . . . The idea that anybody in management didn’t want me at FAN is so patently ridiculous it’s laughable, absolutely laughable. They did everything they could to bring me back to FAN. That is a fact.”
Francesa stated the app has been the driving drive behind his post-WFAN plans from the beginning, and that it was determined a standard radio outlet can be the perfect “conduit” to the app.
He stated when Entercom recommended WFAN itself, he stated, “That’s going to be ticklish. They stated, ‘It can be done.’ We began going ahead with that. The first time it was launched was possibly six weeks in the past.
“We began to work out if that might work. We knew there was going to be damage emotions. We mentioned that. They informed me no one would lose a job, no one would lose any cash. We knew that there was going to be a re-entry that was going to be sensitive. We understood that. We knew there can be criticism.
“But, there are two causes it wound up on FAN. One, my loyalty to the station, which may be very sturdy for me. I don’t care if anybody believes it or not. I might care much less. It’s sturdy to me. I spent 30 years there. That’s my group.
“Number two, they had stuff I wanted. I badly have wanted and have been trying to get the ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’ library and the ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’ name for 10 years . . . I wanted it to be part of the app. Now it is. Now it will be. I now have the ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’ name under my control, which is something I’ve wanted for a very long time.”
Using WFAN because the “conduit” made the enterprise transition smoother, he stated.
“It meant going home, which on a lot of levels I like. When I get in front of the audience, it’s going to be great. I love that part. The other part, obviously there are some things that have to be worked on and paved over, there’s no question.”
Since information of Francesa’s return broke on Tuesday, he has landed on the again pages of Newsday and the Daily News and pushed large site visitors on native media retailers’ digital platforms even in opposition to the NFL Draft.
“I’ve gotten very used to getting a lot of attention, I mean, I just have,” he stated. “Was it excessive this week? Yeah. I used to be stunned there was a lot anger and negativity about me getting back from a standpoint of you possibly can’t ask an organization that could be a public firm to not attempt to enhance itself.
“Wouldn’t you if you had a baseball team or you had a lineup? Wouldn’t you do everything you could to improve the lineup every day? Isn’t that your job? I think that’s what they are trying to do.”
Francesa was upset by reported quotes suggesting he had come again to work to get away from spending an excessive amount of time along with his spouse and three youngsters.
“I’ve heard people make utterly stupid and ridiculous comments like, ‘Oh, he found out how hard it is to be home,’” he stated. “You know what? I have the best family in the world. I love being home. I could stay home every day. I like what I’m doing. But I always wanted to come back and have some ventures. I like to build things. I really have this passion to build this app.”