Mike Silva's Sports Media Watchdog » Blog Archive » Sources Indicate Francesa vs. Revis Was Planned

Sources Indicate Francesa vs. Revis Was Planned

By Mike Silva ~ October 22nd, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized.

I always talk about how radio today is sanitized and full of shtick that we no longer see the days where there are classic battles between the athlete and host. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo were at the center of that during the early days of WFAN. Whether it was fighting with a coach, an athlete’s family member calling in, or “no holds barred” interviews with a player they seemed to know how to create good content-driven radio. Their interviews were relevant and full of passion. They had the pulse of the fans and demanded answers and accountability from this town’s sports luminaries.

Today, it’s more caller-driven. Monologues full of “fake outrage,” fact-less opinion meant to agitate, and mail-it-in shows are the norm for a majority of the hosts on the station. Francesa has become no different, typically spending five and a half hours beating on the same topics. The New York Jets and their coach Rex Ryan have been one of those punching bags.

So was yesterday’s contentious interview between Jets CB Darrelle Revis and Francesa a blast from the past? Does this go into the pantheon of all-time battles? Is this up there with Francesa vs. Mets managers Jeff Torborg and Bobby Valentine? Is this up there with Kevin McReynolds wife calling in after they called her husband fat? Former Islanders GM Mike Milbury? Former Giants TE Jeremy Shockey? What about controversies with the Yankees Brian Cashman and the late Cory Lidle?

The answer should be no, since a source told me this was planned by Francesa and his producer Ray Martel at the beginning of Friday’s show. This was originally reported by Bob’s Blitz late yesterday evening as well. Why would “New York’s #1″ need to resort to such gimmicks? Jealousy, as Francesa continues to lose power at the station and his Q-Rating with the public versus Boomer Esiason.

On Thursday, Blitz reported a list of the top-25 most buzz worthy mainstream NY media members as determined by independent media consultant BSF’s proprietary formula. According to Bob, “the formula took into consideration the individual’s ‘buzz ability’ by looking at such things as tweets, re-tweets, blog mentions, mentions by competing networks and or publications as well as public appearances and how competing colleagues ranked them.”

#1 was Boomer Esiason. #4 was Craig Carton, and #7 behind newspaper writers Mike Vaccaro, George King III, Larry Brooks, and Peter Vecsey was Mike Francesa. Members of the dying newspaper industry are creating more buzz; quite a bruise to the egotistical Sports Pope.

The age of information has made media members, especially in New York, part of the story. Fans often become loyal to someone based on their popularity. The perception of Francesa continues to be someone that caters to a Baby Boomer audience and is nearing the end of his shelf-life. His continued rejection of new technology, ideas, and inaccurate statements has the younger internet generation moving towards WFAN’s Morning Show. Say what you want about Boomer & Carton, but they know how to discuss what is on the blogs and other independent media sites. They have a pulse of what the new-age fan demands. I don’t like all their methods, but they know how to do a fun show. Francesa does not.

So where does Revis fit into this? Francesa figured by poking at his “non-penalty” during Monday night’s game versus the D0lphins, the interview would become contentious and create the “buzz” that his show is generally lacking. Revis had no intention of hanging up. Francesa even went on the air and admitted such after the incident, indicating the Jets even called and apologized. The actual individual who hung up was a member of the Jets PR staff. I have no proof of this, but would it surprise you if Martel set this up with him before the segment? You had a perfect storm of radio buzz: Francesa, his favorite punching bag in the Jets, and a star athlete. What more can you ask? Did you notice how YES and WFAN had the audio and video promoted almost immediately? That never happens. Of course, it would actually mean something if he did it organically rather than a radio version of the WWE.

Why would a blog bother Francesa? Remember, it was just a few weeks ago that Francesa tried to block Blitz from WFAN’s computers. He understands where news is generated today, and taking Blitz away from the Morning Show’s repertoire would put a dent in their content. This is part of an ongoing feud that is going to heat up going forward. The future of WFAN is more Boomer and Carton than Francesa. This has not been an easy concept for the aging radio star to take. Remember, the Baby Boomer generation is typically of the mind sight that if you can’t win a fight on their terms they will legislate the advantage away. This is essentially what Mike is trying to do, but it hasn’t worked with FAN management.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to Sources Indicate Francesa vs. Revis Was Planned

  1. ESPN 30 For 30 Expands While Francesa Takes on Twitter | Michael J. Silva

    [...] was the same playbook used back in October when Francesa took on Darrelle Revis of the Jets. Revis was so angered by Francesa’s boorish line of questioning he and a PR [...]

  2. Mike Silva's Sports Media Watchdog » Blog Archive » ESPN 30 For 30 Expands While Francesa Takes on Twitter

    [...] was the same playbook used back in October when Francesa took on Darrelle Revis of the Jets. Revis was so angered by Francesa’s boorish line of questioning he and a PR [...]

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