Mike Francesa has signed a new deal with CBS-owned sports radio station WFAN that reportedly will pay him $5 million a year to continue as host of his popular talk show.
So this development suggests that you don’t necessarily have to be an pro athlete to cash in on a sports-related contract extension, although Francesa apparently won’t be getting a raise.
Francesa’s existing WFAN contract was due to run out in early 2014, but a multi-year extension is now in place. Francesa’s show is heard on both AM and FM in the New York City area and is simulcast across the country on the YES television network and of course streams on the internet. As part of the deal, Francesa’s Sunday morning NFL show will go national across the CBS radio network.
The terms of Francesa’s WFAN deal are being kept under wraps “but a person familiar with the new deal said it runs through 2017 and will pay about $20 million in total — approximately the same $5 million per year Francesa, 59, earns under his current contract.”
Francesa, who went to work for WFAN in 1987 when it was the only 24-hour sports radio station in the country, has been dominating afternoon drive Monday through Friday since 1989 on WFAN, most of the time partnered with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.
Russo left the “Mike and the Mad Dog” show and terrestrial radio completely in 2008 to take a similar job with SiriusXM. Francesa has been flying solo since then, and plans to add a new co-host apparently have been abandoned.
In commenting on the new deal today, Mike Francesa said “I’m very proud of what we have accomplished at WFAN. I am also honored and thankful to CBS Radio for its continued commitment, and most of all to the listeners for their enduring loyalty.”
There’s no question that Mike gets the ratings and has a vast knowledge of sports. He often comes across as a know-it-all, self-important blowhard (although that also describes a lot of sports talkers around the country), however, who has a hard time giving any love to callers who disagree with him. Perhaps that’s why he gets the ratings.
If you listen to or watch Mike Francesa’s sports talk show, can you explain his long-term success in afternoon drive?