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N.Y. DAILY NEWS REPORTS OF MARV ALBERT TALKS WITH WFAN
Published October 10, 1997
WFAN "has been seriously negotiating" with Marv Albert "in hopes of landing" him to join the station in January, according to sources of Bob Raissman in a front-page feature in today's N.Y. DAILY NEWS. A source said: "There have been numerous discussions, including phone conversations and a meeting." Albert would reportedly "join a lineup" anchored by Don Imus in the morning and Mike Francesa and Chris Russo -- "Mike and the Mad Dog" -- in the afternoon. WFAN GM Joel Hollander said "no offer" had been made to Albert but would not confirm or deny negotiations with him. Sources said that Hollander has "approached MSG Network executives about moving Albert into the Knicks radio both sometime in the first quarter of 1998, but MSG brass would not agree to the move." But Raissman writes there are "a variety of assignments WFAN could offer Albert," including a talk show format, Mets baseball or Jets and Giants football (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/10). Also in N.Y., Ian O'Connor reports the offer from WFAN consists of a one-hour, five-nights-a-week show. But O'Connor calls Hollander's interest in Albert a "tawdry move, inspired by the bottom line." One industry source told O'Connor that Albert "'might very well reject' the offer because he realizes it will be perceived as too much, too soon." But O'Connor adds that Albert "is said to be in dire need of cash" to pay off his legal bills, leaving himself "vulnerable. Perhaps vulnerable enough to accept an offer he should refuse" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/10). MORE MARV FALLOUT: WFAN's Mike Breen will replace Albert as lead play-by-play announcer for Knicks telecasts on MSG Network (N.Y. TIMES, 10/10)....In Chicago, Michael Hirsley reports that NBC "is not rushing to name a replacement" for Albert, since its first NBA telecast isn't until Christmas. Greg Gumbel, Tom Hammond, Dick Enberg, Bob Costas and Mike Breen are all mentioned as possibilities. Hirsley: "If NBC seeks talent elsewhere, it will get a good look at TNT's Bob Neal" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/10). Also in Chicago, Jim O'Donnell reports that NBC "insiders" say the network is "finalizing a plan to use an expanded five-man play-by-play staff on NBA games this season," and not filling the top spot until next spring. Sources also said that Bob Costas asked NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol "not to be considered for the first chair" (SUN-TIMES, 10/10).