SBD/Issue 204/Sports Media

People & Personalities: WFAN's Russo, Francesa Quiet On Future

Francesa (l), Russo Quiet On Future During
First Broadcast Together Since Spat
On Long Island, Barker & Boone reported WFAN's Mike Francesa and Chris Russo Friday broadcast their "Mike & the Mad Dog" show together for the first time since reports surfaced about the potential end to their partnership. The pair addressed the issue for two minutes about 25 minutes into the show, where they discussed a fight they had earlier this year. Russo "downplayed its significance," but Francesa "seemed less sure." Russo: "The theory that you and I would depart because we hate each other, I don't quite understand that. We've had our bad moments, but we were good the last half of the spring." Francesa replied, "We had a bad fight. ... We didn't talk for a long time" (NEWSDAY, 7/12). Francesa: “It was only 50-50 that you’d never see (the pair together) again” (“Mike & the Mad Dog,” YES Network, 7/11).

INCOMPLETE PASS: SI.com's Peter King writes CBS "made a major mistake in not including Dan Marino in the cast" of "Inside the NFL," which will air on Showtime this season. King: "As someone who worked with Marino for six years on the HBO 'Inside the NFL' show, I saw the magnetism he brought to the show every week." CBS' Phil Simms will be one of the show's panelists, and King writes, "I do understand the reticence to have the two-white-quarterbacks-on-the-set thing, but Marino is synonymous with the show, and I think the public will miss him greatly on Showtime" (SI.com, 7/14).

REPORT CARD: In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich reviewed the CBC's baseball crew of Jim Hughson, Jesse Barfield and Rance Mulliniks during this weekend's Yankees-Blue Jays series and writes there was "much that was to be lauded and much that was to be condemned." The trio "often raise the level of the broadcast," and Barfield and Mulliniks "are at their best when discussing the finer points of the game and telling stories." Mulliniks also "isn't afraid to question players," but his "continuing abuse of the English language" was an issue. Zelkovich: "Grammatical sins are only part of the problem. Then there are the inanities produced by the perceived need to fill airtime" (TORONTO STAR, 7/14).

NOTES: A source said former ESPN Radio 1250 Pittsburgh host Mark Madden later this year will join WXDX-FM at either 3:00-6:00pm ET or 3:00-7:00pm. Madden was fired by the ESPN affil in May after insensitive remarks about U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 7/14)....Univ. of Alabama radio announcer Ken Stabler will take a leave of absence from the booth "in the wake of his arrest last month on drunken driving charges." UA radio announcer Tom Roberts will handle color commentary in Stabler's absence (TUSCALOOSA NEWS, 7/11)....Nuggets F and U.S. men's basketball national team member Carmelo Anthony will be contributing a basketball diary and photographs for the N.Y. Times' Olympics blog during the Beijing Games (NYTIMES.com, 7/14).

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