SBD/November 8, 2013/Media

Olbermann Continues Battle Against WFAN Hosts, Drawing Francesa Into The Fray

Francesa during his radio show was criticial of Olbermann
ESPN's Keith Olbermann on Thursday night continued his war of words against WFAN-AM personnel, noting long-time afternoon show host Mike Francesa "livened up" his show "by talking about me, breaking the usual format in which he jock sniffs his favorite players or falls asleep while on the air." Olbermann said, "Francesa stated that I had had eight jobs in five years, which is outstandingly inaccurate, no matter which five years of my career he wants to choose. I think I once had four jobs in five years." However, Olbermann said Francesa's comment is "actually as close as he's ever gotten to a fact." Francesa on Thursday mentioned the head-to-head ratings were "ugly" between Francesa and Olbermann and Dan Patrick. Olbermann said, "He was talking about the two years when I did a daily guest spot on Dan Patrick's show on the ESPN Radio network. Apparently, Francesa was on another show at the same time in New York. This was when he was still Christopher Russo's sidekick. As an aside, Mr. Francesa, you should have never left Russo to strike out on your own. He was the brains of the operation." He added Francesa "thinks the audience ratings only in New York are the only measurement of success." Olbermann in a thick N.Y. accent said the region across the Hudson River is a "whole country who never heard of you, don't want to and won’t never" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 11/7).

WHAT GOT KEITH RILED UP: Francesa on his show Thursday said he was mentioned by Olbermann in a rant towards fellow WFAN hosts Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason in which Olbermann noted neither show does well with ratings. Francesa said, "He didn't take shots at me, I don’t think. ... Why would Olbermann, as dumb as he is, ever say that I don’t have ratings?" He added, "I don’t have an opinion about Keith Olbermann. I do, I think he’s just kind of lost, myself. What is this, his eighth job in his last five years? So I’m not really worried about Olbermann." More Francesa: "All I can tell you is that when we went head-to-head or I went head-to-head against Olbermann, it was ugly. The ratings were ugly and they did radio shows against us and it was ugly. ... Olbermann is just a jerk. Patrick was a good guy and he is a good guy and he's a good radio guy too … but we used to bury those guys in the ratings" ("Francesa," WFAN-AM, 11/7).

DISHING IT OUT: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick weighs in on the battle and writes Olbermann is a "transient big-shot" who "continues to regard himself as far above the fray." But he is "right down there in the slop." He is "another sucker-shot, insult artist who can’t take the slightest poke in return. A bully." Olbermann "never misses a word written or spoken about him, then makes his public judgments on people based only on what they said or wrote about him." It is "the mark of the megalomaniac" (N.Y. POST, 11/8).
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