SBD/December 17, 2013/Media

Francesa Says Split With YES Based On Both Economic, Editorial Issues

Francesa said two factors contributing to the move were economics and editorial control
WFAN-AM's Mike Francesa yesterday on his show confirmed that he was "parting ways" with the YES Network, saying that there "was not one thing that had led to the divorce," according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Francesa said that two factors were "economics and editorial control" and that YES execs were "not thrilled with recent appearances by Alex Rodriguez on his show." However, Francesa added that "long before those A-Rod interviews ... he had already decided to split" and that he knew during the summer his simulcast alliance with the net "would not continue." Francesa said, "It’s not one thing. It never is. Is economics an issue? It’s always an issue. This is not a cheap show, it’s an expensive issue." Yet Francesa, "contradicting himself, said there were 'no economic talks' with YES, at least on his part." Francesa explained that he, "not CBS, WFAN’s parent company, handles his own simulcast negotiations." He "gushed over his relationship with YES." But he said, "Editorial control has always been an issue." Francesa added that he "hopes to play out his contract, which ends Jan. 31." Francesa: "We will make a decision at the end of January. I don’t know where we are going from here ... If we want to be on TV we will be" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/17).

GOOD WHILE IT LASTED: On Long Island, Neil Best notes while Francesa's tone was "appreciative and he praised YES for being 'great partners in every way'" since the simulcast's inception in '02, he "suggested YES and/or the Yankees eventually grew tired of their inability to control his content." Best: "The original 'Mike and the Mad Dog' simulcast, which Francesa said was the late George Steinbrenner's idea, was a pioneering show in what has become a common practice" (NEWSDAY, 12/17).
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