New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that he "pulled himself out of the running for any job as a sports-talk radio host on WFAN when he leaves office in January, confirming that he is no longer a candidate to succeed Mike Francesa," according to Brent Johnson of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Christie also disputed a report saying he was "axed from the field." The N.Y. Daily News on Saturday cited sources as saying that station execs "informed the brash-talking" Christie he was "out of the mix." However, Christie in a statement said the story is "completely incorrect." Christie said he was "approached by WFAN management three weeks ago 'to do additional shows with other potential co-hosts.'" Christie: "After considering the other options that I have been presented with for post-gubernatorial employment, I declined their request to do additional shows." He added, "I made station executives aware that while I would be happy to continue to fill in for Boomer [Esiason] when asked and when available, that they should no longer consider me as a candidate interested in any job at WFAN when I leave the governorship. I made that clear to them prior to leaving for my family vacation two weeks ago" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/21). In N.Y., Bob Raissman noted one new name that "recently surfaced as a possible candidate" is former Long Island-based, WBAB-AM host Gregg Hughes. Hughes also had been "working for SiriusXM" until last month, when he was terminated. However, a source said that Hughes is "not a candidate for Francesa’s job" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/20).
NESN broadcaster Jerry Remy returned to Fenway Park yesterday for the "first time since undergoing surgery for lung cancer in June," telling the "cheering crowd that he would return on Opening Day next season," according to Peter Abraham of the BOSTON GLOBE. Remy starts chemotherapy tomorrow to "further treat what is his fifth bout with cancer." Doctors have "told him that will take three months." The Red Sox "took the occasion of this being Remy’s 30th season with NESN to honor him on the field before the game against the Yankees" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/21). In Boston, Matt Kalman notes the ceremony for Remy began "less than 15 minutes before first pitch" of Yankees-Red Sox, so that "almost all of the 36,911 fans on hand could give Remy a standing ovation." The Red Sox presented him with a "Waterford crystal vase, a new watch, a pair of Fenway Park seats ... and a gigantic new television" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/21). MASSLIVE.com's Jen McCaffrey noted Remy, who was "emotional at times, was grateful" for the "support from fans and the team." Remy said, "I have got so much stuff on Twitter and it's overwhelming. Boxes and boxes of mail. I am surprised there still is mail, but I have boxes at home. It means to me I have done something right over the last 30 years" (MASSLIVE.com, 8/20). Red Sox manager John Farrell said Remy connects with the team's fan base so well because he is "very real and candid." Farrell: "He doesn't pretend to see something that is not there. He calls it like he sees it. ... I don't think he takes himself too seriously. He has fun with it." He added, "He knows how hard the game is to play. I don't think he has ever forgotten that. I think players really appreciate that" (MASSLIVE.com, 8/20).
"Road to Race Day," an eight-part series created by Durham filmmaker Cynthia Hill that "goes behind the scenes" with Hendrick Motorsports, is "streaming free now on the digital video network Rated Red," according to Brooke Cain of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. The series shows the NASCAR experience "from every angle, with particular focus on pit crews and drivers." Hill said, "I just wanted to see what it really is like to be part of a NASCAR team.” Cain noted a small crew of five to six people "started filming" in January '16 and "went through July." Hill said they had “pretty much full access” to any place they wanted to film, but had to be respectful about “ultra-sensitive stuff.” Hill: “They were very much interested in how this story could be told in the way that our team tells stories, which is really observational. ... We did have an agreement with Hendrick Motorsports that we would not reveal any trade secrets and so we had to be really careful about those kinds of things -- and they did watch the cuts on the back end just to make sure that we didn’t show anything." Cain noted the series has been "well received by NASCAR fans and critics of sports documentaries" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/19).