Tuesday, reports leaked out that WFAN, the nation’s first all-sports radio station, would be carrying New York Yankees games in 2014, leaving the New York Mets to find a new flagship station for next season.
While this came as a bit of a surprise to many, there is no need for anyone to be worried about the move to a new home.
The Mets will still keep the stellar announcing duo of Howie Rose and Josh Lewin, since they are employees of the team – unlike Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, who are employees of SNY who are team-approved.
The only difference will be that Mets fans will have to get used to tuning to a channel that isn’t 660 AM or 101.9 FM to hear the games.
Some may point to the fact that 660 AM has one of the strongest signals of any station in the US – I’ve personally picked up the station in Alabama – but the direction that CBS Radio was planning on taking the AM side of WFAN, that may not matter.
The plan has been to slowly convert 101.9 FM to WFAN full-time – airing the local shows such as Boomer and Carton, Beningo and Roberts, Mike Francesca, and Steve Somers – while 660 AM would become more CBS Sports Radio national programming – including Jim Rome and Doug Gottleib.
Assuming that the Mets (and other local teams) games would be moved over to 101.9, the signal strength would not play as big of a role as it would originally seem.
Also, it’s not like there aren’t potential suitors lined up to offer the Mets a radio contract; Adam Rubin of ESPN reports that Jeff Wilpon says he is in negotiation with several parties.
This is purely my speculation, but the frontrunners are likely ESPN Radio; WCBS News, the Yankees’ former station; and WABC, another former Yankee station.
In the end, the move is nothing to worry about; it’s just a business move by CBS Radio to help them in an ever-competitive atmosphere.
Joe Vasile is a play by play announcer for Widener Pride football and the host of ‘Ball Four with Joe Vasile’ on 91.3 WTSR in Trenton, airing Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Follow him on twitter at @JoeVasilePBP and visit his website.