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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Selling "nice guys" on ESPN platforms, the NY Times is on board with BLAND

"It is proving to be very difficult to replace Imus," concludes Richard Sandomir in Wednesday's New York Times and that's true. He notes about WFAN's Chris Russo and Mike Francesa, "few could be certain 18 years ago that they would become afternoon drive-time powerhouses and the dominant personalities at the station in the post-Imus era.
  • In the month and a half without Imus, Russo and Francesa filled in during the first two weeks while continuing their afternoon show, and they returned to the morning shift early this week. WFAN has also brought in the former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason, with Russo and with the commentator Monica Crowley; Cris Collinsworth; CNN’s Lou Dobbs; Geraldo Rivera; John and Patrick McEnroe; David Gregory, NBC News’s chief White House correspondent; and Leslie Gold, the Radio Chick of WXRK, an FM station that, like WFAN, is owned by CBS Radio. Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” fills in today through Friday."
  • (I choose Cramer, but he has another job). sm

But Sandomir's article primarily about the ESPN morning guys, Mike and Mike, speaks about how the two recently beat WFAN in AM drive in the important Men 25-54 demographic (latest Arbitron ratings) during which time Imus was still at the station.

  • THIS INFORMATION SERVES ONLY ESPN, WHICH SANDOMIR REFERS TO AS AN 'EMPIRE.' HE DOESN'T GIVE ANY FRAME OF REFERENCE. IN OTHER WORDS, HOW HAVE THE RATINGS BEEN TRENDING OVER THE PAST YEAR? ONE RATING BOOK IS NICE, BUT SANDOMIR COULD EASILY HAVE TOLD READERS IF THIS WAS A BIG INCREASE, CONTINUATION OF A TREND, REVERSAL OF A DOWNTREND, ETC. IT'S PROPAGANDA IN ITS CURRENT STATE.

PRAISING WALLPAPER OR BACKGROUND RADIO'S SUCCESS IS FINE AND LEGITIMATE--WOR'S JOHN GAMBLING (father of the one currently on WABC) WAS HUGELY SUCCESSFUL IN AM DRIVE FOR MANY YEARS WITHOUT CONTROVERSY. THAT'S NOT THE POINT HERE. BEYOND BEING BLAND AND BEING ATTACHED TO ESPN, WHAT PURPOSE DO THESE GUYS SERVE? I DON'T NEED ANOTHER NY TIMES ARTICLE SELLING IGNORANCE AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT IN TIME. THANKS ANYHOW.

  • From Sandomir's article about Mike and Mike:

"They are the beneficiaries of employment by an empire that can provide them with almost any guest and can simulcast their program each morning on ESPN2 (when one host speaks, the other is often preoccupied with what is on his laptop), cast them in the poker series “Tilt” and make them game announcers for the Arena Football League. ESPN unleashed them as the ringmasters of a 16-week-long promotion last year on their show that led to two fans being married on ESPN (with Bill Walton as a guest); turned them into cartoon characters, portraying themselves, on ESPN.com’s “Off Mikes” series; and gave them a page in each issue of ESPN’s magazine.

Last week, they were featured in ESPN’s upfront presentation to advertisers at the Nokia Theater in Manhattan. Next Thursday, they will be commentators for ESPN and ABC for the Scripps National Spelling Bee."

  • Bland, cowardly, braindead. The one guy overeats--often a sign of hidden anger. I realize the NY Times would like us to follow like lemmings and have no opinions of our own. But I'm not quite dead yet, thanks. We need Imus.
(P.S. I sold radio advertising for 20 years).
  • WHAT EXACTLY IS A "NICE GUY?" SOMEONE WHO PROVIDES WALLPAPER OR SOMEONE WHO GIVES ME A GOOD IDEA? I'LL TAKE THE GOOD IDEA. The Times, I guess, prefers the "metrosexual" angle deeming it important enough for the article's opening line. That alone will get me to avoid the show.
The term "METROSEXUAL" itself is a catch phrase to elude definition, ie, the guy's not a man or a woman, or at least says "I'm a tolerant, nice person, see, having no overt tendencies toward maleness or femaleness." It's the supreme passivity of civilization combined with implied superiority and "progressiveness."

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