Good morning. It's Monday, June 25, 2012, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
On July 1, 1987, WFAN first hit the air and now boasts of being the most listened to sports radio station in the country. As the station prepares to celebrate 25 years on the air, the outlet is preparing to take on a new challenge as a key component of the new CBS Sports Radio network. WFAN is now heard by over 1.5 million people every week.
To celebrate their silver anniversary, WFAN is readying to celebrate throughout the summer with special programming that includes on-air reunions, contests, historical highlights, top sports moments, and more. Highlights are set to include: Subway Series ticket giveaways; live broadcasts from New York sports events and the station is asking its fans to vote on the top 25 New York sports personalities of the past 25 years.
Cynopsis Sports spoke with Mark Chernoff, Operations Manager for WFAN, Vice President of Sports Programming for CBS RADIO and Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO New York about 25 years on the air and what lies in store for the New York icon.
Chernoff on the success of WFAN: Here at WFAN, we are very New York oriented. We talk about the New York teams, we talk about what's going on in New York. We will obviously focus, obviously, on big national stories as they occur. Plus, we've had an array of great talent here. We take calls all the time and love our listeners. The concept as a sports station very early on was to get the listeners involved, making them be part of the shows and hearing what their opinions are. When you do that you get a pulse of what's going on. The passions that both our callers and hosts contain have become a very big deal and that helps make the radio station their home.
On the role of radio in a digital world: There are a lot of major platforms but radio continues to serve as a major platform in the sports world. Most people still use radio as a major source for getting information and I think it will always be like that. I think that on stations like WFAN, we are always telling people what's going on and we are giving them information that they want. We are telling them about the Yankees and the Mets and this is the place to do it. It's easy to turn on, it's in your car in your house, on mobile and remains a of part of their lives and still love to listen.
On a favorite memory at WFAN: Back in 1994, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup and the Knicks got to Game 7 of the NBA Finals and Mike and Chris (Mike and the Mad Dog) traveled around. I remember going from Vancouver to Houston then back to New York and back again trying to get everybody at the same place as best as we could. But that whole run that year was unbelievable exciting. That run for those teams and going to all the home games and being part of the excitement was tremendous. As part of the radio station, we were so enveloped with these two teams at one team and you could see that passion of the calls and the excitement and the anticipation.
On the formation of the CBS Sports Radio: It's really exciting. Come January it will be a full-service 24/7 network with great personalities and we will give some things a national approach on our local stations. What we will most likely do is give one-minute updates because when we do scores, we give all the scores so I'm all for that. Now we will have somebody providing more information. We will now have local correspondents that we can use on our local radio station, whether it's Greg Anthony on basketball or Boomer Esiason for football, we will have a lot of experts at our disposal. We are excited about that. It will be one stop shopping for everybody with the best of both worlds. We will be able to incorporate the things that work nationally on our station, but we know what our focus is here at WFAN, local, local, local.
On the Air
The 2012 NBA Finals finished as the most-watched and highest-rated five-game average for The Finals since 2004 and the second most-watched in ABC history, according to Nielsen. Overall, the Finals averaged 16,855,000 viewers and 11,584,000 households, which is up 5% from the 2011 series. The series generated a 10.1 household rating, to score an increase of 6% compared to a 9.6 last year through five games (and matching the six-game overall rating). Thursday's Game 5 broadcast delivered a 10.9 HH rating, 18,461,000 viewers and 12,538,000 household impressions, up 1% compared to Game 5 last year. The game scored a 40.3 rating in Miami, to mark the highest of any market. Top five markets for the series overall were Oklahoma City with a 43.8, followed by Miami, Tulsa, West Palm Beach and Cleveland. ESPN Digital Media's average audience during the five game days of the series drew 81,504, up from 56,400 in 2011.
Next up, the NBA Draft on the 28th and NBA TV will premiere NBA TV Draft HQ on Friday, June 22, at 7p with host Vince Cellini, Steve Kerr, Mike Fratello and Ron Thompson. In addition, NBA.com will debut a "Playermetrics 360-Degree Camera," an application on the site which will allow fans to use 360-degree camera views to review key player information (e.g. height, wingspan, reach, etc.) on each draft prospect. On Draft day, NBA TV will air the 2012 NBA Draft Preview at 5:30p with current Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III joining Cellini, analysts Seth Davis, Greg Anthony, Steve Smith and reporter David Aldridge as they count down to the draft.
FOX Sports is denying a report last week that the Miami Heat was about to ink an extension with the company that would have been worth as much as $100 million per year.
Tennis Channel locked in a multiyear contract renewal with Bill Macatee, who has worked with the channel since 2007. The network is set to offer a new format for Wimbledon Primetime this year with seven nightly hours of original programming from the fames tournament.
Showtime analyst and former light heavyweight title holder Antonio Tarver was pulled from microphone duties on Saturday night's events, according to reports, after testing positive for anabolic steroids. The test was taken following his draw with Lateef Kayode on June 2
After a countdown of espnW's Top 40 Female Athletes of the Past 40 Years, the company finally reached its number one spot on Friday, naming soccer star Mia Hamm to the top spot. Hamm bested No. 2 Martina Navratilova and No. 3 Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the vetting process.
Outdoor Channel launches Ford Trucks Takes PBR Outdoors tonight at 11p. The show is hosted by Steve LeBlanc and offers viewers a backstage pass into the bull riding and outdoor lives of well-known Professional Bull Riding stars.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM CABLEFAX
Sponsorship & Promotion
The NBA Finals made history, as a Spanish language ad ran on an English-language broadcasting network for the first time. The ad, from Ford for the 2013 Ford Escape, played two times on ABC, once during Game 4 and again during the final contest, marking a first for the company, the network, and the league.
NASCAR revealed plans to develop the Fan and Media Engagement Center (FMEC) as a resource that will "enable the sport to better serve the industry, media and fans through a platform that facilitates near real-time response to traditional, digital and social media." HP Enterprise Services will partner in the development of FMEC, with the goal of providing NASCAR with the ability to monitor, analyze and better understand the current media landscape more clearly in order to respond more rapidly to national, local and global media.
Fan balloting for the MLB All Star Game has now pulled over 250 million votes already cast online via the 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot. This tally marks the second consecutive year in which balloting surpassed the milestone heading into the final seven days of voting, when ballots are cast exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club Web sites. MLB.com also has launched an All-Star Game 2012 Tweet the Vote portal to allow fans to track and rally social support for each player with streams of designated Twitter hashtags.
The Main Event
Indians/Yankees on ESPN at 7:05p.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE
ON THIS DAY in 1968: Bobby Bonds hits a grand slam in his first MLB game.
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What primary NBA venue has the largest capacity? The Palace at Auburn Hills, home of the Pistons. Kudos: J. Barry McMullin-Professional Bull Riders/NY; Jack Valente-InStadium/Detroit; RT Harris-WideOrbi/Detroit; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Pat Host-Defense Daily/Arlington; Tommy Buhr-Turner Sports/Chicago; Bill Robertson-Tunheim Partners/Minneapolis; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.
In The Know: Who holds the NCAA record for most rushes in his football career (FBS level)? (Email Chris-Sports@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you've been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can't be mentioned again that calendar week.)
Later -- Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports
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