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End of a media era?

July 14th, 2008

Murrow. Cronkite. Cosell. Oprah.

Mike and the Mad Dog?

50 years from now, when someone looks back at the list of the most influential broadcasters over the last century, it’s very possible that Mike Francesa and Christopher J. Russo will be listed with those legends because of the impact they have had on broadcasting.

Specifically, All-Sports Radio. They just about created it. Certainly, they propelled it into the nationwide phenomenon it is today. And now, it looks like the best sports talk show ever on radio – and please don’t even try to dispute this – is just about over. For five hours a day, every day for almost two decades, they NEVER ran out of things to talk about. But now, it seems like they’re done talking to each other. According to several news reports, the two have already done their last show together .

Francese and Dawg have performed like a volatile married couple for just shy of 19 years, screaming and yelling behind the scenes, arguing on the air (Mike and the Dawg Video), blowing things out of proportion and being entertaining and enlightening.

In the late 80s, a new radio format appeared on the AM dial – one that at first blush seemed like it would only appeal to stats geeks and losers who couldn’t make the team. Sports talk shows at the time were generally sleepy. But then WFAN in New York was launched, and before too long, some programming genius came up with the idea to put together a behind-the-scenes TV guy with a horrendous LAWN giland accent and a spastic, Jerry Lewis-on-speed-sounding guy.

They’re ridiculous. They’re relentless. They’re hysterical. They’re knowledgeable. They’re infuriating.

They’re perfect.

Posted Under: Media & Journalism
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