Q/A with Dana Jacobson: On leaving ESPN; joining CBS Sports Radio; and being one of few women in sports talk radio

First of two parts on new CBS Sports Radio network.

Sometimes, you have to go with your heart more than common sense.

At least that’s the way Dana Jacobson (@danajacobson) felt when she decided to walk away from a new contract proposal from ESPN last spring with no other job offers on the table. She said while she loved her 10-plus years at ESPN, the passion for the job wasn’t there anymore.

Also inspired by the desire to live where she actually wanted to live for once (no offense, Bristol), Jacobson, 41, sold her house and car and moved to New York. Opportunity then knocked when the new CBS Sports Radio network offered her a spot on the morning show.

On Jan. 2, she joined Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney to kick off CBS’ big sports talk radio … Continue Reading

Dino Costa on his problems with Russo; wants SiriusXM to give him larger platform

Part 2

“Why did you call Chris Russo a ‘Has been’ on his own show?” I said to Dino Costa. “Most people wouldn’t do that.”

“Well, you’re right,” Costa replied. “I’m not most people.”

You won’t get much argument on that point, especially from Russo. He is a regular target on the Dino Costa Show, which airs evenings from 7-11 p.m. on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio.

Yes, it is Russo’s station, making Costa’s diatribes against him seem even more bizarre. It came to a peak of sorts a few weeks ago. Costa was irate that Russo didn’t defend him when a caller on Russo’s show labeled Costa as “a racist.”

The following day, Costa appeared on Russo’s show to air things out, but the conversation didn’t last long. Costa started by calling Russo a “has been,” and it deteriorated from … Continue Reading

Q/A with Dino Costa: Mad Dog host says his show offers alternative to ‘homogenized garbage’ of sports talk radio

First of two parts:

At one point during our interview, Dino Costa said, “I don’t want to sound braggadocious.”

I’m thinking, he doesn’t want to sound braggadocious? This is a guy who has been telling me for the better part of an hour that he is the best thing going on sports talk radio. And the vast of bulk of programming in the format, he says, is a bunch of “homogenized garbage.”

Then again, listeners of The Dino Costa Radio Show wouldn’t be surprised.

His evening show on the Mad Dog Radio channel on SiriusXM (7-11 p.m. ET) is the sports talk version of UFC: Anything goes. Supremely confident and “fearless,” Costa has a strong opinion about everything and anything, and that includes slamming the guy whose nickname is the title of the station, Chris Russo.

Recently, Costa called Russo … Continue Reading

Feinstein moving to CBS Sports Radio Network; will host morning show

This could be bad news for me. I love listening to John Feinstein on Mad Dog Radio via SiriusXM.

Will I be able hear him in Chicago on the new CBS Sports Radio Network? I don’t see Chicago listed among the affliliates. Hopefully soon.

Feinstein is a good catch for CBS, as he joins a lineup that includes Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and Scott Ferrall.

From CBS:

CBS Sports Radio today announced it has named John Feinstein as one of the hosts of the network’s weekday programming.  Broadcast live from 9:00AM-12:00PM, ET, “The John Feinstein Show” will feature commentary on the world of sports from the man who has covered most of the major–and many of the not-so-major–events in the world of sports during his more than 30 years as a sportswriter.  The show will be heard on over 50

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Joking? White Sox owner Reinsdorf roasts founder of sports talk radio

Jerry Reinsdorf never has been a fan of sports talk radio. And he has let his good friend Jeff Smulyan know it through the years.

The Chicago White Sox and Bulls owner took the chance to rib Smulyan Saturday at a 25th anniversary celebration for sports talk radio in Chicago. Smulyan received the lifetime achievement award for founding the first sports talk station, WFAN in New York, in 1987.

Reinsdorf appeared in a highly entertaining video. Keep in mind that this event also was billed as a roast. So Reinsdorf’s needle definitely was out. Then again, if you know Reinsdorf, his jokes probably aren’t too far from his true feelings.

Reinsdorf: Congratulations on receiving the award tonight. There’s nothing in the world that could have made me show up for a dinner or anywhere else. You certainly have the undying, … Continue Reading

25th anniversary celebration: Sports talk radio and how it changed sports

It will be a big night for sports talk radio Saturday in Chicago. The 25th anniversary of the format will celebrated at the Chicago Theater.

Michael Wilbon and Chicago radio personality Dan McNeil of WSCR will serve as the co-hosts of the sold-out show. Among the honorees will be Jeff Smulyan, founder of WFAN, the first sports talk station in 1987.

Also being honored are Mike Francesa, Dan Patrick, Angelo Cataldi and the Wing Bowl in Philly.

The event is organized by Bob and Michelle Snyder. They met at a radio station. Bob went on to be a general manager at sports talk outlets in Chicago, Washington and Miami.

“This is a way for us to recognize the format,” said Sndyer, currently a radio consultant for teams and stations. “It is deserving because of the importance of the last 25 … Continue Reading

Does new show foreshadow NBC Sports Network landing baseball? Kuselias to host evening show on new NBC Sports Radio Network

Here’s some NBC Sports news that doesn’t involve the Olympics:

Yesterday, the NBC Sports Network announced a new weekly show in collaboration with Major League Baseball. Details below, but it made me wonder if this deal foreshadows an even bigger deal with MLB?

Frankly, if the NBC Sports Network wants to be a player on the cable sports front, it has to land a portion of the next baseball TV contract. The NHL isn’t a big enough anchor. It needs baseball to drive eyeballs to the network.

Obviously, the new program is a step to show baseball that the NBC Sports Network is serious about showcasing the sport. Couldn’t hurt, right?

OK, here are the details from NBC Sports Network:

Major League Baseball Productions and NBC Sports Group today announced a deal to collaborate on a new series titled Caught

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Gottlieb on leaving ESPN for CBS: Need to step out of nest and see if wings work

Sean McManus as the Godfather? Not exactly the Marlon Brando type.

But the CBS Sports chairman did make Doug Gottlieb an offer he ultimately couldn’t refuse.

“Sean said, ‘This is what I want to do and I want you to be a part of it,’” Gottlieb said Tuesday afternoon. “It wasn’t just tempting. It was an honor.”

McManus and CBS lured Gottlieb away from ESPN with a package that includes his own 3-6 p.m. (ET) radio show. The network debuts on Jan. 2.

He got other terrific goodies, such as working the NCAA tournament and Final Four as a game and studio analyst for CBS. Gottlieb also is going to host a show on the CBS Sports Network.

All in all, it is an excellent deal with a myriad of opportunities. Yet when I chatted with Gottlieb Tuesday, he definitely … Continue Reading

Chris Russo Q/A: Looking back on Mike and the Mad Dog

They are separate now. It’s Mike. It’s Mad Dog.

The “and the” disappeared in 2008 when Chris Russo decided to end his famous pairing with Mike Francesa and start his own Mad Dog network on SiriusXM.

Yet they will be forever linked. For 19 years at WFAN 660, they were sports talk radio’s most powerful duo. They owned New York and beyond, while helping to define the new genre.

Last week, Russo was reunited with Francesa during the station’s 25th anniversary show. It was a fun segment, reliving old times.

Given all the attention on the big birthday, here’s an interview I did with Russo a while back in which he discusses his famous pairing with Francesa.

How did it start?

I got there in ’88. During that seven-month period, I worked for Imus. Imus said, ‘Listen to this … Continue Reading

Don Imus saved sports talk radio; Mike and Mad Dog help WFAN explode

Part 2:

In the first part of my interview with Jeff Smulyan, founder of WFAN, he discusses how people thought his idea for a 24/7 sports talk station was “stupid.” A rough first year seemed to confirm that notion.

However, Smulyan’s vision eventually was rewarded when Don Imus became the morning host. He helped saved the station, and likely the sports talk format.

WFAN then hit it big in the afternoon with the pairing of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo, who soon would be known as “Mike and the Mad Dog.”

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of WFAN, here’s part two of my interview with Smulyan. He talks about Imus, Mike and the Mad Dog and the impact of WFAN on changing the face of radio.

Why was Imus so important to sports talk radio?

In 1988, we moved to … Continue Reading