Monday, February 26, 2018

NYC Radio: Boone's WFAN Deal May Give WEPN An Opening

Will Boone be heard on WFAN & WEPN?
Last week when WFAN 660 AM / 101.9 FM revealed the Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone would be making a regular Monday afternoon (paid) appearance during the season, it appeared to be business as usual. Even before WFAN became the Bombers’ radio flagship, the Yankees manager, starting in the Joe Torre years, had a regular spot on FAN’s afternoon drive soiree. Those deals came with an exclusivity clause.

Boone’s is different, reports sports columnist Bob Raissman at The NYDaily News.

He cites industry moles that Boone has the right to appear on other radio outlets on a “limited” basis. This gives Boone, who worked for ESPN for eight seasons as a baseball analyst, the right to appear on FAN’s main competition, WEPN ESPN 98.7 FM probably 10 or 12 times during the season. ESPN-98.7 could have ability to cherry pick Boone and bring him on at key points during the season.

Obviously, the non-exclusivity was a part of Boone’s contract discussion with WFAN. A station is usually willing to pay top dollar for exclusivity.

According Raissman, it’s likely more about loyalty on Boone's end. He clearly has not forgotten his ESPN roots (or the fact that he might want to return to TV if this manager thing doesn’t work out). It also probably dawned on him that the host of ESPN-98.7’s afternoon-drive show, which goes head-to-head against FAN’s “The Afternoon Nap” program, is Michael Kay, the TV voice of the Yankees.

Boone’s radio flexibility is important. If the Yankees live up to the hype, they will be in the spotlight all season long. With that in mind, it would not be in 98.7’s best interest to have no access to Boone.

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