Francesa rants about his competition
Mike Francesa revealed on his WFAN show yesterday that he and long-time friend Bill Parcells have had a "falling out," and also aimed spirited ratings trash talk at his 1050 ESPN competition.
"As sure as I'm sitting here, they're never catching me, and you can underline that, OK?" he said, later adding, "You have never gotten close, and you never will, as long as I'm sitting here."
Francesa's emotional monologue, during which he turned to address a YES camera for added effect, came in response to a guest appearance by his former partner, Chris Russo of Sirius XM Satellite Radio, on Howard Stern's Sirius show yesterday morning.
During that segment, Russo and Stern discussed the tenuous financial state of Sirius, but Russo said he would not return to traditional radio, even if a new owner attempts to cut his salary.
"I will not go to terrestrial radio," he said, adding that after hiring hosts for his "Mad Dog Channel, "I can't just bail out and leave these guys to hang."
The parts that annoyed Francesa came later, when Stern goaded Russo into discussions of WFAN's ratings since Russo left, the fact that Parcells appeared on Russo's show and not Francesa's before the Super Bowl and Francesa's decision not to do his show from Radio Row.
"That was a mistake," Russo said, noting he had 56 guests that week compared with 26 for Francesa, who dismissed the tally as irrelevant, arguing WFAN and Sirius are not in competition.
Francesa said he did not even know Parcells was in Tampa, then added, "Bill and I, who used to be very close, have not spoken in six months. We have had a little, call it a falling out, whatever you want to call it, that's between he and I."
Russo told Stern he had heard 1050 was making ratings inroads in some areas, such as New Jersey, an assertion that inspired Francesa's guarantee 1050 never would catch him. "Maybe someday after I'm gone, but not while I'm sitting here," Francesa said.