Yankees' move to WFAN made official
The Yankees and CBS Radio made it official Wednesday, announcing that the team would move from WCBS to its corporate sister station, WFAN, in 2014, effectively ending the Mets' 26-year run on the station.
The deal, first reported by Newsday Tuesday, is believed to cover 10 years at more than $15 million per season.
In a separate but related deal, WFAN also will carry games of the Major League Soccer franchise the Yankees and Manchester City plan to launch in 2015, although that agreement was not included in Wednesday's news release.
Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' chief operating officer, said Tuesday the team is talking to multiple outlets for a new radio home and expects a decision by late next month.
The Yankees confirmed their games will be carried on both WFAN's 660-AM and 101.9-FM signals, which Lonn Trost, the team's chief operating officer, called a key part of the FAN's appeal.
"It's a tremendous reach," he said.
Trost told Newsday the Yankees have had other opportunities to supplant the Mets on WFAN but that there was a reluctance to do so.
"We weren't looking to hurt them," he said.
This time, he said, the circumstances were right, but that it had nothing to do with damaging their crosstown rivals. "We compete on the field, we compete for fans, but we don't necessarily compete in the front office," he said.
Hal Steinbrenner, the team's managing general partner, said, "The paramount consideration was how our fans would best be able to hear our games."
There are other potential benefits beyond the economic windfall for the Yankees.
The YES Network has made a bid to sign Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton's WFAN morning show from MSG -- MSG has the right to match the offer -- and Mike Francesa's WFAN afternoon show has been simulcast on YES since 2002.
So it is possible the Yankees' TV network could be fully -- or at least partially -- aligned with its radio outlet for the first time.
John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman appear likely to remain as the Yankees' radio announcers, and Howie Rose and Josh Lewin are expected to move with the Mets.
After making the announcement on his show, Francesa said of the Mets, "It's been a very long, long relationship. We wish the Mets well. They've been part of the furniture for a very, very long time for those of us who've been here a long time. It's always been the Mets. It happens. Things change."