Michael Kay’s ESPN New York radio program scored another victory over Mike Francesa of WFAN in the second of three months in the autumn ratings book, according to data from Nielsen Audio released on Monday.
Kay finished first overall among all stations in the New York market with an average share of 7.5 percent of the audience among men ages 25-54 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Francesa was second at 6.9. All figures include over-the-air and streaming audiences combined.
In the prior month, Kay had a 7.4-6.0 edge, so Francesa narrowed the gap in the period from Oct. 10 to Nov. 6.
Still, it will require a dramatic rally in the final month – covering Nov. 7 to Dec. 4 – to prevent Kay from defeating him for the first time in a full quarterly ratings book. Those figures will be released on Dec. 23.
This likely is Kay’s last chance, because Francesa has announced he will leave afternoon drive time next month. The station has not announced his final show, but barring a late change of plans, it is expected to be Dec. 6. (He will move to Radio.com in January but still is expected to have a regular, limited presence on WFAN, likely with a half-hour show at 6 p.m.)
That could open the door for a pre-New Year’s test drive of the new WFAN lineup during the week of Dec. 9.
The station has announced nothing so far, but Gregg Giannotti will remain in morning drive time with Boomer Esiason, while the longtime midday pair of Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno are the favorites to succeed Francesa in the afternoon.
With Bart Scott expected to move to ESPN New York, his current partner, Maggie Gray, is slated to co-host a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. show.
Gray’s tryout week with John Jastremski and Scott earlier this month did not go smoothly. She worked with her former CBS Sports Radio partner, Marc Malusis, last week, producing a seemingly friendlier pairing.
Jastremski and Malusis appear to be the two most likely midday options.
WFAN’s three daytime shows other than Francesa’s ranked No. 1 overall in the market for the second month of the autumn book, as they did in the first.