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Mike Francesa says CBS Radio threatens lawsuit for simulcast talk

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, is interviewed by

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, is interviewed by radio host Mike Francesa before practice during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

Mike Francesa said on his WFAN show Tuesday that CBS Radio, which owns the station, wrote a letter earlier this month threatening to sue him if he spoke on the air about the show's ongoing TV simulcast problems.

Francesa, whose simulcast again will be preempted by Fox Sports 1 and 2 most of this week, said he continues to work on a solution, and he accepted blame for what has been a rocky arrangement since it began in March.

Then he said he received a letter from his company upon returning from vacation Sept. 2 saying he would be sued if he discussed the matter publicly.

Francesa did not specify the nature of his dispute with CBS, but presumably its cooperation would be needed to either revise or dissolve the contract with Fox for the TV simulcast.

Karen Mateo, a CBS Radio spokeswoman, said, "There has been no discussion of any kind in regards to a lawsuit."'

After learning of Mateo's statement, Francesa responded on the air, saying, "I was told not to say anything and I was handed a letter which in three different places says it will hold you liable and responsible for all the money in the agreement. That's a threat. It was deemed a threat by the people who looked at it.

"So, semantics. Tell the truth. I was given it and I can produce it, so cease with the nonsense that I wasn't given it. That's just not factually correct and what you tried to say was very misleading in the statement.

"There was a letter handed to me which basically said, cease, otherwise you will be responsible for all the money if the deal blows up and that is what is known in the trade as a way of threatening your talent. If they're saying I didn't receive a letter that's a lie. I did.

"If they're saying there were no discussions between myself and certain people there were, and if they say the letter in some ways does not say they will take action then they haven't read it, and I can produce it."'

Francesa had said earlier in the show of his return to work on his 25th anniversary in afternoon drive time, "Sometimes you get a cake or a watch, sometimes you get a letter threatening to sue you. That's what I got. So that's why we can't talk about it right now. I'm frustrated, but there's not much we can do."

New York Sports