Sid Rosenberg said the idea for his new Sunday morning sports talk show on WABC (770-AM) had nothing to do with either WFAN’s Sunday show or Mike Francesa’s, which will be available only through his new app.
It simply was something he wanted to do to supplement his weekday morning show on the station alongside partner Bernard McGuirk, which focuses mostly on politics with sports as a secondary topic.
Still, Rosenberg could not resist pointing out one difference between “Sid Sports Sunday” and Francesa’s program.
“I know Mike has a larger fan base than me,” Rosenberg said on Tuesday, after the new show was announced.
“But come Sunday morning if you have two guys who are both revered in New York City for their sports knowledge, with the same content and same features and pretty much the same guests, why would you spend $9 on one guy’s show when one guy is free? If you had half a brain, you wouldn’t.”
The Sunday NFL show is only one element of Francesa’s new app, which is priced at $8.99 per month. But it has competition, not only from his own station’s Marc Malusis and David Diehl but from Rosenberg, a former WFAN host who, with McGuirk, succeeded Don Imus at WABC in April.
Rosenberg was contractually tied to WABC last year when WFAN was looking to fill Francesa’s role in afternoon drive time. But short of getting that job – a longtime ambition – Rosenberg said he was ready to leave full-time sports talk.
He said he felt “handcuffed” at WFAN by its limits on political talk. Now he can range widely on topics during the week and go all-sports from 8 to 10 a.m. on Sundays, starting Sept. 9. (He signed for an entire year, not just for the NFL season.)
“I know Mike Francesa’s show is on the app; it wouldn’t matter to me,” Rosenberg said. “You think Mike Francesa scares me, honestly?”
Rosenberg also did not sound concerned about WFAN’s NFL show, even though he said he likes both Malusis – whom he said he “raised” at the station – and Diehl.
“I’m telling you for a fact no one is going to switch off my show for them,” he said.
Rosenberg will replace “brokered programming” in that time slot, also known as a “time-buy,” with the idea being that he can generate as much revenue through advertising as the station had gotten from someone buying that slot.
His focus will be fantasy sports and gambling, saying most listeners at that hour on Sunday “want to know who’s going to throw for 400 yards and who’s going to win by two touchdowns. We’ve been afraid for so many years to identify that and say that. Gambling is legal in New Jersey and will be soon in New York.”