Well, this is an interesting story to wake up to.
The Yankees and CBS Radio are close to a deal that would put the Yankees on WFAN starting in 2014, a person familiar with the negotiations told Newsday.
The arrangement would bump the Mets off the station that has carried their games since WFAN’s inception in 1987.
Lonn Trost, the Yankees’ chief operating officer, said Tuesday a deal for the team’s radio rights is “close,” but he would not confirm or deny that WFAN is the likely landing place.
This is actually big news and would be quite the shakeup for New York sports radio.
It is not clear where the Mets would land, but options include ESPN Radio and one or more of the New York stations — including WOR — owned by Clear Channel Communications, which earlier in the process made a serious bid for the Yankees’ rights.
All indications are that John Sterling would remain the team’s play-by-play man. Less certain is the status of his partner, Suzyn Waldman, but if the team gives its blessing they will continue the on-air partnership that began in 2005.
Of course Sterling would be safe — he’s not going anywhere anytime soon – but it would be entertaining to see who they’d replace Waldman with, if that were to happen.
The Yankees currently are carried by WCBS Radio, which like WFAN, is owned by CBS. The current one-year contract is believed to pay the team $13 to $14 million.
The Mets are believed to earn about half what the Yankees do in rights fees but have been a money-loser for WFAN, which inherited the team when it took over WHN’s 1050-AM signal in 1987. The Mets then moved down the dial with WFAN to 660-AM in 1988.
This deal is obviously not set in stone but if the Yankees do end up moving to WFAN, I wonder where the Mets will go. Since their Spanish broadcast is on 1050 ESPN it could mean that they could try and head over to ESPN 98.7 FM.
Guess, we’ll find out.
My question for you is: If the Yankees do move to WFAN and if they decide not to bring Waldman over, who would your choice be for Sterling’s new partner be?