Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mac Man deserves better than 950


By Jared Trexler
The Phanatic Magazine

Do me a favor, SR (ahem, ESPN) 950. Get a clue.

And when you get one of those, do me another favor (I know, I know. It is a lot to ask during the famed Friday afternoon drive time hour). Release Jody Mac from his misery. Afford him the opportunity to reunite with Glen Macnow to form an older, wiser version of "Mac & Mac Middays", a Philadelphia sports fan's wet dream for knowledgeable commentary and the perfect temperature of arrogance and intellect.

You see, arrogance isn't necessarily a bad thing in small doses. It isn't smart radio in the detriment of intelligent, informed commentary, but an edge is never a bad trait in radio. It drives (pisses off) callers, which in turn boosts rating and consequently breaks the bank on an advertising windfall.

Glen Macnow is an ornery old man. Jody Mac is a happy-go-lucky sports junkie. Together they mixed arrogance and intellect. They had the ability to tell a caller how ridiculous he or she was while making a coherent case at the same time.

SR 950 never understood (and still doesn't grasp) that this mix is possible. Instead, they have been hell bent on offering "an alternative" to radio waves juggernaut WIP.

And what an alternative they have provided. There is nothing like listening to a former New York pro athlete, a solid sports writer masquerading as a radio host and "Meredith" laugh, snort and giggle for three hours every morning. What was the Philadelphia connection? Ah yes, "Meredith" played collegiate volleyball at La Salle.

After listening to stories of side bets and Burger King masks for three hours, one has to wonder how the Phillies middle relief sets up to start the season. If I wanted to be strictly entertained in the morning, I would turn the dial to 102.1 and listen to Booker spout off about his relationship with cop-lover and Rich Eisen-worshipper Alycia Lane.

But at 950, it gets better. The management was too cheap to bridge the morning show mess and the mid-day crew, so they let Philly-bred Tony Bruno broadcast live from some Los Angeles golf Pro-Am then broadcast Dan Patrick talk about his old Sports Center days.

Total time discussing the revamped Eagles secondary from 9-12? Five, 10 minutes if you were lucky.

But at 950, it gets better. Harry Mayes -- a solid radio pro with bold opinions and an easy voice - - was teamed with the scum of the airwaves Jamie Yannacone -- a man more worried about stuffing his face with free food than taking a single glance at Donovan McNabb's stats (because obviously Donovan was horrible no matter how he played).

How Yannacone got the job is beyond me. Actually, strike that. He was cheap, perhaps even free on days the mid-day crew worked on location with the best free spread in the business. At least then, Yannacone wouldn't have to cook dinner in his mother's basement or wake up hungover and apologize to listeners for not being his jovial, bordering on ridiculous self.

Jody Mac's lead-in led many viewers to the cliff. The show following the Mac Man was largely a collection of radio misfits. Other than one solid voice, the cast included a bakery owner. A New York Yankees slugger. And a partridge and a pear tree.

Overnight? Forget it. Paying $12 or $13 bucks an hour to a hungry young sportscaster right out of Newhouse wasn't cost effective. Let's ship it out to Fox Sports Radio.

Management is getting out of it what they put in. Not a whole hell of a lot. The grand plan to surround a pro like Jody Mac with such a laughable bunch screams penny pincher, and while the move to ESPN has its pluses, it is too little, too late.

Mike Missanelli is very good at what he does, and he will team with Jody Mac to form an improvement in the mid-days and drive time. But shipping the ever-important Morning Show to national syndication is waving the red flag to loud-mouth Angelo Cataldi, who is ever vulnerable as he becomes louder and more idiotic in his views on a daily basis.

SR (ahem, ESPN) 950 also has mailed in the ever-important 1-3 time slot to Mike Tirico, another national name with no Philadelphia perspective. The bridge from the station's two top voices is the host of Monday Night Football. Good lord.

It truly is a shame. SR 950 could have been something, if only for competent leadership led by station manager Bob DeBlois. Philadelphia sports fans were dying for an alternative, and you gave us one.

Too bad it was the wrong one.
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Jared Trexler can be reached at jtt128@comcast.net. He listens to SR 950 on a daily basis. And hates WIP. So this commentary is sad.

1 comment:

GHOSTPHAYCE said...

I liked the morning show with Michael Bradley, Glenn Foley, and Meredith. I thought it was entertaining and Foley was hilarious. Yannacone was a little bit amateur, but he was funny too. I enjoyed the SR 950 line up. I don't need 2 hours of coverage on the Eagles secondary. Just make the show fun to listen to, and thats what they did.