Mike Francesa to Return to WFAN 4 Months After Leaving

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Mike Francesa is returning to WFAN four months after walking away from the popular sports talk radio station.

“It is time to return to WFAN,” he told Newsday on Tuesday.

The rest of Francesa’s words were pretty cryptic.

Also Read: Former WFAN Host Craig Carton Returns to Radio as Host of ‘Carton & Friends’

Francesa told Newsday that he has been working on a project with agency CAA for months, and that he “will do everything to work WFAN into an integral part of the project.”

“This is for those who started this campaign in recent days. I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back,” Francesa told Newsday. “For those behind it, that was the moment I decided to return.”

CAA did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: Craig Carton Arrest Fallout: Mike Francesa Has Been ‘Unbelievable’ Off-Mic, Boomer Says (Video)

The New York Post reports that Francesa, who anchored 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the station for decades, will host from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

WFAN declined to comment to TheWrap.

The trailblazing sports radio host, who long co-hosted his afternoon show with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, dominated the ratings for two decades before signing off in December.

Also Read: Facebook Finally Reveals How It Bans Content

Since his “retirement,” Francesa has appeared on the Bill Simmons Podcast and teased he’d potentially wind up elsewhere, but those plans appear to have never come to fruition. His return to WFAN would come after he received a year-long sendoff, coinciding with the release of a “30 for 30” documentary on ESPN.

The “Sports Pope” had been sharing his takes from his radio throne at WFAN since 1987, building an audience that tunes in waiting for one of his trademark rants. For those unfamiliar with the New York sports radio scene, @BackAftaThis on Twitter has chronicled Francesa’s biggest blowups, including the clip below:

???? The #4 Mike Francesa Moment of the Year

Mike destroys Penn State coach James Franklin two days in a row after he finds out that the coach iced Georgia State’s kicker with time running out, in order to preserve a 56-0 victory. pic.twitter.com/vylgVjSoGM

— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) December 12, 2017

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Mike Francesa to Leave WFAN

Martina Navratilova Says John McEnroe Makes 10 Times as Much as Her for Wimbledon TV Gig

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Martina Navratilova says John McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, was paid at least “10 times more” than she was for their Wimbledon commentating roles.

Navratilova said she makes £15,000 ($21,000) covering Wimbledon, while McEnroe makes “at least £150,000 ($210,000),” she said.

“Unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon, he’s getting at least 10 times as much money as I am for very comparable work,” Navratilova said to BBC Panorama.

Also Read: ‘Borg/McEnroe’ Toronto Review: Shia LaBeouf Tennis Movie Mixes Backhands With Psychoanalysis

And she’s “not happy” about that. Navratilova knows this is just a two-week gig for her, but extrapolate that for women working full-time for the BBC, and she’s “angry.”

“It’s extremely unfair and it makes me angry for the other women that I think go through this,” Navratilova said.

The BBC did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for its statement on McEnroe’s pay versus Navratilova’s. However, on the BBC News website, the company says the two commentators are on different contracts and that Navratilova appears less than McEnroe does.

Also Read: Shia LaBeouf Surprises by Channeling Borg, Not McEnroe, at Toronto Press Conference

“Ten times as much? I don’t think so,” Navratilova said in response.

“John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment,” BBC Sports said in a statement to the New York Post. “They are simply not comparable. John’s pay reflects all of this; gender isn’t a factor.”

According to the New York Post, Navratilova made 10 appearances for the BBC at last year’s tournament, while McEnroe made 30. Both McEnroe and Navratilova retired from professional tennis in 2006. McEnroe earned between $210,000 and $281,000 when the BBC revealed the top salaries of players last year.

Watch the video here. The interview airs tonight on BBC One as part of an investigation into the gender pay gap in Britain.

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Anthony Scaramucci Torches NY Post Gossip Queen: ‘Living Off of Others People’s Pain’

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Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci served up some late night Twitter fire, ripping New York Post gossip queen Emily Smith and her infamous tabloid team at Page Six.

“Ugliest person there is on the inside. A person with no morals or journalistic standards,” Scaramucci tweeted late Thursday evening, along with a grainy image of Smith. “Living off of others [sic] people’s pain. @PageSixEmily beware! She will stop at nothing to hurt innocents. Especially your children.”

Ugliest person there is on the inside. A person with no morals or journalistic standards. Living off of others people’s pain. @PageSixEmily beware! She will stop at nothing to hurt innocents. Especially your children. pic.twitter.com/SijSowY3pN

— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 16, 2018

“The face of a vicious lowlife animal trying to destroy my family. @OriginalFresca @PageSixEmily it’s time to fight back,”  he added, throwing in Page Six writer Francesca Bacardi. “@PageSixEmily @OriginalFresca enjoy family break ups and children having to be raised separately and Co-parented. It must be miserable.”

Also Read: Scaramucci Slams John Kelly Over Handling of White House Officials ‘Smacking Up Their Wives’

The face of a vicious lowlife animal trying to destroy my family. @OriginalFresca @PageSixEmily it’s time to fight back. pic.twitter.com/EyA9waUEYf

— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 16, 2018

.@PageSixEmily @OriginalFresca enjoy family break ups and children having to be raised separately and Co-parented. It must be miserable.

— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 15, 2018

The Mooch’s ire was likely stirred by Page Six revelations that he had been in “an ‘intimate’ conversation Thursday” with Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle. In the past, the column has reported on speculation of an affair between Scaramucci and Guilfoyle amid marital problems between Scaramucci and his wife Deidre Ball.

In an interview earlier in the day, Scaramucci told TheWrap that he was trying to repair his marriage after initially filing for divorce last summer.

Trump is known to regularly read the New York Post and once regularly graced its gossip pages decades ago.

The Mooch versus Page Six flap got so intense that it generated a side spat between Scaramucci and Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera.

“Be cool @Scaramucci Thick hide is the mark of a true tough guy,” said Rivera, a noted tough guy himself.

Be cool @Scaramucci Thick hide is the mark of a true tough guy

– Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 16, 2018

Scaramucci wasn’t listening to Rivera’s advice.

“I am not a tough guy Geraldo. There is a line and that animal crossed it.”

I am not a tough guy Geraldo. There is a line and that animal crossed it. https://t.co/IlmHrDXiZP

— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 16, 2018

“Yikes bro she’s doing her job. She works for #PageSix not #Fortune,” Geraldo shot back.

Yikes bro she’s doing her job. She works for #PageSix not #Fortune

– Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 16, 2018

“She isn’t doing her job. Get you compass back together. That is complete utter clickbait nonsensical trash,” Scaramucci responded.

She isn’t doing her job. Get you compass back together. That is complete utter clickbait nonsensical trash. https://t.co/goN7zTv22M

— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) March 16, 2018

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Trump’s Favorite Tabloid Demands Gun Control From Him After Florida Shooting

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The cover of the New York Post offered a blunt message for President Donald Trump on Friday.

“Mr. President, please act,” the tabloid blared in very large letters. “We need sensible gun control to help stop the slaughter.”

Also Read: Mother of High School Shooting Victim to Trump: ‘Do Something! (Video)

The president’s favorite paper pic.twitter.com/3mfM2O6PtJ

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 16, 2018

The paper is a prized possession of Rupert Murdoch, whose affiliated companies controls Fox News — widely reported as the president’s oft-watched channel. The paper is also a known favorite of Trump’s, going back to his time as a real estate magnate in New York City.

Inside, the full editorial board inveighed against the president, saying his current actions to stem gun violence have been insufficient and that he needed to use his credibility with the NRA and gun rights advocates for a “Nixon in China” moment.

“You need to get behind some steps that can help rein in these endless nightmares. No, not end them altogether — but at least to limit the toll and reduce the frequency,” said the editorial board. “Mr. President, this is your moment. You can keep your promises to the kids and the parents and honor your offer to do “whatever we can do.”

The Post editorial also came with a number of specific policy changes they urged Trump to push, including, reinstitution of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, a ban on bump stocks and raising the age what which it is legal to purchase weapons.

“It’s time, Mr. President, to do something,” the paper concluded. “America is waiting on you.”

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Mother of High School Shooting Victim to Trump: ‘Do Something! (Video)

Fox Television Stations Renew ‘Page Six TV’ Through 2018-2019 Season

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Page Six TV, a freshman daily show that has quickly asserted itself as a syndicated hit, has been renewed by Fox Television Stations through the 2018-2019 season.
The show, which offers a pop-culture mix tied into the New York Post‘s gossip column, is produced by Endemol Shine North America and distributed by Twentieth Television. Launched in September, it is cleared in more than 98% of the country for its first season. It is shown on 16 Fox stations, including in key…

Starz Dropped by Altice USA As Negotiations Fail Over New Licensing Deal

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The Starz premium cable channel was dropped by Altice USA after the two sides failed to reach an agreement for a new carriage deal by the deadline of midnight on December 31.

The cable network put out the following statement:

As of midnight December 31, 2017, Altice USA will no longer carry Starz or StarzEncore programming directly. Despite numerous attempts by Altice USA to reach a deal with Starz for continued carriage in video packages and a la carte carriage, Starz refused all offers, including an offer to extend our current arrangement. “

Starz took out ads in Saturday’s New York Times and New York Post, warning its 4.9 million subscribers across 21 states — much of which serves African-American, Hispanic, women and LGBTQ viewers — of possible blackout come midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Altice is a Netherlands-based multinational telecoms company, founded and headed by the Moroccan-born Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, and the second largest telecoms company in France, behind Orange. It acquired Cablevision in 2016.

Here’s the full Altice statement:

As of midnight December 31, 2017, Altice USA will no longer carry Starz or StarzEncore programming directly. Despite numerous attempts by Altice USA to reach a deal with Starz for continued carriage in video packages and a la carte carriage, Starz refused all offers, including an offer to extend our current arrangement. 

Altice USA provided the following comment:

“We are focused on providing the best content experience for our customers and continually evaluate which channels meet their needs and preferences relative to the cost of the programming imposed by content owners. Given that Starz is available to all consumers directly through Starz’ own over-the-top streaming service, we don’t believe it makes sense to charge all of our customers for Starz programming, particularly when their viewership is declining and the majority of our customers don’t watch Starz. We believe it is in the best interest of all our customers to replace Starz and StarzEncore programming with alternative entertainment channels that will provide a robust content experience at a great value.”

Starz is available to all consumers directly through Starz’ own OTT streaming service, and any broadband customer who wants to watch Starz programming can continue to do so by subscribing. For more information, customers can visit Optimum.net/starz

No Optimum or Suddenlink consumer will lose access to Starz since they can subscribe directly with Starz for the service but we are also providing replacement content and programming options for our customers: 

?-? We are launching replacement channels for customers who previously received Starz / StarzEncore as part of a video package. Channels include Hallmark Drama, Sony Movies, MGM HD, HD Net Movies, Flixand Cowboy Channel. Certain customers will also receive a complimentary subscription to TMC.

?-? Customers who previously purchased Starz a la carte will have the option to receive another Premium service or they can purchase the Starz OTT service directly through Starz (for less than what we would be able to charge if we agreed to their terms and demands). 

Background Details on Negotiations:

Since our last contract renewal, Starz began offering a direct to consumer streaming service for $8.99 per month. Given that Starz is available direct to consumer through their subscription service, we have been actively negotiating to reach a deal that makes sense for all our customers, and made numerous offers of increasing value and partnership structures.

Starz wanted an all or nothing-type deal and their insistence on terms would force us to charge customers more than what the Starz OTT product costs — that would not make sense for our customers. Given the limited viewership of Starz amongst our customer base and that consumers can get Starz directly, we believe this approach is in the best interest of all of our customers who otherwise would have seen an impact on prices due to Starz’ demands.

 

We have simply been seeking to do what Starz itself is doing: support a Starz a la carte product, whether through our sales channels or through their OTT service.

We have reached more than two dozen agreements over the last few months that reflect the company’s commitment to both negotiate fairly and keep costs down for customers. In addition to offers to maintain packaged distribution, we proposed extending our a la carte deal in Suddenlink to include Optimum and Starz refused – this despite the fact that Starz has a la carte only deals with other distributors. We also offered to help sell the Starz OTT service to our broadband customers and they refused. We also offered to extend our current agreements.

Jim Burns, ‘MTV Unplugged’ Co-Creator, Dies at 65

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Jim Burns, the co-creator of the acoustic performance series show “MTV Unplugged,” has died, according to multiple reports, including Billboard. He was 65.

Burns had been hospitalized since Saturday, after he was struck by a yellow taxi cab while walking his dog on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, according to the New York Post.

Burns was taken to New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center in critical condition. That afternoon, an individual told the publication that Burns died.

Also Read: Shawn Mendes Kicks Off MTV’s ‘Unplugged’ Reboot

“Unplugged” ran regularly from 1989 to 1999, spotlighting artists such as Nirvana, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton. Each episode, which ran for about an hour, let popular musicians play their hits with acoustic instruments. It’s also less of a concert and more of a jam session, providing a small space for the artists to play.

Since the ’90s, the show has aired other specials. Some of the most memorable include an emotional 2002 Lauryn Hill episode, an Adam Lambert special in 2010 and a Miley Cyrus special in 2014.

Last September, “MTV Unplugged” made a comeback and featured multi-platinum singer and songwriter Shawn Mendes.

“MTV revolutionized the performance storytelling space when it launched ‘MTV Unplugged’ almost 30 years ago,” said Amani Duncan, senior vice president of music at MTV. “The ‘Unplugged’ Series allows artists to reimagine their songs in an intimate and acoustic medium, giving their fans a new perspective on their favorite hits.

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