For the past three years and counting, New York Mets players have not appeared on WFAN in New York, unless it was part of a paid appearance by a company to pitch a product. Given the team’s challenges of selling tickets, and bringing eyes and ears to their broadcasts, it’s certainly a curious decision.
In the New York Daily News, WFAN Programming boss Mark Chernoff says that the radio station would still like to bring Mets players, and executives on the air, but Mets COO Jeff Wilpon has told him that WOR (The Mets’ flagship station) doesn’t want players appearing on WFAN. The two stations do have enough of a relationship to use each other’s audio highlights.
As the Daily News points out, it is interesting that the Mets wouldn’t get more involved to make sure their organization was promoted in the best way possible. The team spent twenty years in a radio rights relationship with FAN, and are well aware of the station’s muscle with New York sports radio listeners.
Is the decision due to WFAN electing to drop the Mets in favor of carrying the New York Yankees? Possibly. Last week, Mike Francesa suggested the Mets should have already gotten over any “bad feeling” they had toward the radio station. He claimed two years earlier that the Mets organization were a bunch of “jackasses,” and that the radio station had lost money because the team stunk for the past decade.
Despite the damaged relationship, it’d make sense for both sides to cooperate with one another. The Mets aren’t going to receive promotion during the day from their flagship station since WOR airs Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and neither focus their programming on sports. WFAN meanwhile has the ability to sell the team’s stars to local fans, and help the franchise sell more tickets, and merchandise, and generate more ratings for their play by play.
The real question is, are the Mets wise enough to brush personal feelings aside to do what’s best for business. Or is hurting WFAN and limiting the team’s exposure worth it to send a broader message to CBS New York management.