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YES — Kay In, Francesa Out

Changes afoot in NYC radio-on-TV world

Though this mostly a TV story, some of us freezing on the East Coast are in need of a warm thought, and baseball can do that …

The YES Network, the TV home network for the New York Yankees (along with the Brooklyn Nets), has announced that it will start simulcasting WEPN(FM)’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Feb. 3. WEPN is an ESPN Radio affiliate. Kay is also the play-by-play announcer for New York Yankees broadcasts, so expect the show to be baseball-heavy. Strike that, New York Yankees baseball-heavy.

Kay said of the simulcast, “While it is still predominantly a radio show, I don’t think you should ignore the camera in the room and we are going to have fun with that.”

The show is a late afternoon–early evening, 3–7 p.m. show with co-host Don LaGreca. It replaces “The Mike Francesa Show.” Francesa is an original YES Network simulcast host (originating from WFAN-AM/FM). His YES time began with Chris Russo 12 years ago, when YES started.

And anyone who stumbles upon YES on cable outside of the New York area can usually (repeatedly) see Francesa or “The Best of Francesa” substituted for actual Yankees games.

The move has not gone unnoticed. Newsday’s Neil Best had some interesting points in an article on the change, one of which was: “YES is believed to be paying about $600,000 per year for Kay’s show, significantly less than what it had been spending on Francesa’s show.”