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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Mike Francesa, Chris Russo late to new media game

(Credit: Watchdog)

Mike Francesa is under contract with WFAN through 2013, which also is when the simulcast renewal with YES expires.

Will Francesa continue after that, or hang 'em up?

Click below for his thoughts on that, as well as his admission that he and Russo did a poor job of keeping up with new media technology, and why he wants to add a younger sensibility to the show moving forward.On whether he sees himself retiring after his contract expires in five years:

“You know, I’ll be serious for a second. I’ve had the best life anyone could have had here. I mean, I hit this thing at the right time. We hit this perfect. The right time, sports was still growing, everything was good. Right now we’re at a time when, who knows if that’s going to continue for a long time? FAN, the whole thing.

“We’ve had an incredible run here. I have five more years left on this deal. I have five years left on my simulcast deal. I expect to have a very good five years, I hope, and then I’ll make a decision. I’m not going to tell you today that I’m never going to work again, because I don’t want to take it back if I do. But I could see me in five years really pulling back. I’m not saying giving up everything, but maybe I’ll do a football show on the weekend because I love that. Maybe I do something for an hour during the week, couple of days. But I really see myself pulling back.

“I’ve worked very hard. I’ve worked a lot of hours and a lot of days. My Sundays are 18, 19 hours still at my age, which is 54 years old. I’m still working 19-hour Sundays. I have for 25 years during the football season. I mean, eventually I have to pull back a little bit, but not for a while. I love doing it. I really have loved doing it. This whole thing that’s gone on here has made me appreciate it even more.

“There are new challenges. We’re in a totally new world where it’s fascinating. We learn it every day. I’m a guy who grew up in the old system of sports television and now into sports radio and this whole world of ratings, ratings, ratings, ratings. And now ratings are taking a secondary place to application of content and secondary and tertiary use of content and broadband of all different content and how you place things and where you place it and how you reuse stuff. That’s becoming even more important than ratings.

“So we’re living in a very different world now than we’ve lived in before, a very challenging one from an advertising standpoint. You know that from your business. So it’s a very interesting time, a fascinating time. That’s why I love to have young guys around me because I think I learn from them. I know the sports but the technology I’m learning. For years I ignored it.

“I think if Dog and I did one thing badly, we really ignored the technology. We were so successful we totally ignored the technology and were not good at it. Now I think you have to be good at it. It’s to a point where you can’t ignore it. It’s there. You have to use a computer now. You can’t ignore it. The technology has attacked us in a way where you can’t ignore it. That’s why I like keeping the young guys around.

“Sal [Licata] and Eddie [Erickson] are young. Sal’s not even 30, Eddie’s in his mid-30s. Maybe one of the reasons I didn’t bring Joe [Benigno] in was I thought it might not be good to have someone in there who’s even older than me. Maybe that’s my trepidation, because Joe did really well. More it was a case of me wondering if that was the right feel for the show, if maybe I do need someone younger?

“I’m still hunting and pecking and looking and yes, yes, keep speculating, because I’m still looking. I promise. Ask Cherny. We’re still looking. We discussed a very interesting candidate yesterday, a fascinating candidate yesterday. Cherny had a gleam in his eye, I’ll tell you that.’’

Tags: mike francesa , chris russo , wfan , francesa and russo

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