New York Yankees Radio Network
The New York Yankees Radio Network is a CBS-owned broadcast radio network that broadcasts New York Yankees baseball games to 52 stations across 14 states. The network's flagship station is WFAN, which succeeded sister station WCBS as the flagship in 2014; WCBS had aired Yankees broadcasts since the network was founded in 2002 while WFAN had been the flagship station for the Yankees' crosstown rivals, the New York Mets, since the station's founding. (In a rare move, WFAN carried the live broadcast of the Yankees day/night doubleheader at the Baltimore Orioles on August 28, 2011, so WCBS could remain within its usual news format for live, continuing coverage of Hurricane Irene.) The full on-air name of the broadcasts is the WFAN Yankees Radio Network Driven by Jeep, with the Chrysler LLC subsidiary continuing its sponsorship of the network while games are broadcast from the "Sunoco broadcast booth".
The YES Network provides some technical support for each broadcast, and XM Satellite Radio carries the network's feed for every home game the Yankees play as per their contract. A separate, Spanish-language broadcast airs on New York's WADO, 1280 AM.
The Yankees formed their own radio network in 2002 after WCBS outbid longtime Yankees home WABC for the rights.
- 1 Broadcasters
- 2 Format
- 3 Affiliate stations
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Since 2005, John Sterling (play-by-play) and Suzyn Waldman (color commentary) have been the Yankees Radio Network broadcast team. Waldman is currently the first and (so far) only woman to hold a full-time position with a major league team, and had previously served as a Yankees beat reporter for the YES Network before moving to the broadcast booth. Waldman was also one of the original personalities at WFAN upon its 1987 launch, where she served as a studio host for various teams (including the New York Knicks, for whom she hosted the pregame show) and also was the station's Yankees beat reporter.
Sterling joined the Yankees in 1989 (or more accurately rejoined; he had previously done work for the Yankees in the 1970s) after calling games for Turner Sports for the previous decade and has been at the mic for every Yankee game since, having never missed one game in his 25+ years as Yankees play-by-play man. Prior to the Yankee broadcasts moving from WABC to WCBS, Sterling worked with Jay Johnstone, Joe Angel, and Michael Kay. He is widely known (and perhaps infamous) for his home run calls, which often involve one of his player nicknames or catchphrases and for saying Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeee Yankees win! after a Yankee victory. Sterling will often stretch out "the" for dramatic victories as well as say "Yankees win" in a more excited voice. (Naturally then, if the team loses, Sterling will end with a more subdued Ballgame over, (opposing team) wins)
The network uses the instrumental version of "Here Come the Yankees" as its theme song, and highlights from past games/years are dubbed over it for game opens.
For the inaugural season of the Yankees Radio Network, the team continued the longstanding tradition carried on by WABC, WINS, and other Yankee flagship stations by having a two-man booth where both broadcasters would share play-by-play duties during the game. Because 2002 was also the first season of the YES Network and Michael Kay was called upon to be the team's new lead television voice, the Yankees decided to replace him with longtime ESPN SportsCenter anchor Charley Steiner, who was no stranger to calling baseball on the radio (having been ESPN Radio's lead baseball voice for the previous four seasons) nor to New York sports (having covered New York sports on radio for almost a decade and serving as the voice of both the New Jersey Generals and the New York Jets football teams). The duo worked together for three seasons, with perhaps their most notable call being Steiner's call of Aaron Boone's 2003 American League Championship Series-winning home run.
The Sterling-Steiner partnership lasted until the end of the 2004 season, with their final game together being Game 7 of that year's American League Championship Series that the Yankees lost to become the first team in Major League Baseball history to lose a series they led 3-0. After that season, to make room for Suzyn Waldman's move to the broadcast booth, Steiner was to become the YES Network's studio host for Yankee games as well as for its coverage of the then-New Jersey Nets, a spot that opened after Fred Hickman left YES for ESPN. This did not come to pass, however, as Steiner elected to go west and replace the fired Ross Porter at the Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network.
The broadcast begins with the pregame show, which begins approximately forty minutes prior to first pitch and runs for approximately twenty-five minutes. It is sponsored by BMW's New York dealer network, and the proper name for the show is the "Tri-State BMW Pregame Show". Sterling opens the broadcast by introducing himself, Waldman, and his producer, then leads into the Manager's Show. This portion of the show features an interview by Waldman with Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Sterling then follows with Diamond Notes, relaying news from around the league. The Leadoff Spot feature is next, with Waldman usually talking to a member of the opposing team.
In the opposing half of the fifth inning, a reporter from one of the New York newspapers has joined the broadcast booth to offer some insight on team business. For many years, the reporter was the beat writer from the New York Daily News and the half-inning was known as the Daily News Fifth. Beginning in 2014 the fifth inning segment is called Post Time and a reporter from the New York Post joins the booth.
For the last inning or so, depending on how long the game continues, Sterling will announce the game by himself so Waldman can get a head start on her postgame duties. After the game ends Waldman will choose a player for her "Star of the Game" interview and then head into the clubhouse. Beginning in 2014, the Star of the Game segment is featured after every game; it previously was only featured if the Yankees won the game. Regardless of whether the Yankees win or not, after the final out (and the proceedings to follow), Sterling returns from one last commercial break with the totals and the winning and losing pitchers and closes the broadcast.
After another commercial break the postgame show begins, with Sweeny Murti hosting. The program starts with a recap of the game, with highlights interspersed where necessary. Included in the recap are the Drive of the Game, a home run or extra base hit that drove in multiple runs sponsored by Audi, the best defensive play of the game, and the play determined to be the turning point of the game. As has been the case for years, remembering the turning point of the game could win a fan a prize during the midday show the next morning; in 2014, the prize is a team watch and a pair of tickets to a future home game.
Waldman follows with the Clubhouse Report, relaying information from the postgame press conferences and interviews with players. This is followed by a rundown of scores from other MLB games from the evening and an update on the Yankees' minor league affiliates. An interview from the clubhouse is then played and after this, Murti reviews the next night's pitching matchup and game time and closes the broadcast.
The current affiliates are:
- 1380 AM WABH Bath
- 1430 AM WENE Binghamton
- 1410 AM WELM Elmira
- 1340 AM WENT Gloversville
- 1240 AM WJTN Jamestown (Weekend games only)
- 94.3 FM WKXP Kingston
- 1230 AM WIXT Little Falls
- 104.5 WTMM-FM Mechanicville/Albany/Schenectady
- 1420 AM WACK Newark
- 103.1 FM WJGK Newburgh (Associated with 96.7 FM WABT Lehman Township, Pennsylvania)
- 660 AM WFAN New York (flagship)
- 101.9 WFAN-FM New York (simulcast of WFAN)
- 1400 AM WSLB Ogdensburg
- 1340 AM WIRY Plattsburgh
- 1280 AM WHTK Rochester
- 1350 AM WRNY Rome
- 99.5/105.5 FM WTKW/WTKV Syracuse/Oswego
- 1160 AM WPIE Trumansburg/Ithaca/Elmira
- 1310 AM WTLB Utica
- 1410 AM WNER Watertown
- 96.7 FM WVTT Portville
- 97.3 FM WZAD Wurtsboro (Associated with 94.3 FM WKXP Kingston)
- 600 AM WICC Bridgeport
- 980/WXLM: Groton (New London market)
- 1410 AM WPOP Hartford
- 1240 AM WWCO Waterbury
- 97.9 FM WUCS Windsor Locks
- 1080 AM KOAN Anchorage
- 92.7 FM KASR Conway
- 1040 AM WHBO Tampa (Excluding games that conflict with Tampa Bay Rays games)
- 770 AM WJBX Estero/Fort Myers (Carries Marlins, Rays, & Red Sox as well)
- 640 AM WMEN West Palm Beach/Boca Raton
- 97.7 FM KOTM-FM Ottumwa
- 1270 AM WTSN Dover
- 630 AM WMFD Wilmington
- 790 AM WPRV Providence
- Wallace, Tim (2011-07-10). Two nations, over the air. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- "Hurricane Irene even affects radio broadcast, Yankees will be on WFAN 660 AM, the Mets station". Daily News (New York). August 28, 2011.
- Yankees Broadcasters' Biographies
- Yankees Radio Network Affiliate List