Friday, August 15, 2008

OUR EXCLUSIVE WITH NEIL BEST, THE MAN WHO BROKE THE STORY

Neil Best was the first to break the story of the breakup of Mike and Chris and he weathered all the doubters, inlcuding me and was proven right. He has been nice enough to not hold our doubts of him against us and responded to our questions. His comments on how WFAN sees Mike and Chris in terms of their value to the station are very interesting. Also pay attention to his prediction on what will happen to Chris.

What were the reactions of mike and chris when you first called them several months ago?

NEIL BEST: They were not thrilled, since Mike was on vacation, Chris was at the pool with his kids and Mark was at his stepson's wedding. I still feel bad about all that. Chris seemed particularly shocked, but he in fairness he was trying to keep one of his kids from drowning at the time!

MMB: Throughout the past several months you had posted thoughts that either mike or chris would leave. Why in the end do you think chris left?

NEIL BEST: Mike never wanted to leave, apparently. I guess Chris saw that if he wanted to strike out on his own, his best bet was to be the one to leave, and it helped that Sirius was offering him huge money.

MMB: How much are we to believe of russo talking about 'the new challenge' as his reason to leave?

NEIL BEST: I think that is a big part of it, but I think part of the challenge also is being able to shape his own show away from Mike.

MMB: Mike and chris seem to be downplaying their relationship issues as the reason for the split, what are your thoughts on this?

NEIL BEST: I do not think they hate each other. I do think professionally they had grown tired of each other and were ready to move on separately.

MMB: From our perspective it looks like chris may have lost out on a power play with chernoff and mike. Thoughts?

NEIL BEST: I do think the station views Mike as the more indispensable of the two guys, so in that sense this illustrates Mike's power. But I would not call it a "power play." Chris was ready to leave.

MMB: Any early news about the new show with mike?

NEIL BEST: Not really. Other than what Mike has said. He won't go it alone, but he won't have an official "partner." He'll have a supporting cast.

MMB: What do you think happens to russo if he does go to sirius?

NEIL BEST: He will make a lot of money, do some interesting radio, and for most of us will fade into relative obscurity.

MMB: In the end what is the legacy of the mike and the mad dog radio show?

NEIL BEST: They pioneered the sports talk partnership model, the radio row concept at the Super Bowl and numerous other aspects of the business. They had a lot of influence over New York fans and even teams. And they played a big part in many people's lives for many years.

MMB: Any final "I told you so" comments for bloggers like us who doubted you?

NEIL BEST: No.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent exclusive!!!

This entire story/day just seems to upset me more!

I think it's obvious to everyone that a "power play" was involved and Mike won.

I also realize that Mad Dog will make a lot of money but I do fear that he will fade into "relative obscurity" and that comes on the heels of Howard Stern and Imus-- either you have Sirius or you don't, plus if Doggie has a national show it may not have the same impact?

This is a real life slap in the face story--- Money is great yet often life is'nt always fair!

How I wish Chris had a farewell show next Friday at Bar "A"-- lots of guests could be lined up(a possible Bruce appearance?)and a true "Jersey Shore" send off--- He deserves at least that!!!!! His 5 minute call does'nt do 19 years of passion justice!!!

Unfortunately--- that is what corporate america has come down too. Mike already nixed the Bar A scenario--- he wants to audition new partners there?

Good Luck Mad Dog!

JD

bigjf said...

Does Neil read the blog? I wonder what he'll do with his life now that he doesn't have those two together. My guess is he'll continue to report on both of them separately, like you guys, and for some reason he gets paid for it! Maybe you should check into that.

lt sam weinberg said...

bigjf, we would accept any money you would want to give us for blogging. we promise to send you a thank you card and everything. we will continue to follow both of them. Neil Best covers sports media as a whole but this was i would have to think his biggest scoop.