View Full Version : Governor Paterson Not Ready For Prime Time

03-29-2011, 01:42
The moment I read former New York State Governor David Paterson would be hosting his own show on WFAN sports talk radio, I knew without a doubt it was an absolute listen to.

Tuning into AM 66, Monday, I was excited to see how he would be able to handle the 10pm to 1am slot alone, that WFAN had him scheduled for. Unfortunately 3 hours was more than enough time to show that the Governor was not ready for prime time radio.

Having heard him as a guest host with Mike Francesa, Steve Sommers and Tony Paige the Governor shined in all three shows. He was both knowledgeable and witty and clearly showed he enjoyed the banter of sports talk radio. As a co-host he recounted many wonderful stories, and memories from his time as a youth, as well as his many years of being a die hard Mets and Knicks fan. Left alone in the booth the governor clearly showed that while he possessed vast sports knowledge, it could not help him over come his lack of timing and his monotone delivery.

Serving as the New York State Governor and also his many years in politics provided Mr. Paterson with years of experience, in both radio and television, but none-the-less I am sure he was still nervous, as any of us would be hosting their first radio show alone. Having been on WFAN as both a co-host as well as calling in from time to time as "Dave from Harlem" the problems he had tonight, went far beyond just having a case of the butterflies. I had hoped the many stutters, stops and starts would smooth out over the course of the three hours, but the choppiness that was clearly noticeable at the start of the show, was still evident as 1am approached.

Governor Paterson had an extremely difficult time transitioning into the stations scheduled breaks. Whether it was a guest, caller or his opening monologue, the governor could not seamlessly move the show into these 20/20 scoring updates.

Callers seemed to give Governor Paterson the biggest problems throughout the night. All host know they need to control the callers who were on air, when these 20 minute scheduled updates were approaching. Some callers can be long winded or fail to get to their point quickly, at some point an experienced host would break in at just the right moment and say "Sorry Tom I have to get to a break, but thanks for the call" then go on to answer the callers question before smoothly ending with "And here now, with the 20/20 update is Harris Allen". Paterson with his double worded sentences, with lots of ah's and um's sprinkled in, made a typical lead in read something like "I um have to go to the update now, and ah here with the 20/20 update is um Harris Allen"

One of the other major problems with the Governors show, was his flat monotone style. Every word seemed to have the same inflection, and this style made for boring talk radio. Again, experienced hosts will let emotion's not only enter the conversation, but add to the overall show in general. Many times throughout a normal show the host will let the listeners know by tone alone, if he was upset, annoyed, happy or excited, the Governors words were both toneless and emotionless, as if everything he was saying was written on a card and he was just reading words, that had no meaning to them.

One caller in particular started talking about betting in pro sports. He cited the St. John's vs Rutgers game during this years Big East Tournament and implied that the referees that were working the game and the ineptitude they shown as that game ended, proved that the game was fixed. An experience host, like Adam "The Bull" would instantly break in stopping the callers unfounded accusations and telling him "Sorry Bruce you're wrong, while the refs were incompetent in that game, you can't get on the air saying the game was fixed", but the Governor lacking the experience needed, let the caller ramble on with his conspiracy theories until stumbling into the break.

The Governor did an adequate job with the two guest he had on, but still made some major errors none-the-less. The first interview of the night with NY Mets pitcher Chris Young was going smoothly, but towards the end of the conversation, Governor Paterson referenced a "Wonderful" thesis that evidently Young had written in college. The Governor only a few moments later, informed us "I haven't read it yet, but I hope to do so soon." It lead to the first question of "How would the Governor know it was wonderful?" and secondly it really wasn't necessary to even inform the listeners that he had never read it. Yes, it was honest of him, but a simple "As many of you know Jackie Robinson was a special hero of mine, Chris I know you wrote your college thesis on him can you tell us something about that paper?"

Since the Governor was not going to ask any specific questions, the listeners knowing that he had read or has not read the paper did not come into play. The second guest he had on was Len Elmore from TBS sports, The interview went smoothly until Paterson realized he let Elmore talk a few minutes too long. The Governor hurriedly thanked Elmore for taking the time to call in, before sending it over to the now late 20/20 update, something a more seasoned host would never allow to happen.

As the lone host Governor Paterson clearly showed he was not well suited to the task. He is much better off as co-host, with an experienced person guiding him as well as the flow of the show. With someone who understands that you need a lot more than knowledge itself to have a successful show, the Governor would be much more enjoyable.

Some reporters will point out little mistakes like Paterson saying Babe Ruth only hit 713 home runs instead of the correct 714, or calling Jeff Francoeur, "John". These are silly mistakes that regular host's make all the time, but since no one is analyzing every word, these little errors go unnoticed. Tonight with reporters listening, these silly little errors will turn into cannon fodder for critics who for whatever reason does not like WFAN or Governor Paterson. These errors are not news worthy, nor should they be looked upon when analyzing the mans performance or on how his show would ultimately be judged.

I admire David Paterson very much, but simply put, "Dave from Harlem" needs another seasoned host by his side, who can hold his hand and guide him through both the calls and the many station breaks smoothly without the choppiness the Governor fought with during his 3 hour set.

WFAN has many fine hosts that can not get air time now, due to their limited available hours. pairing these host up with the Governor would be a fantastic idea and something WFAN should be excited to explore.

Written by Dominick Mezzapesa
WFAN Caller Dominick from Hicksville
email mezz1962@optonline.net
Twitter @dmezz1120

03-29-2011, 05:08
Don't blame the Governor.

Blame FAN for putting him in a position to fail. He should have had a co-host helped him out.

He should have gone through some experience. This was nothing more than a publicity stunt, and it was a disaster.

The Boss
03-29-2011, 09:15
I didn't realize he co-hosted with Tony Paige and Steve Somers, when did that happen? I thought he was good on air when he was in with Francesa a few months ago, but this time he fumbled a lot. I agree that he should be someone co-host. Maybe we will here him more during the holidays when vacations are taking place