View Full Version : Gregg Sussman - This generations Mike Francesa

06-01-2011, 01:42
I have written many articles on www.66wfan.net, but rarely do I write praising a specific person, or radio program, in fact there have been only two of these types of articles. The first was Adam "The Bull", and the second was about www.puregoldpg.com. With the start of WFAN Phenom Fantasy 2 upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time for the tri-fecta, and write about one of my other favorite host's Gregg Sussman, winner of the inaugural Phenom Fantasy Contest.

The only reason I even write articles like these is to point out that this person, or website, is worthwhile to spend a little time on. With Adam "The Bull" I wanted both listeners, and WFAN to understand that "The Bull" was ready for prime time, and his on again, off again schedule was hurting the station. With www.puregoldpg.com they have a twice a week on-line radio program that if you were a listener of WFAN, then you would enjoy this program immensely as well.

Now, I would like to take a moment and write about a host that some of you may know, but more than likely many of you have not had the opportunity to listen to, his name is Gregg Sussman and he has the potential to be this generations Mike Francesa.

I am not sure what WFAN's intentions were when they came up with the idea of the "Fantasy Phenom” concept. It could easily just have been a promotional stunt to ride the coattails of the MTV reality craze, or they could have been actually looking for local talent that they would be able to nurture into a long time host. Whatever WFAN's motivation were, clearly they lucked into a talent that has earned more than just the winning prize of a one year, 2 hour weekly program. Gregg Sussman's limitless potential needs to be nurtured so WFAN's sports talk dominance in radio will continue for years to come.

WFAN's chief rival is ESPN, and one of the main arguments that radio critics use to show why ESPN will someday close the gap between these two powerhouse sport talk concepts is the fact that WFAN's hosts are too old to reach a younger audience. Anyone listening to ESPN's station can easily tell that they do indeed have younger hosts, but just as clearly two other more important details emerge that most critics fail to mention. WFAN's hosts are far and away more knowledgeable, and WFAN's focus for the most part is on New York sports teams.

Gregg Sussman reaches a far younger fan base than WFAN has when their older hosts are on. Sussman, if given the proper push, and a larger time frame will be able to develop a long-term loyal base with his younger audience. While he is young compared to some of the old warhorses at WFAN, he maintains the high knowledge standards that WFAN has been known for, and without the gimmicks that ESPN uses to mask their incompetent shows, and even more inept hosts.

Tune in any Saturday at 1am and to the older veteran listeners, you'll be transformed back to a time when WFAN was just starting to pioneer sports talk radio. WFAN introduced Mike Francesca to their listeners and every sports fans IQ immediately went up a few notches. Francesa was young, he was talented, and more importantly he was extremely knowledgeable. This combination made a powerful impact on young fans that before listening to Francesa actually thought they knew what they were talking about when it came to sports.

WFAN spent years nurturing Francesa's talent and with each subject discussed he kept building a loyal following that today has made Mike Francesa far and away the most popular, and the most powerful voice in sports talk radio worldwide. In 30 years these 20 year olds could be talking about Gregg Sussman as today's 50 year olds do about Francesa.

The problem I see with the older hosts is they do not understand today's knee-jerk reaction type fans. In today's computer age based sports fans, they get to see every game, they can pour over stats that the older fans when they were in their 20's could only dream of having. The old guard like Mike Francesa has no patience for these types of reactionary fans, because he cannot understand where they are coming from.

Most of Francesa's listeners have been loyal followers for the past 20 years, and Francesa has done a marvelous job of teaching them patience, so when a new caller rants about trading a guy who dropped an easy fly ball in last night's game, Francesa makes fun of him and hangs up. Gregg Sussman understands this caller, and he will talk him down off the ledge using today's terminology, knowing this fans rant was probably derived from playing a Madden 12 video game.

As Francesa once did for us, Gregg Sussman can do for all the under 30 sports fans again. He can train these newbie’s patience, and to look at the bigger picture. WFAN needs to start understanding that a host using Eminem as an opening song is a good thing. I can't imagine what a 19 year old driving with his friends is thinking when they hear the outdated, and completely last century type opening of Mike Francesa's theme song. To me it's just the type of song he has been using for the past 20 years, to a 19 year old, it's lame.

I can't envision what Francesa would do if a caller opened with "Hey Dude, about last night's game...." One thing for sure it would be hysterical to watch Mike’s face on his YES simulcast. If Gregg Sussman heard a young caller saying "Dude" he would understand it for what it is, and nothing else.

WFAN should without a doubt sign Sussman to a long term deal so they could explore his limitless potential. WFAN must be aware that their most popular talents like Benigno and Francesa are far closer to the end than they are from the beginning. Signing Sussman to a long-term contract, and along with their other stable of talents like Adam "the Bull", and Evan Roberts will assure WFAN of remaining on top of the sports talk radio pile for many years to come.

Put it this way Mike Francesa probably still thinks a "Tweet" is only what birds do...LOL

By Dominick Mezzapesa
twitter @dmezz1120
Email mezz1962@gmail.com
WFAN Caller : Dominick from Hicksville

06-01-2011, 09:36
WFAN has no rival. ESPN is a joke. Mike puts no effort into his show, none, ZERO, and he kills them.

06-01-2011, 09:51
First off, I loved reading your article the other day, second you are unique because you seem to be more involved in sports as far as commenting, and writing, so you would really enjoy Francesa a bit more than the normal 19 year old.

It's much too early to proclaim a Francesa successor, since Mike will still be on the job for years too come, but the point of the article was to make WFAN aware that Gregg reminds me (A long time listener) of a young Mike Francesa.

Evan is of course brilliant, but he already has his style down and format down, Gregg is more in the development stage of his career and it would take years to refine his own style of doing things. WFAN should take advantage of his talents and age.

As for you, I really enjoyed your writings, and I do hope you pursue this as your future because like Gregg you seem to have the talent to go far.

06-01-2011, 09:55
Dubinsky: I agree with you, that ESPN is a joke, but if you google ESPN vs WFAN then you'll see the only argument it seems that any writer can give points to ESPN is their youth, which of course is ridiculous only because their host's talk like a bunch of morons....Young morons LOL

Point is take in business even the slightest opening, is still an opening, so WFAN should address this youth issue. Right now Evan Roberts seems to be their only answer to the critics, Gregg Sussman would make an excellent addition to their lineup of great older host's

The Boss
06-01-2011, 09:58
How old is Sussman?

06-01-2011, 11:11
I think he is 24

06-01-2011, 11:13
Extremely funny. Francesa said on radio during a promo about the Phenom Fantasy 2 contest that he never met Gregg Sussman LOL



06-01-2011, 11:20
Can you send this photo to Francesa? I watched last year when he spoke with Greg. Francesa just cannot help himself, he cannot tell the truth for anything. As far as Greg is concerned I am not able to listen to him, but not many people know the young Mike Francesa so I think the comparasion will be lost on younger fans, as they only see the old nasty out of touch Francesa.

06-01-2011, 11:33
When Francesa was doing the promo for Phenom 2 he acted like he never heard of Gregg Sussman...EVER.

In fact it got me so upset about Francesa and carton acting like god's gift to radio and both of them disrespecting Sussman that I wrote an article about it. It's hilarious that so many people including carton and Francesa, say that what Wilpon said was correct, but he should not have thrown his people under the bus like that, you have to be more PC when dealing with people in your organization.

When i heard Francesa say "I never heard Gregg Sussman on the radio and I don't think I ever met the young man" I was shocked because I knew Francesa had indeed met him because of the contest, but I never had proof till now. Even if somehow he forgot sitting next to him, because clearly he is losing his memory, Mike could have been more polite to a fellow WFAN host.

He did not have to lie he could have said:
Everyone here at WFAN was proud of Gregg when he won the first Phenom contest. because believe me folks this is much harder than it looks"
"I don't get to listen to Gregg because he is on Saturday mornings 1am to 3am, but I heard he is doing a great job, and someone out there could be the next Phenom contest winner"

Sorry but Francesa at times could be a pompous, ingrate....On this occasion he acted like he was above such a contest, and somehow even promoting it was beneath him.

The Boss
06-01-2011, 11:40
I am pretty sure Francesa knows Gregg Sussman was on air with him... it's part of the contest. I didnt hear what you are talking about though. Maybe he misspoke.

Pure Gold
06-01-2011, 13:15
Francesa didn't even know his name the other day when he referenced it lol.

06-01-2011, 17:58
Hey Boss it's hard to "misspoke" when his exact words were:
"I never heard Gregg Sussman on the air, and I don't think I have even met the young man"

Really during the promo Mike had that "I am superior to all you people" attitude that he has shown in the past

06-01-2011, 23:10
LOL Found the Video I'll repeat6 what Francesa said "I never heard Gregg Sussman on the air, and I don't think I have even met the young man" Get Mike some Alzheimer pills because he is losing it LOL In case video does not link http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jVdKDMzuyBY


Jersey John
06-02-2011, 09:49
This video proves that Francesa said that? I think we are mixed up a bit.

Jersey John
06-02-2011, 10:14
I just saw the end - Benigno was nailing the poor kid for not bringing up Carmelo.. Ease up bro

06-02-2011, 14:16
Seriously was that Joe Benigno telling someone the needed to turn down the energy? Ha!

08-14-2011, 15:50
First post here:)

Excellent article mezz1962! Agree that Mr. Sussman has potential and some good came out of the Fantasy Phenom whether it was a ratings ploy/promotional stunt or not.

IMO, they don't really nurture the talent anymore like back in the days of Francesa. Bull didn't get much help and Evan Roberts, while strong on knowledge, is still weak on-air. I think Evan has improved very little and is a hard listen. You'd think he'd stop qualifying statements; "I'm not saying this... or I'm not saying that he should be fired" etc. It's sports talk. Don't be afraid to say something! He seems to still be trying styles or shtick out on air as well. I wish they would do like they used to and groom, help out, and nurture talent more than they seem to do now. Sadly lacking on the FAN and seemingly non-existent over at EPN.

With Bull gone, there is a place for Greg Sussman. Thinking they could have just cut ties after his year since the new "Phenom" would take over his slot unless they dropped someone else. Hopefully he can continue to do well. Thankfully he doesn't seem to need much nurturing anyway; I think he's a ways ahead of Evan at the same point in his journey.

Hopefully he can raise the fans sports IQ and teach them patience, calm them down etc. ESPN and ESPN radio do the opposite and cater to the knee-jerk and other negative fanatic-like traits bringing the IQ down and contributing to fans obsessive nature and bad habits. The callers are a big part of sports talk radio and can be bad just as hosts are.

Anyway, thanks for the nice write-up! Here's to hearing more from Mr. Sussman!

The Boss
08-15-2011, 12:40
Hey 87 good post. I hope Sussman hangs around WFan and you hang around here and leave comments more often. Thanks

08-15-2011, 17:21
Thanks boss. Just found the site searching about the Bull's new station and checked it out. Very nice! So I had to register. Somehow never came across it till now.

10-24-2011, 16:42
Looked at the on-air schedule the other day and saw Gregg Sussman's name there two, count 'em, two times! So, I set my little radio up to turn itself on and record him then listened to some in the car, at work, and some around lunch with my earphones.

Good to hear Sussman on again. That Chris Moore is a stiff, Cookie-cutter, bland, robotic, lacking personality, etc. and Jastremski sounds something like a less passionate/ranting Benigno(though doesn't seem as good as even today's "laid-back" Joe B.) IMO, of those three, Sussman is the clear winner.

The Boss
10-25-2011, 10:03
What kind of a little radio do you have that lets you do that?

I didnt know Sussman was on. What time of day? I caught Jastremski before passing out last week. Pretty good but I liked Sussman too. I wonder if the guy will be a regular on WFAN

10-25-2011, 10:24
Sussman did Sunday/Monday over night. And next week he is doing Saturday/Sunday overnight. Apparently they have no desire to give him airtime at any time before midnight. Otherwise they would have never gone out to get Chris Moore, or give Ed Coleman some night shifts. As far as Chris Moore being bland and robotic, I completely disagree. He has a sense of humor and can be entertaining at times, unlike Richard Neer who thankfully has been absent from the weeknight shifts. Hopefully that will be permanent. I would rather listen to Sussman too, but it doesn't look like the FAN is ready to go in the direction.