Michael Kay was not happy with an ESPN New York producer who suggested his radio program is in decline.
“The Michael Kay Show” and “DiPietro & Rothenberg,” which are teammates on ESPN New York have traded some barbs back and forth — the former is in afternoon drive while the latter airs in mornings — but one happened recently that Kay took personally.
Ray Santiago, a producer on the morning show, thought he might have a reason the afternoon show kept bringing them up on air.
“Is it the fear that this show is now on the rise, and that show’s kind of gone in the other direction lately?” Santiago asked.
As covered by Awful Announcing, Kay played this clip on Friday afternoon, and was not happy about it.
“Ray Santiago made a comment about ratings?” Kay asked, asking the YES Network camera to pan on him. “Do you realize, Ray, that all I’d have to do is make one phone call and you’d be on the unemployment line. You have the nerve to say something like that about this show? One phone call, which I’m considering making, and you will be fired. Do you realize that?”
Kay’s show has had a see-saw battle with WFAN that lately has been going FAN’s way. Kay eventually surpassed Mike Francesa in afternoon drive ratings. He had initial success against Craig Carton and Evan Roberts, but has lost to them in the last several ratings books. Santiago’s comments clearly struck a nerve.
“And here’s another thing: management that’s listening — I am never talking about that show again,” Kay said. “If that’s what that guy’s gonna do, I have no use. Let them do what they do. We’ll do what we do. But remember, Ray, I am really, really on the fence right now about getting you canned. Opening your mouth when you shouldn’t have.”
Sports talk radio is a land full of bombast, so one can never be sure how literally to take hosts at their word — a firing would be pretty extreme for this offense — but it’s a good bet that Kay was genuinely unhappy with the barb.
Last week, The Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that Kay is considering retiring from radio while maintaining his role as voice of the Yankees on YES.