While the following might not meet with nearly universal approval in the manner of ESPN’s recent parting of the ways with Joe Morgan, it still provides hope to whatever reasonable portion of Yankee fandom exists. The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman points out that with end of WCBS’ $12 annual contract with the Yankees next season, radio voices John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman (above) become (gasp) free agents.
How much would ESPN be willing to pay for the radio rights to Yankees baseball? And would pinstripe honchos be satisfied having their games go out over ESPN-1050’s weak signal? That situation could be corrected if ESPN ever purchases another station with stronger reach.
There also has been talk about the Yankees buying a radio station. With the radio biz in the toilet, and in the current lousy economic climate, that is not likely to happen.
Where does this leave Sterling and Waldman? If WCBS retains Yankees rights the chances of them returning are much better than if a new outlet takes over. If that happens, all bets are off.
The Yankees regime, led by Hal Steinbrenner, will be more concerned with obtaining maximum dollars in a new radio deal than who the broadcasters are. Loyalty ain’t even a factor here. This would give a station the freedom to make that call. A call that will determine the future of Ma and Pa.