It’s official: Yankees moving radio broadcasts to WFAN in 2014

Masahiro Tanaka and the quest for 2014 pitching
Yankees place Jeter on DL, ending his season

The Yankees and CBS Radio have announced a multi-year agreement that will move the team’s radio broadcasts to WFAN-AM 660 and WFAN-FM 101.9 starting next season. We heard a deal was in the works yesterday. The agreement is reportedly worth $15-20M annually for the next ten years.

“We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with CBS Radio,” said Hal Steinbrenner in a statement. “The paramount consideration was how our fans would best be able to hear our games. Having the Yankees on WFAN-AM/FM provides listeners in the New York metropolitan area and beyond with superior broadcast quality and vast territorial signal strength.”

“We are privileged to welcome the New York Yankees to WFAN,” added Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio. “There is no bigger name in baseball than the Yankees, nor an organization so steeped in tradition.  As the nation’s premier sports radio station we look forward to capturing all the excitement surrounding the team, and bringing it to millions of fans for many years to come.”

It’s unclear what the new deal means for John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, if it even means anything. Sterling’s return is all but guaranteed according to yesterday’s report, but Waldman’s future is less certain. The two have been together since 2005 and, frankly, I would be surprised if one or both did not return. Sterling has been broadcasting the team full-time since 1989 and Waldman is a long-time Yankees booster.

The Yankees and CBS have had a relationship since 2002, when their games shifted from 770 AM to 880 AM. The 660 AM and 101.9 FM signals are much stronger and farther-reaching. It’s unclear where the Mets will take their radio rights going forward. They’ve been with WFAN since 1987 and at 660 AM since 1988. They could wind up on ESPN Radio.

Masahiro Tanaka and the quest for 2014 pitching
Yankees place Jeter on DL, ending his season
  • Johnny O

    Would prefer a whole new radio team but Suzy has to go at a minimum. Only value she brings is reading advertisements.

    • Mister D

      How is this not better than a play-by-play guy who can’t see? Atleast she reads the ads (and the out of town scores, Johnny!!!) correctly.

  • Big Jim Walewander

    Nothing personal against him, but I am not a fan of Sterling’s work at all. What gets me is that while announcing is a field where age doesn’t really come into play much, and an announcer can improve and refine his craft over years, Sterling doesn’t improve his deficiencies.

    Tune in during an inning, and he will go 10 minutes without providing a score. Been that way for years. On potential home runs he’d rather launch into a routine that accurately tell you what’s going on. Makes me miss Hank Greenwald and Tommy Hutton, Bill White, Bobby Murcer, Frank Messer, and Phil Rizzuto. A lot.

    • gc

      You should probably remove Rizzutto from that list if your desire is for more accuracy and less schtick. While he was simply being himself (and that endeared him to many fans, myself included), in his later years, it crossed very much into a caricature that often times interfered with how well he called the game.

      • Pseudoyanks

        No doubt there that Scooter (although I loved him) stayed too long. I was never a fan of Messer. Found him to be corny and off-putting.

  • Coolerking101

    I only wish the dynamic duo would be split. CJ Nitkowski isn’t exactly Hoard Cosell, but he was a breath of fresh air when he subbed in for Waldman.

    John Sterling is the worst radio play-by-play guy I’ve ever heard. The guy can’t describe the game properly. If he has to stay, I wish they’d have him do color instead.

  • ChrisS

    The two have been together since 2005 and, frankly, I would be surprised if one or both did not return.

    I have zero interest in listening to radio broadcasts with either of these announcers. If I’m driving, I typically check into catch a score and then switch back to music. Sterling and Waldman are a step below nails on a chalkboard. But some people love ’em. It’s strange.

  • mike

    Whether it be CJ or Tino, its a totally different (and rewarding) broadcast when Suzyn is out of the booth – its a true color-commentary from a recently-retired pro player ( where the lack of on field experience is sorely missing in the booth), and besides the skill of those guys, John actually becomes a better broadcaster because there is actual competition for airtime from another knowledgeable person.

    im not sure if John could keep it up all season, but the few times i heard Tino sub in made the whole broadcast so much better

    • Matt DiBari

      I never heard Tino on the radio, but I was shocked at how much I disliked his work on YES.

      I sort of figured he’d be at worst just there, but I really thought he had so little to contribute and that he was just there to be Paulie’s friend that he actually was a detriment to the broadcast.

  • Bill

    I’m a fan on John and Suzyn.
    I know they have their issues (and I would take Vin Scully 100/100 times over them), but I think they have their upsides too. John has a great voice and I enjoy most of his HR calls. Are they over-the-top at times? Sure, but so what, this is NY, everything is over-the-top. John and Suzyn also have a good sense of humor. They both have pretty good knowledge of the team. Could the Yankees do better? Probably, but I really think people exaggerate how bad they are.
    Given Suzyn used to work for the FAN, I’d say we’ll see them both back in ’14 for sure.

  • Bill

    Further, of what the Yankees have “in-house”, if you wanted to make the best radio broadcast, I’d get Ken Singleton on Radio. He’s great color and pretty good play-by-play…he would improve the broadcast.
    I seriously don’t think John is that much worse than Michael Kay.

  • gc

    Like him or not, he has woven himself into the fabric of what it is to be a Yankee fan. Most of the ardent Sterling-haters I know ALL break into his “THEEEEEEEE Yankees WINNN!!!!” cheer after every big Yankees victory, which I find hilarious. I personally enjoy listening to him. I’d prefer if he mentioned the score more often, but what can I say, I like the guy. And his voice still is terrific.

    • silvio

      Me too. Someone mentioned that Tino’s presence showed how important a former player’s view was. Jeez! Not me!

      Tino was a reminder of how little that mattered. As an announcer, he made John sound like Red Barber.

      Most complaints seem to come from guys who dont listen to other announcers and don’t realize how good these two sound in comparison. Some people also seem to miss hearing WAR and other new stats. This would bore most people out of their shorts and cause sponsors to be afraid of a stampede to other stations.

  • mick taylor

    other than mike francesa, most of the broacasters and show hosts have been yankee haters . interesting to see what happens.

  • RetroRob

    We are extremely excited to have reached an agreement with CBS RADIO”…

    …to leave CBS Radio?

    I’m guessing CBS must own WFAN, but it’s a bit confusing.

  • Bill

    Lot of Mets fans – Boomer, Carton, Joe, Evan, Steve Somers…The only one who is really a Yankee “hater” is Steve Somers it seems?

  • dkidd

    a message to everyone who doesn’t like our bizarre, homespun, joe frankinesque radio broadcast:

    you will miss it when it’s gone

    • Jason

      I think our broadcast is more like the bride of frankinesque.

  • jim p

    Hearing Sterling’s description of darn-near anything on the field; then seeing the video later… he’s not actually telling us what’s going on. Plus the long gaps between the action and his near-descriptions… “Swings and… it’s… that went by… oh, I can’t believe it.” Meaning “ground ball to third, and it hit the bag!”

    I like him as a voice, and even as an entertainer, but neither him nor ‘Always Praise’ Waldman are telling us much about the actual game as it happens.

  • Dan

    At least Sterling is entertaining. Suzyn is horrible–if she’s not the worst announcer in baseball, I don’t want to know who is. She has got to go.

    • Matt DiBari

      The Hawk is awful, and for a while the Marlins had these shrieking, cackling morons (His name is DAN UGGLA!). I don’t know if they’re still around, but if they are, the Marlins broadcasters are easily the worst in baseball.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I remember when Joe Angel did Marlin radio broadcasts. I did like him at the time.

        No idea who does anything for them now.

      • RetroRob

        I think the moron who did the “His name is Dan Uggla” is Rick Waltz. I’ve only heard his clips on MLBN, but I sure hope he never shows up in NY.

  • Wheels

    The Yankees should hire Howie Rose.

    • Rob

      I don’t think Howie Rose could ever be an announcer for the Yankees. He is a great announcer but he has been ingrained with the Mets and it wouldn’t sound right nor would it work out if he tried to “change allegiance” after all this time.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I like having an FM presence for the Yanks simply because my IPod dock/radio at the office doesn’t have AM radio, leaving me to have to use At-Bat when listening at work. That’s really the only reason I care here.

    I guess I love to hate John and Suzyn. They annoy me to no end at times, and I couldn’t imagine anyone but them, at this point, calling the games.

  • Tim

    The article says the signal is stronger. I live in Charlotte, NC and I can get the 880AM broadcast in my car around 9pm. Sometimes its fuzzy but on a clear night, it’s clear as day…at bat (which I use before 9pm) is ok but is SEVERAL pitches behind. In fact when I had ESPN score updates for every run scored, it would not be uncommon to get a txt message with a score change before it happened on at bat. Very annoying. So is the signal gonna be stronger then that? Do you think it can still reach me?

  • Duck fan

    Its time for a new team. To start with a young voice would offer a new following and todays thoughts instead of “Your lovely seersuckder suit” John to Susan.

    A strong suggestion is the voice of the Long Island Ducks Michael Polak. Todays ideas with a great Yankee upbringing.