The Scarlet Knights’ football games will be carried on WFAN and men’s basketball games will be on WCBS starting this fall, Audacy and the school’s athletics department announced Friday. It is a multi-year deal, according to the release.
It’s a pretty interesting move on many levels.
The obvious thing that comes to mind: Chris Carlin is going to be back on WFAN in some capacity. The former afternoon drive and middayish show host, now on ESPN Radio nationally in afternoons, is the longtime Rutgers football play-by-player. WFAN morning show fixture Jerry Recco is the men’s hoops play-by-player. And former midday host Marc Malusis — who still does some weekend work — has been Rutgers football’s pre- and postgame host for a while.
The release says all the football games will be on WFAN with 30-minute pre- and postgame shows and streaming on the Audacy app. But there is no indication what happens when there are conflicts with Yankees broadcasts. And there are going to be at least two of those this fall, and likely several more. Will they split AM and FM? You can’t necessarily push overflow to WCBS either given they have the Mets.
That said, Rutgers can’t really worry much about getting into the weeds with that stuff. This is a colossal move for the school in terms of generating local exposure. It’s much easier to get to WCBS and WFAN than to weave through the diner menu of various affiliate stations that have carried Scarlet Knights broadcasts in recent years, often with little consistency.
The move also makes a lot of sense for WCBS and WFAN. The Rutgers broadcasts will (for the most part) fill air time that did not have much going for it to start. It will be interesting to see how much additional coverage WFAN gives Rutgers. It’s hard to imagine the daily shows will go overboard unless there is a major story. And it’s doubtful the station will have a Sweeny Murti-like beat reporter (or even a Paul Dottino-like team propagandist). But the Rutgers presence should be greater, which is a win for the Scarlet Knights.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]