Jon 'Stugotz' Weiner Book The Dan Le Batard Show Screen grab: ‘The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz’

The negotiations between Jon “Stugotz” Weiner and WFAN to become the New York radio station and Infinity Sports Network brand manager stalled when he demanded a microphone at his desk.

Weiner told host Brandon Contes on the latest episode of the Awful Announcing podcast that he didn’t want to have to move around to different shows such as Boomer & Gio, Sal & Tierney, and Tiki & Evan throughout the day. There, he told Audacy boss Chris Oliviero to put at a microphone at his desk.

“Listen, that was an early concern for Chris, he would tell you,” Stugotz said. “In all seriousness, whether or not I was going to be okay with not being on the air, or at least not being on nearly as much. And would I be able to focus on everything that comes with being a program director?

“Would I deal with sales? Will I sit in the traffic meeting? Will I recognize that we just ran back-to-back car spots — and you can’t do that in WFAN on New York, or any radio station, for that matter? And I assured him that I would not be wasting his time if I was not going to take those parts of it seriously.

“And we did talk about not-so-much a hybrid role, but filling in on the big shows when one of the guys were out and perhaps doing some stuff off to the side, digitally, podcasting or stuff like that. But at the end of the day, what Chris Oliviero wanted and what he needed was a program director. And he wanted assurances that I was going to do that. And I was excited to go and do that, and I gave him the assurance that I was going to do those things — at least for a year.

“But I said this to Le Batard: when I realized this probably wasn’t the gig for me, it was at 2 a.m., and I was on the internet, trying to find dirt on every current WFAN host so I could fire them and take their job. And that was the deal. It was interesting. I just wanted to help those shows.”

Perhaps he just wanted to help. But after looking for dirt, Stugotz slyly crushed current WFAN hosts Sal Licata and Brandon Tierney after turning down the program director job. And while he ultimately returned to his role on the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, he kept the Meadowlark Media co-founder in the loop on everything going on with his pursuit of that role.

“What made this easier — and I learned from conversations with people in the past — the worst thing you can do, especially when you have a partner of 20 years, is let him hear about stuff from someone else other than you,” Stugotz said. “I’ve grown up a lot working with Dan because I’ve made that mistake before. I told Dan — I kept him abreast of everything as it was happening. I did not want him to hear anything from anyone else. And I told him, ‘If you hear anything from anyone else, it’s a lie because I am telling you what’s happening as it’s actually happening.’

“But that’s the way you do it. It’s the way Dan would treat me. And it’s the way I’m treating Dan. Because, listen, we’ve had great success together. It’s one of the biggest shows in the history of sports radio; we’re super proud of it. Dan and I have had that conversation before where it’s like both of us to each other, ‘Hey, don’t let me hear about something from someone else. Let me hear it from you.’ That’s the way to do it.”

Le Batard is quite aware of what FAN means to Stugotz and how important it is to him.

“Oh, Dan was super supportive; he was great,” Stugotz explained. “He knows how much that station means to me. He knows how much that position means to me. He knows how great I would be in that position because, at one point, I was Dan’s boss. I hired Dan to do radio. In fact, I told Dan ‘I’m not starting this radio station unless you’re doing afternoon drives.’ Otherwise, I didn’t see the point.

“He was super supportive. He knows that station means a lot to me. He did say to me at one point, ‘If you went back to New York, didn’t you always imagine you’d go back as a host?’ To which I said, ‘Yes, but being a program director is pretty damn cool,’ and because it was that station.

“If I called him and said WEEI…it wouldn’t make sense to him. But WFAN in New York, given how much we’ve talked about it on our show, and I feel like I’ve introduced Dan to Mike and the Mad Dog and the way that station is, he totally understood. He was good with it.

“In fact, Dan put in a good word for me. It was almost like he gave me his blessing. And so, whatever he and Oliverio spoke about, Dan was really good to me.”

The full episode of The Awful Announcing Podcast with Jon “Stugotz” Weiner will be released Friday morning. Subscribe to the show on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. For more content, subscribe to AA’s YouTube page.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.