Michael Kay

After going on a viral tirade, threatening to have ESPN New York’s morning producer fired, Michael Kay now says it was all for show.

Last week, Ray Santiago, who produces ESPN New York’s morning show hosted by Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg, got caught up in a back-and-forth with The Michael Kay Show. As both shows exchanged friendly banter about their athletic abilities, Santiago reached for the low-hanging fruit and took a shot at The Kay Show’s recent ratings slide.

After hearing the quip, Michael Kay went on-air and raged over the low blow, reminding Santiago that he carries enough clout to get the longtime ESPN Radio producer canned.

“Ray Santiago made a comment about ratings? Do you realize, Ray, that all I’d have to do is make one phone call, and you would 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!” Kay ranted on last Friday’s show. “Remember Ray, I am really, really sitting on the fence right now about getting you canned, opening your mouth when you shouldn’t have.”

After Kay’s rant was aggregated by local and national outlets on Monday, including Awful Announcing, the ESPN Radio host claimed the tirade was performative.

“People don’t realize,” Kay’s co-host Peter Rosenberg said Tuesday afternoon, “You know the kind of checkers you’d be playing if what you said on the air was actually real?”

“I’d be a moron!” Kay quickly responded.

“Now I’m not gonna sit here and lie, was I upset about the comment? Yep,” Kay admitted. “But it was performative, because I’m such a good performer on the air.”

This aligns with what we wrote in our original article about the feud, explaining Kay wasn’t going to actually have Santiago fired, but he was clearly upset over the ratings joke. And as Kay admitted Tuesday, he was irked by the comment. Maybe Kay wasn’t ready to call his boss, but he definitely sought to flex his muscle by reminding Santiago that he’s capable of getting him fired.

Kay’s rant didn’t get aggregated because everyone thought he was going to get Santiago, a 15-year employee of ESPN Radio, fired. The rant was aggregated because it showed off Kay’s self-admitted sensitive thin-skin and petty personality.

[The Michael Kay Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com