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.
“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.
Kay says his threat to fire Ray Santiago was “performative” pic.twitter.com/xOujmS81kc
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) January 11, 2023
“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.