Kay 'can't wait' to begin radio simulcast on YES

"The Michael Kay Show" will air weekdays from 3-7 p.m. beginning Feb. 3
01/23/2014 1:31 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

YES will simulcast ESPN Radio's "The Michael Kay Show" beginning Monday, Feb. 3.(Ellen Wallop/YES Network)
NFL star Adrian Peterson may already have the nickname "All Day," but when it comes to the YES Network at least, Michael Kay is about to be eligible for that exact same moniker.

The network announced Thursday that "The Michael Kay Show," which airs on ESPN Radio New York weekdays from 3-7 p.m., will be simulcast on YES beginning on Monday, February 3, bringing Kay to the YES Network lineup on a daily basis.

Kay's show will replace "Mike's On" with Mike Francesa, which ends its decade-plus relationship with YES following a pre-Super Bowl edition of "Football Sunday with Mike Francesa" on Feb. 2, and he is elated to be adding the radio simulcast to a resume that already includes Yankees broadcasts and hosting duties for "CenterStage" among other projects.

"I'm really happy (co-host) Don (LaGreca) and I are going to be simulcast on YES. We have a great time doing the ESPN Radio show and that will come through even more with the visual aspect," Kay told on Thursday. "While it is still predominantly a radio show, I don't think you should ignore the camera in the room and we are going to have fun with that. I can't wait."

Of course, "The Michael Kay Show" already has a unique and fervent fan base that listens daily on ESPN Radio, but Kay's biggest joy is that that the simulcast will open up a whole new audience that will get to see the "other" side of a man they might only know as a Yankees broadcaster.

"The national reach of YES is going to allow even more people access, and the people at YES, where I have worked since the onset, do everything first class, so I'm sure the show is going to be presented in a great manner," Kay said. "We're on the ESPN app so people can hear us around the world, but when you're on television on YES, it's a national channel. It's considered a regional sports network but because of the reach we have, people in California will hear, and I think it's going to make it easier to get guests. This is a destination stop for a lot of people, and if they want to talk about any subject, let's go on The Michael Kay Show. It's on YES, the largest RSN in the country, and you know it's going to be handled the right way, with class and grace. I think it's going to add a dynamic to the show that maybe we haven't had before."

And, for those who might become new listeners to the show once it's in YES, Kay gave a little sneak preview about what people can expect from his show.

"It's about covering the sports of the day, all the events and storylines, but t's also about having fun. It's like two guys sitting in the stands talking about the game that day, the stories that day, and it's not all dead serious, but definitely what we think with a little laughter thrown in," Kay said. "We actually have fun; we take the subjects seriously, but we don't take ourselves seriously. When you tune in, you're going to feel like you're part of a group that's having a blast. If we have a good time, then we think the listeners will have a good time, but they're not going to be short shift on the topics of the day and their seriousness."

One thing that Kay believes already sets his show apart is co-host LaGreca, who has been by Kay's side since the show's inception in 2002 and is more than just a radio partner four hours a day.

"If you saw the two of us together at a restaurant, you'd think that we were doing the show, because what you hear on the air is exactly what we're like in real life," Kay says of his relationship with LaGreca. "This is not an act; what you see and hear is exactly how we are. I don't think you can fake chemistry, and we really like each other. We don't always agree, and we pick on each other maybe like an older brother and a younger brother - but I think everybody can appreciate that because they have that in their life. I think every sports fan either has another buddy or a brother or sister that they go back and forth with, and I think we bring that dynamic to the scene."

That dynamic, he says, comes from the fact that the pair approaches the show each day with mindsets that are the polar opposite of each other.

"We couldn't be more different, but there's something that clicks with us. I bring a reporter's background; I look at things analytically, and I want to get to the story, find out 'how did this happen, why did this happen, and who do we talk to so we can advance the story'," Kay says. "Don, he brings to the show a fan's passion. Sadly for me, I don't know if I'm a fan of anything anymore, but Don's a fan. He gets driven crazy when his teams lose, and I think most sports radio fans can identify with Don; he is their voice sitting behind the microphone, and he has their opinion, their emotion, and their passion."

How lively the duo gets on camera may depend on the subject at hand, but when it comes to those cameras, Kay reiterated that you never know what you're going to see - but whatever it is, it's a true reflection of the hosts knowing they can have fun with the audience at home. "It's funny, I've seen a lot of other radio show simulcasts and they ignore the camera. We're not going to ignore the camera, we know we're on TV and we're going to have fun; the camera is the elephant in the room, and if you ignore it, you're ignoring the people who are watching it on TV," Kay said. "So, I might wear a silly hat and mug to the camera because I'm a ham. Or, if I lose a bet, I might have to wear a tee shirt that shows my hairy arms or come in wearing gym shorts. Being on TV opens up a whole new dynamic; Don's not the type to wear a suit and tie every day, and I'm not going to either, so you'll get to see what type of mood we're in, whether or not we shaved that day, or if I look like I combed my hair with a shoe."

Regardless of what he may look like visually, though, Kay says that every day the show is on the air is another day he gets to live out his dream - and let others live theirs vicariously through the hosts.

"I'm so lucky, because I think every sports fan wants to talk about what's going on, and Don and I have a venue four hours a day every day in New York City, and now on YES around the world, to say exactly what our opinions are on the biggest sports story," he said. "I never dread going to work; in any job I have, and especially this one, when that light goes on, we're ready to roll, because there's always a lot of sports to talk about in New York."

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