The Sports Fan Radio Network
was a sports talk radio network that existed from 1996 through 2001, when it abruptly folded.
Sports Fan Radio Network officially debuted on August 27
with 70 hours of programming per month. Operating from a unique, state-of-the-art studio constructed in their Fort Lauderdale, FL
, headquarters, the Internet's first all-sports station was spearheaded by The Drive
, Sports Fan's first program. Hosted by former collegiate kicker Scott Kaplan
, The Drive
took a daily look at the outrageous happenings on and off the field of sports, combining entertainment and sports into the format. Joining Kaplan on The Drive
were Sid Rosenberg
, Tom Alexander
and Allyson Turner
By 1997, Sports Fan landed a handful of significant names, landing Nanci Donellan (a.k.a. "The Fabulous Sports Babe
") from ESPN Radio
and hiring recent Smack-Off
winner J. T. the Brick
to host the late night show. Keith Olbermann
also hosted a few shows.
In 2001, however, the network began facing intense pressure from upstart network Fox Sports Radio
, which had the major backing of industry giant Clear Channel Communications
. Determining that the network could not compete with ESPN
, and One on One Sports
, Sports Fan Radio Network began dismantling. Donnellan was immediately fired one week before the Super Bowl
, leaving J. T. the Brick as one of the few remaining hosts, hosting two live shifts plus replays throughout the day. The network folded in May 2001, ceding most of its affiliates to FOX.
After being released by Sports Fan, The Fabulous Sports Babe
took an approximately 6 year break from radio broadcasting, during which she underwent treatment for cancer. She returned in sporadic guest hosting gigs in 2007, and in April 2008, returned full-time as the co-host of "Brantley and the Babe" on WHBO
in Tampa Bay
After the folding of Sports Fan, Frank Andrews, whose real name is Angelo Fracassi, changed his stage name to "Zig" and went to work in his native Western New York, for the now defunct radio station WNSA. After that station was sold off, Zig landed a job at Sirius Satellite Radio, where he hosted NHL Live (until that show moved to XM) and is an occasional anchor for Sirius NFL Radio.
After the dissolution of SFRN, J. T. the Brick was almost immediately hired by Fox Sports Radio, where he is today.
Scott Ferrall now works at Sirius Satellite Radio, on Howard 101, in the same time slot as he did on SFRN.
Bill Lekas went to Sporting News Radio.
Scott Kaplan and Sid Rosenberg would go on to be the original co-hosts of The Sports Guys on WNEW-FM. Kaplan now works at XEPRS-AM in San Diego. Rosenberg went on to greater fame as a co-host at WFAN, working alongside the likes of Joe Benigno and Don Imus, and is now at WAXY in Miami.
Tim Ryan is now with the NFL on FOX and Sirius NFL Radio.
There was also a weekend host by the name of Chris Russo (not the same Chris Russo of Mike and the Mad Dog fame); his location is unknown.
At least one affiliate, KSFN
in Las Vegas, Nevada
(the flagship station of Frank Andrews's program), took its call sign
from the network. Today, it is "Spike
1140," with talk shows geared toward men such as that hosted by Tom Leykis