The Morning Call: Brandon Tierney is Ready for CBS Radio
Brandon Tierney is ready for new CBS Radio show
Tierney, who got his start in Allentown, will co-host a morning show with Dana Jacobsen and Tiki Barber on CBS Sports radio.
10:45 PM EST, December 19, 2012
Brandon Tierney remembers his time on Lehigh Valley sports-talk radio as being "very pure and much less pressurized."
"I was just thrilled to be on the air," Tierney said of his time spent as the co-host with Tom Fallon on the 1320 Sports morning show at WTKZ from April to November in 1999. "I was thrilled to be going over to Lehigh for Eagles training camp in what was Andy Reid's first year as coach and Donovan McNabb's first year.
"I also remember we did a lot of 76ers and Phillies and some Steelers because Tom was always such a big Steelers fan."
Tierney said he didn't have any idea of what the business side of radio was about back then, but added, "I didn't care because I was just happy to have a microphone in front of me for four hours every day. I was only worried about the next show."
Tierney has worked in various places since leaving Allentown, including his hometown of New York City and his current home, San Francisco. On Jan. 2 he will begin the biggest gig of his career when he makes his debut as co-host of the CBS Sports radio's Morning Show with former ESPN host Dana Jacobsen and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber.
The entire CBS Sports lineup debuts the same day.
ESPN radio dominates the sports-talk market, but CBS is putting together a lineup that could challenge the front-runner.
Tierney's show will air from 6 to 9 weekdays from the network's studios in the Tribeca section of New York.
The morning show will be followed by noted sports author John Feinstein from 9 a.m. to noon and Jim Rome from noon to 3 p.m. Doug Gottlieb has the 3 to 6 slot and Scott Ferrall has the late shift from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
CBS Sports radio will have enough affiliates to reach about 10 million listeners at its launch. It will have homes in most major cities, including 610 WIP-AM in Philadelphia.
Tierney, who was a host on ESPN's AM 1050 in New York for about nine years, is excited about the new show.
"This is going to be the biggest stage I've been on yet and I've already had some pretty powerful platforms," he said. "CBS has such great properties like the Masters, AFC football, the Final Four … and the vision is big. What's so appealing about this is that they're not just looking to co-exist with other networks, per se. They're looking to take over. CBS doesn't play second fiddle to anybody."
Tierney conceded that becoming a dominant network is not going to happen overnight, especially considering that NBC Sports and Fox are also trotting out their own lineup of shows on what are becoming congested airwaves.
But Tierney said "there's an aggressive model in place" at CBS.
"To be quite honest, I don't know if I was capable of dreaming up an opportunity like this back when I was in Allentown," he said. "There is tremendous vision here. I'm very pumped about this."
As for working with Jacobsen and Barber, Tierney said it may take some time for everything to mesh. But he's confident it will.
"I see myself as the point guard of the show," he said. "I've got the rock and I'm setting up the offense. On one wing I have Tiki, and on the other wing, I have Dana. At certain spots on the floor, Dana will be money. And there will be some spots that will be in Tiki's wheelhouse. The object is to position everybody and put them in a place where they can flourish.
"But I'm also an opinionated guy. I have no interest in passing all day. I'm going to take a swing and some shots myself and I expect them to challenge me and understand what I'm passionate about. There are days where I might have a 90-second rant."
Tierney vowed that the show's staple will be "intelligent, passionate banter."
"A radio show is like a blank canvas and there's a million different colors you can throw on there," he said. "But if it's not interesting, thought-provoking and compelling, I don't care how many colors you throw on there … it's not going to be pretty."
"We're going to take calls," he said. "Some networks don't take calls and I think that's a mistake. Calls add emotion and perspective from the other side that you need."