Since the day in 1987 when Suzyn Waldman became the first-ever voice on the first-ever all-sports radio station, the folks at WFAN have been broadcasting from deep below Queens' Kaufman Astoria Studios in a dump two floors below street level. But that all comes to an end tomorrow at 10 a.m., when the FAN begins broadcasting from its new lower-Manhattan digs in a building it will share with four other CBS Radio stations.
Neil Best talked with hosts and staffers, and many hit the nail right on the head, comparing the FAN's Queens studios to another of the borough's run-down sports landmarks, the since-demolished Shea Stadium. Said Joe Beningo: "The place is a dump, but it's our dump." Or there's John Minko, who's been there since day one, on what visitors to the studios must have thought: "Let's put it this way: I'm sure they weren't impressed."
We imagine the move to new studios won't actually affect the on-air product — though Eddie Scozzare tells Best that the FAN has always been afforded some independence from "corporate B.S." because "God forbid the suits take the R train to Queens and check in on us." If anything, they'll probably have an easier time getting guests into the studio because — and we say this as a lifelong Queens resident — who really wants to venture out to Astoria just to talk with Mike Francesa? We just hope they keep their call-in numbers the same somehow. Because hearing Steve "the Schmoozer" Somers tell us to call into "the one-two-one-two ... " instead of "the one-seven-one-eight ... " would just sound wrong.