Sirius/XM, with late bid, throws Mets broadcast into flux

New York Mets pitcher Vic Black at spring training. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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A late, improved bid from Sirius/XM managed to keep announcer Casey Stern in the fold, foiling efforts by the Mets and WOR-AM to hire Stern as the team's pre- and post-game host for Mets baseball broadcasts, multiple sources have confirmed to Capital.

The protracted negotiations, and the station's failure to put together a backup plan, has thrown the broadcast into chaos with just 11 days remaining until the first WOR radio broadcast of the Mets on February 28.

Sirius/XM, meanwhile, gets to announce on Tuesday that they are keeping Stern, who hosts both their midday show on MLB Network Radio and a weekend show on NFL Radio. The satellite radio giant, known throughout the industry for waiting as long as possible to properly pay its talent, managed to bid just in time to ensure their five-year relationship with Stern would continue.

WOR and the Mets had seen Stern as the guy for quite some time. An initial attempt to get him prior to the Super Bowl failed, but it was believed that an improved bid in recent weeks could be enough to get Stern on board.

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For Stern, 35, a lifelong Mets fan with emotional ties to the organization, made sense for the position. But once Sirius/XM managed to improve its offer, he made the final decision to stay put.

WOR didn't formally interview any other candidates until it became clear that Stern wouldn't be taking the job, the sources said.

On Monday afternoon, WOR brought in its first candidate for the still-vacant position, with less than two weeks left to fill it.

The failure of the WOR deal was first reported by ESPN's Adam Rubin.