Stephie Daniels: You posted something in the Underground forum that said you were uncomfortable with the direction they wanted to go, in regards to the UFC. Can you elaborate on that?
Mike Straka: Well, Spike never told me to go out and deliberately trash the UFC, but I think booking some guests, and trying to extract a certain comment from them was a bit deliberate. I think that it's important for Spike to really help along there MMA priorities, and at the moment, that's not the UFC. You can't cover MMA without covering the UFC. I'm not saying they don't, but I don't want to be in a situation where Dana White and Lorenzo say, 'You know what Mike? Nice knowing you, but we're not going to give you credentials anymore because we didn't like what you said last week.'
It's one thing if I piss people off because I believe it, but it's another thing if I piss people off if I say something just for the sake of doing it. That I won't do, and I don't agree with it. Again, nobody told me to do or say anything, but I think my reticence to do that didn't help the situation.
Stephie Daniels: When you talk about them wanting to elicit a certain response from the guests, were there guidelines or directives for this? Did they say, 'Hey, I want you to push this agenda or that one'?
Mike Straka: I don't think there were any guidelines that came down from any executives at Spike. I think certain people on the show wanted to elicit some kind of controversy so people would talk about the show, which is all great for ratings, and it might work on a different platform and format of media, but it's not necessarily the best place to do it on television, especially when you only have 22 minutes and lots of commercials with three guys talking and one guest, or sometimes two guests. Let's just put it this way, I wasn't comfortable in my position in my role on the show. I think Luke is going to be great at it. I think Luke is a great journalist. I'm more of a host. I'm more of a guy that drives the train and keeps everything on track. .
Stephie Daniels: Fan reception to Craig Carton has been lukewarm at best. Were you a little surprised that you were let go before he was?
Mike Straka: No, not at all. Craig Carton is the star of that show.
Stephie Daniels: How much input does Craig Carton have on that show?
Mike Straka: I would say he has more input than anybody that even works on that show. That's television. It's all about brand recognition, and Craig Carton has extremely high brand recognition in the New York market, and in television, that's the most important market. In New York, he's a big deal in sports radio.
I have nothing against Craig Carton. I think he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He's generous, and he's sweet. Whether he got me fired or not, I couldn't care less. If he did, I thank him, because he did me a favor. He's certainly not an MMA expert, but he's a great guy. Nate is one of the greatest guys, too. He could maybe use a little more seasoning but he's still an awesome guy, and Luke is going to be fantastic on the show. He's a nice guy and is very credible. He knows his stuff, he's a great writer and I'm very happy for him.
"Whether he got me fired or not, I couldn't care less. If he did, I thank him, because he did me a favor."
Now if that's not the oddest way of describing a great guy...we've yet to see an odder one.
Full interview on BE.
Why not click the Google +1 & the retweet buttons?
**Follow us on Twitter. Subscribe, or Return to BobsBlitz.com.