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Craig Carton Joins Sid Rosenberg on WABC

Brandon Contes

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It’s been almost exactly one year since Craig Carton was last heard on a New York radio station, following his September 6th, 2017 arrest.  Now, just two months away from his trial in federal court facing fraud charges amid accusations of running a $5.6 million Ponzi scheme, Carton joined Sid Rosenberg on his WABC morning show, Bernie and Sid to further proclaim his innocence.

Although Carton and Sid have engaged in public radio battles over the years, the two shock-jocks appeared to be in great standing on Thursday, firing nothing but compliments toward each other.

“Where a lot of people dropped me like a bad habit, which was a very eye opening experience over the last year, you actually didn’t,” Carton told Sid.  “We weren’t even close. We weren’t talking actively, but you reached out to me several times, we’ve maintained a relationship and I’m grateful for that because when you go through what I’m going through, you have a lot of very dark moments, a lot of alone moments and something as simple as a text message of ‘hey how you doing?’ And when it comes from an unexpected place it’s even better.”

Carton is scheduled to go to trial in federal court on October 29th and while he sounds like his normal self on-air, the former WFAN morning host remains very aware of the reality of his situation.

“I recognize that it’s an uphill battle, cause they typically win” Carton said referring to the FBI.  “But you hear all the time about how they have a 98% conviction rate.  Well, that includes plea bargains. When you plea, you’re pleading guilty to something that counts as a conviction.  I’m not pleaing to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out you’ll see that I was running a legitimate legal business”

Soon after Craig was arrested on September 6th last year, he resigned from his morning show of 10 years on WFAN, Boomer and Carton.  Now the show has shifted to Boomer and Gio, with Gregg Giannotti taking over as Carton’s replacement.  When I asked Craig during an interview earlier this year if he liked the new WFAN morning show, Carton responded with an emphatic “No!” a sentiment he reiterated on Thursday with Sid.

“Take any show on FAN and bring them here [WABC], they’re not gonna beat anyone over there [on WFAN] anyway,” Carton said. “You can put an intern on the air, which it seems like [WFAN] kinda did. While ratings have dropped 40 percent, they’re still going to do reasonably well.”

Carton continued to comment on WFAN’s new morning show, saying “The show is not as good as it was,” to which Sid agreed by adding, “It’s not even close!”

Although Carton did not directly state it, the intern shot appeared to be pointed at his replacement, Gregg Giannotti.

Earlier this week, Giannotti took a hard-hitting shot of his own at Carton.  After co-host Esiason teased Gio for not spending enough time away from the show with him the way Boomer and Carton used to, Giannotti, while beginning a ticket giveaway contest, said “I could sell these tickets if you want me to be more like Craig.”  The comment garnered a fit of laughter out of Boomer and the fill-ins behind the glass.

While on WABC, Craig added that there’s been a void in New York morning radio since he left WFAN.  “No one has grabbed that mantle and said ‘I’m now the dominant morning show in NYC,’ and I hope when I’m exonerated, I’ll have a chance to do that again.”

Carton doesn’t hide from the fact that he plans to get back on terrestrial radio in New York.  While he’s thankful to his current platform FNTSY Sports Network for the opportunity he has today, Carton still has bigger plans for the future.

“Ego-wise I believe I will have multiple people come to me, that’s ego, and I hope they do,” he said. “But when it comes out that I’m exonerated and the jury says not guilty, why wouldn’t you want to bring back the guy that was the most listened to morning show in New York?”

Carton finished up his segment with Sid by thanking his supporters and calling out his detractors, especially those who questioned the legitimacy of his charity, Tic Toc Stop.

Carton closed with, “I will be back on the radio in New York City, hopefully a lot sooner than later, it could be a great Thanksgiving and fingers crossed, you’ll be able to hear me again one day very very soon.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

Mike Rhyner Introduces Dallas to 97.1 The Freak

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

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Ben Torres / Special Contributor Dallas Morning News

There’s a new radio station in Dallas which features a number of personalities familiar to local sports radio listeners. 97.1 The Freak made its much anticipated debut and the first voice to be heard belonged to the ”Old Grey Wolf” Mike Rhyner.

97.1 The Eagle stopped regular programming late Monday morning and began stunting, a technique radio stations use to separate listeners from old programming and prepare them for new content. The station began by playing songs with the word “freak” in them before transitioning into a continuous loop of “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty until 3p CT. Then, a voiceover detailing the Eagle’s history switched into the voice that Dallas-Forth Worth residents have gotten to know so well, Mike Rhyner.

“So, where were we?” began Rhyner.

Rhyner went on to relive his final moments at The Ticket in Dallas. He said he was getting his “head around being a Paw Paw” before getting a call from Ben Rogers of the Ben and Skin Show and thus an idea for The Freak began to take shape.

After that, the show’s intro music played and Rhyner welcomed in Mike Sirois and before you knew it, the guys were wondering about a quarterback controversy in Dallas.

97.1 The Freak is off and running with a lineup that includes “The Speakeasy,” with Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs, and Matt Cather in mornings (7-11am), “Ben & Skin Show” in middays (11am-3pm) and “The Downbeat” in afternoons (3p-7p) featuring Mike Rhyner alongside Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber.

The station is positioning itself as a lifestyle brand but given its talent connection to local sports radio and the strong interest in Dallas sports, it’s likely the talent will weave sports talk into their on-air discussions. Sports Radio 1310/96.7 The Ticket and 105.3 The Fan have enjoyed good ratings with the male 25-54 demographic and The Freak is expected to challenge them and every other brand that produces spoken word content.

“We’re beyond excited to introduce 97-1 the Freak – the level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas Fort Worth,” Patrick Davis, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming Dallas, shared in an announcement.

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Sports Radio News

Howie Rose Plans to Travel for Mets Postseason Games

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose said.

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Howie Rose has cut back on his travel schedule as the radio voice of the New York Mets in 2022, but he says that no place is off limits during the playoffs.

“Oh, I’m all-in if they play in Timbuktu,” Rose told Newsday. “A lot of this was designed to make sure that I had enough reserve to be able to handle anything that comes up in terms of road trips.”

Rose, 68, readies for what is likely to be a Wild Card series start to the playoffs and because of their Wild Card status, a win there could mean a trip to Los Angeles for the National League Divisional Series.

“It’s not exactly like managing Edwin Diaz’s innings, but I think that doing the number of games that I have and more to the point, being able to take the breaks that I have, has enabled me to approach the postseason with a clear mind and the full-speed-ahead attitude that you need to have.”

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Sports Radio News

Jake Chapman Named Orlando Magic Radio Play-By-Play Voice

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Jake Chapman has been introduced as the new radio play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

Chapman is beginning his 10th overall season with the franchise. He has previously served as the pre-game and post-game host for the team, as well as the radio producer. He joined the club as in intern in 2006 before becoming a producer in 2009. He then joined the Detroit Pistons Radio Network in 2014 to become its pre-game and post-game host as well as executive producer. He later joined 92.3 The Fan and the Cleveland Browns Radio Network as a producer. He returned to the Magic in 2019.

Chapman will make his debut as the team’s radio voice during its preseason opener tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Brandon Kravitz will serve as co-host for pregame, halftime and postgame. The network pregame show, Magic Tonight, will hit the air 30 minutes prior to tip-off. Magic Tonight is scheduled to premiere on October 11.

96.9 The Game is the radio flagship of the Magic Radio Network.

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