For years, the idea of Craig Carton returning to WFAN has been discussed, but predicting a timeline seemed far-fetched while the polarizing radio host was in prison. With his early release one-year into a three-and-a-half-year sentence, a return to radio now seems inevitable.
Even before he completed his sentence, WFAN did not hide their willingness to reunite with Carton. Although they don’t have an open slot in their lineup, the station would likely benefit from the spark Carton can provide. The WFAN morning show Carton helped build has continued to succeed with his replacement Gregg Giannotti. If a reunion with Boomer Esiason is off the table, it makes afternoons the most likely place for the drive-time talent.
Carton would immediately create buzz in a New York sports radio scene that has turned dull without its Kay-Francesa feud. Current FAN afternoon hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts built themselves into appointment listening for breaking Mets and Jets news, but without sports, they’ve struggled to keep pace with Kay.
Earlier this month, Carton’s former producer and WFAN’s new market manager Chris Oliviero didn’t close the door on rehiring the polarizing host. But Oliviero also noted WFAN’s diversity issue, and hiring a 51-year old white male such as Carton won’t fix it.
“Your host should reflect the community you serve across the spectrum – diversity, age, however you want to define that,” Oliviero recently told Newsday. “So to me that’s going to be the goal with FAN moving forward. If you put a mirror up to FAN, does it reflect New York? Clearly, we have a lot of work to do on that front. We recognize that.”
If Carton is added to WFAN’s lineup, it could bump Joe and Evan back to middays, or possibly split the two considering Benigno often talks about retirement. Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray currently fill the 10am – 2pm timeslot, with Gray’s contract set to expire at the end of this year. In afternoons, Carton would likely be paired with a former athlete in hopes of developing chemistry like the one he found with Esiason more than a decade ago.
It might drive The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick into retirement, but former NBA player and current co-host of the All The Smoke podcast, Stephen Jackson would be an interesting pairing with Carton. Jackson has been very entertaining during his in-studio guest appearances with Boomer and Gio, while All The Smoke also shows off his unfiltered, opinionated style.
Recently, Jackson has become a well-known personality outside the sports world, as he took on the role of social activist following the murder of his friend George Floyd. Not only can Jackson provide the athlete perspective, but he would offer great contrast to Carton and help attract a younger demographic, similar to the way ESPN New York did when they added HOT 97’s Peter Rosenberg to The Michael Kay Show.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research
“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”
Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.
This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 million for the Jay Fund.
“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”
Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College. The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.
Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job
“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.
“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel“ during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.
“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.
“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”
Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.
Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’
“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.
“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”
“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”
When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.
“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”
Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.
The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.
Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”
Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”
Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.