On September 6th 2017, Craig Carton was arrested on charges of conspiracy, wire and securities fraud. He resigned from WFAN soon after and went to federal trial beginning last week. Carton never took the stand during his case. Being quiet is something no one is used to when it comes to Craig, who never held back from criticizing a public figure for any wrongdoing.
While the jury’s decision on Craig shocked no one, Thursday morning at 6am on WFAN served as a coping mechanism for those on the Boomer and Gio show following Wednesday’s announcement of a guilty verdict.
Boomer admitted Wednesday was a “sad day of closure.” Esiason previously opted not to discuss the legal situation with his former partner in the last 14 months because he didn’t want to say anything that could affect or include him in the case.
Esiason was noticeably saddened while discussing the situation, stating “We love Craig, Craig was the light of this radio station for many of us.”
“Unfortunately yesterday was the lowest of lows for all of us that have been involved in this and we can only pray and hope that he and his family find solace in the fact that not at least it’s come to somewhat of an end,” said Boomer who then added, “There will be brighter days ahead somewhere along the line.”
Board-op Eddie Scozzare said he understands when people with an outside perspective of someone that commits a crime are happy about a conviction, but explained those that were close to Craig have a different viewpoint.
“Even though maybe it’s wrong, even though you know he’s been found guilty, we still hoped he got off, because that’s our perspective from the inside as opposed to the outside where people are happy about it,” said Scozzare.
Jerry Recco cited past conversations with his own father who said, “This can’t be, it doesn’t work this way,” referring to Carton’s gambling success. To which Jerry would respond, “but it is, you never saw him lose…you just thought he was good at it.”
“Every time we went out with him, Craig was the one who held court, Craig was the one who told the stories, Craig was the one that made you laugh and it never stopped. There was never ever this notion that something was wrong,” added Recco.
Producer Al Dukes made a similar statement, saying he only saw Craig win, he witnessed Carton succeed at blackjack and was unaware Craig was losing money especially because he was always the same fun, energetic personality. “He was not a bad person. I don’t think he set out to do any of these things,” said Dukes.
Esiason brought closure to the conversation saying, “At the end of the day you have to take a big deep breath and hope and pray that Craig gets through this next stage of it and when he is done with it, somehow, someway he can do something positive to help people deal with what the hell he has dealt with over the last 14 months because he has basically destroyed a lot of people in his wake and it’s really sad to watch how a gambling addiction can do that to you.”
After following what was made public of the case, it did not appear Carton’s defense team had much of an ability to argue his innocence. Maybe Carton couldn’t bring himself to admit guilt, or maybe he ignored the odds and went all in on one final gamble in a desperate attempt at returning to the life he lived 14 months ago.
A rather emotionless Carton left the courtroom telling reporters he was disappointed in the verdict, but respected the decision.
“I’m going to go home and hug my kids and let my lawyers deal with the rest of it,” Carton said.
“The rest of it,” will include an appeal, according to Carton’s defense team. Carton is currently scheduled to be sentenced on February 27th, 2019.
Whether his sentence is one year, two years, five, or ten, when Carton is free he will have offers and his need to have his voice heard, along with the audience’s need to hear him will find Carton on-air again, assuming he isn’t sentenced to the full 45 years that are on the table.
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.
Nick Wilson: Deshaun Watson Press Conference ‘Insulting’ To Local Media
“You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters get to say, ask, or think.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with the media for the first time yesterday since being reinstated by the NFL after the league ruled he was guilty of violating the Personal Conduct Policy due to improper sexual advances towards more than two dozen massage therapists. 92.3 The Fan afternoon host Nick Wilson called Watson’s press conference “trash” and “insulting” to local media.
Watson told reporters he would only answer football related questions from the assembled media members, which Wilson took issue with.
“You can’t bury this story simply by saying ‘I won’t talk about it’,” Wilson said. “It is insulting to the media who covers this team. This is not about Nick Wilson, I promise. This is about the beat reporters who cover this team. It is insulting — intentionally or not — to say ‘You know what, guys? I love y’all, but I’m going to dictate what you ask me’.
“You don’t do that. You dictate when you speak, your opening statement, or how you respond. You — neither Deshaun, his lawyers, or anybody involved in this — get to dictate what those reporters — who work very hard day in, day out covering this organization, covering Deshaun Watson, covering this town — get to say, ask, or think. That was trash.”
Co-host Dustin Fox added the whole job of the media is to bring information to fans, and Watson wouldn’t allow reporters to do that Thursday, and may never do that.
Gregg Giannotti: Biggest Issue With Craig Carton, Jon Jastremski Feud Is “Mole” At WFAN
“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems.”
A feud has sprung up between WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton and former WFAN host John Jastremski. Boomer & Gio discussed the spat on Friday morning’s show, with Gregg Giannotti being troubled by a revelation.
During his New York New York podcast, a voicemail left for Jastremski asked about Carton’s comments, but the caller said a WFAN employee sent him the clip of Carton’s criticism.
“So that means we have a mole,” Boomer Esiason said.
“That right there is a problem,” Gregg Giannotti added. “‘We both have a mutual friend that still works over there’ and that person shared a link of Craig talking about JJ (Jastremski). So, clearly, that person is on JJ’s side and they’re still working here. That’s a mole! That’s someone going against the team! And I think know who that is!”
Esiason then asked if he knew the person, to which Giannotti said he did. He then asked if he would be upset by who it was, which Giannotti affirmed as well.
The show then played the final portion of Jastremski’s rant, which included him saying to Carton “I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike.”
“Jesus!” Esiason exclaimed. “Good for JJ, though. Standing up for himself.”
“I like both of these guys. I do. I got respect for both of them,” said Giannotti. “Everybody doesn’t have to go to the jail, crook thing with Craig every single time. Do they? It’s low-hanging fruit. Everybody goes there. There’s no way he can defend himself in that way because everybody saying ‘You went to jail’ didn’t go to jail, and it’s not apples and oranges. But the business stuff is apples-to-apples.
“So when I hear that, I’m just like ‘Ok, you went there. Be a little more creative than that’. As far as I listen to legend things, please, nobody has given me worse advice in my life than Mike Francesa did. Nobody. I would still be out in the newsroom cutting Islander highlights if I listened to that guy. And the only reason why Mike liked JJ was because he didn’t feel he was a threat. The only people Mike likes is the people he feels non-threatened by. And that’s where that comes from.”
After concluding Jastremski’s rant was a “little over the top”, Giannotti then turned his attention to the “mole” inside the station.
“The thing that bothers me the most about this is the leak from within the building. Someone here is sending this audio out to a former listener…to cause problems. That — to me — is an issue. The guy on the voicemail said ‘We may or may not have a mutual friend that still works at the radio station’ and this guy just slammed the radio station. And he’s friends with the guy who slammed the radio station and then slammed Craig and this guy’s on their side?! And this guy that works here is on their side?! That to me is a major, major problem.”
Dan Dakich: Craig Carton is ‘The Way Talk Radio Should Be’
“If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”
Craig Carton has prided himself on being one of those hosts who tells it like it is, especially when talking about New York’s pro sports teams.
That willingness to call a spade a spade and levy criticism on teams like the Jets and Giants, especially when things are not going well on the field, is something Dan Dakich has always seen as a recipe for success in the industry.
Interviewing Carton on Thursday on his Outkick show Don’t @ Me, Dakich praised the WFAN afternoon host for essentially creating a blueprint for how sports talk should be done.
“In Indianapolis I’m the bad guy right, because I say look the Colts stink, this regime is 46-49-1 – why are you telling me the GM is the best in the country – why are you telling me Frank Reich can really coach?” Dakich said. “New York’s different, though, right? I mean, New York they expect you to say look if you ain’t any good then you ain’t any good. Yu don’t sugarcoat nothing, and I think that’s the way talk radio should be.”
Carton noted that what’s key in how you critique a team or a front office, executive or owner is finding a balance. He said you can’t as a host be the ultimate homer and blow smoke up everyone’s behind.
“You have to be able to be critical when it’s warranted,” Carton said. “If you’re being critical because you want to be the guy that’s always critical I don’t think you can do that either. I think you gotta be honest. And criticism comes with it.”
Carton pointed out that the fan bases in both New York and in Indianapolis are ultimately the same, because at the end of the day it’s all about making sure you have competent people calling the right shots. He added that the organizations are the same too because of how sensitive they can be to criticism, which he said if they don’t like it, “too bad.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.