Craig Carton is no longer incarcerated after being granted an early release, just 12 months into his three-and-a-half-year sentence. The polarizing radio host is unquestionably one of the most talented in the business and it has many people asking how soon will Carton be back behind the mic?
According to his former co-host Boomer Esiason and his replacement on WFAN’s morning show Gregg Giannotti, Carton deserves a second chance.
“I get off the radio [Tuesday] and I see a number pop up on my screen,” Esiason said Wednesday morning on WFAN. “I’m thinking, ‘Is this spam? What is this? I answer the phone, I say ‘hello?’ And I hear a very familiar voice saying, ‘Hey, it’s me. I’m out!’ It was Craigy, calling to let me know he was released from jail [Tuesday] morning. What I heard was a happy and relieved Craig Carton.”
Boomer noted his former radio partner did everything he possibly could in jail to mitigate his sentence and get out early, which was a hope Carton expressed prior to beginning his tenure in prison last year.
“There were times he was talking about getting out early, then other times the next email would say ‘now I don’t think it’s going to happen,’ so he would go back and forth. But I didn’t hear from him for about a week or so until the phone rang yesterday, and he was driving in a car heading home,” WFAN morning show producer Al Dukes said.
Carton had limited access to email during his time in prison, but was able to interact with a select group of friends and family, including Esiason, Dukes and Jerry Recco.
“I do believe he deserves a second chance, whether it be here at our station or another station,” Esiason said. “He’s too talented not to be on the air somewhere.”
Esiason also highlighted the close relationship Carton has with his former WNEW producer Chris Oliviero, who was recently hired as the Entercom New York market manager. But if he does return to WFAN, don’t expect Carton to reunite with Esiason.
“Gregg, you came in and you basically kept this thing going,” Esiason told his current radio partner. “And we’re going to stay together, as long as I know, as long as you’ll have me and we’ll continue to do what we do. And hopefully Craigy someday will be able to get back doing what he does and does so well.”
Still, Giannotti agrees Carton is too talented not to get a second chance in radio.
“Where that’s going to be and when that’s going to be, I don’t know,” Gio said. “Of course, when you talk about this show and moving on, and me being here, it’s probably and most likely not going to be here. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be on the radio station years down the road somewhere else. Who knows? I don’t know. But I am happy that he’s out and I’m happy he’s going to get another opportunity.”
“He’s out. And he’s back,” Esiason said. “So here we go, Spank.”
Jeff Rickard Named Program Director of WFNZ in Charlotte
“After our first conversation I knew Jeff was the one to take us to the next level.”
Jeff Rickard is headed to Charlotte. The sports radio veteran has been named the new program director of WFNZ, one of the Southeast’s premier sports radio brands.
Rickard replaces Terry Foxx who announced in February that he was leaving Charlotte to take over KUT in Austin.
“We are committed to making sports radio even bigger in Charlotte, adding the 92.7 FM signal in March was just the beginning of that commitment,” Marsha Landess, Regional Vice President of Radio One, said in a press release. “Having a successful veteran like Jeff Rickard join our team will help take us to the level that a passionate sports city like Charlotte deserves. Jeff brings to WFNZ extensive sports experience, talent, drive, and a passion for success. He will be a great complement to our incredibly talented local Charlotte on-air team. After our first conversation I knew he was the one to take us to the next level. As the flagship station for the Charlotte Hornets as well as Charlotte FC we are looking forward to an incredibly successful future with Jeff leading the charge.”
Rickard’s resume in sports radio speaks for itself. He was most recently the brand manager at WEEI in Boston, a role he exited in January. Prior to that, he spent six years at 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis serving as both a weekday host and the station’s program director. He has also worked nationally for ESPN Radio, FOX Sports Radio, and SiriusXM, and spent time during the early part of his career working in Denver and Salt Lake City.
“I had been planning on taking a professional sabbatical this year but after meeting with Marsha Landess and learning more about Radio One, I began to get more excited to get back to work,” shared Rickard. “Radio One as a company, combined with Marsha’s leadership and the potential for WFNZ, was just too appealing to not be a part of. I am extremely grateful to Radio One for this opportunity and can’t wait to start working with the talented staff in Charlotte. My family and I are all in on this situation and can’t wait to get started on this new chapter.”
Not one to waste time diving in, Rickard officially stepped into the Charlotte offices today to meet his new staff.
Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football
“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”
The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.
With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.
“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit.
Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about:
As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.
“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”
Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan
“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”
John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.
Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.
“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”
Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.
The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.
“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”