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WFAN Reportedly Readying Offer For Craig Carton

“If Carton does join WFAN for an afternoon show in the coming months, it means Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts will get bumped before reaching their one-year anniversary in the timeslot.”

Brandon Contes

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At this point, if Craig Carton ends up anywhere other than WFAN to restart his radio career, it would almost seem like a 16-seed beating a 1-seed.

Carton has been clear about drive-time radio on WFAN being his dream job, and for just over a decade, the shock-jock had the opportunity to live out that dream. Three years have passed since Carton’s arrest and resignation from the station he loves, with one of those years spent in prison. 

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, WFAN and parent company Entercom are expected to give Carton a formal offer as early as this week to take over afternoon drive. The Post previously reported Carton already has an offer from Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic to host mornings. But going head to head with WIP and Angelo Cataldi might not fuel his ego as much as taking on The Michael Kay Show and his longtime foe from HOT 97 Peter Rosenberg.

If Carton does join WFAN for an afternoon show in the coming months, it means Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts will get bumped before reaching their one-year anniversary in the timeslot. It could be argued that much like Carlin, Maggie and Bart in 2018, Mike Francesa’s replacements again haven’t been given a fair shot, but from the start, Benigno made it clear he wasn’t a long-term solution. So if WFAN knew they would have to build a new afternoon show in a year, why not just do it now while Carton’s on the market?

Benigno previously stated plans to retire at the end of this year, but those were put on hold when he and his longtime co-host replaced Francesa for WFAN’s afternoon show. Now, with Carton’s return looming, the 67-year old Benigno could once again look to turn off his microphone and relocate to Florida. 

At 37 years old, Benigno’s partner Evan Roberts still has a lot of radio left and would likely return to his midday post. Pairing Roberts with Maggie Gray seems like the most probable option, which would make it Gray’s fourth show combination in three years on FAN. The company would then need to find other uses for Gray’s current co-host Marc Malusis, either with WFAN or the network. With his former show still intact in morning drive, Carton would also need to find a new co-host and producer, likely someone who can help with WFAN’s lack of diversity. 

Joining Jason Barrett’s BSM podcast in August, Entercom New York market manager Chris Oliviero who oversees WFAN, acknowledged he’s spoken with Carton and is interested in a potential reunion, but no job offer was made yet. Just over a month later, it appears an offer, and maybe a deal between WFAN and Carton are right around the corner. 

Sports Radio News

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.”

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Gregg Giannotti

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.”

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Sports Radio News

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.”

Jordan Bondurant

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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.”

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Sports Radio News

Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

Jordan Bondurant

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The talent lineup for the BetQL show BetMGM Tonight is expanding, and Nick Ashooh is joining the team.

The news became official on Thursday when BetQL announced the addition of Ashooh on Twitter.

Ashooh has worked mainly in the D.C. market up to this point in his career, hosting for Audacy and NBC Sports Washington. He had been contributing sports betting content for the BetQL network for the latter part of the last year.

Ashooh joins co-hosts Trysta Krick and Ryan Horvat on BetMGM Tonight. The show can be heard weeknights from 7-11 p.m.

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