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Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: Pairing Carton and Roberts Doesn’t Make Much Sense

“If you’re going to put Craig in a drive time situation, you have to give him an ex-athlete who can handle him. They’re going to put Evan Roberts in a tricky spot if it’s him.”

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WFAN’s rumored pairing of Craig Carton and Evan Roberts has had more than a few people in the industry scratching their head. Among them is SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio host Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo.

One of the former kingpins of afternoon drive alongside Mike Francesa on WFAN, Russo discussed the possibility of Carton and Roberts joining forces on his radio show.

“If you’re going to put Craig in a drive time situation, you have to give him an ex-athlete who can handle him,” said Russo. “They’re going to put Evan Roberts in a tricky spot if it’s him. Craig’s going to make it his show, and be goofy, which for radio you like that edge, but it doesn’t sound like they can get an ex-athlete. To put Craig with a conventional host, and this is just me talking from afar, I don’t think that makes much sense.”

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported earlier this week that Carton was expected to sign soon with WFAN. Roberts was considered by many to be the favorite to team with Carton in afternoon drive as longtime partner Joe Benigno gets ready to wind down his radio career and pursue retirement while making occassional appearances on the station.

WFAN has not confirmed if this will indeed be the direction they pursue in afternoons, but with The Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN NY delivering steady results thanks to strong talent and exceptional chemistry, putting Carton and Roberts together, two men with very different approaches to hosting a radio show, could be the best or worst move WFAN makes.

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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.”

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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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Nick Ashooh Joins BetMGM Tonight

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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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Sports Radio News

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 $1.5 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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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.

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