Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports Radio News

Craig Carton Says Farewell to WFAN, Sports Radio

“I am forever grateful to the listeners of WFAN who said it was okay for me to be back.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Carton WFAN
Courtesy: Corey Sipkin

Friday afternoon on WFAN, a familiar voice took the airwaves for his final show on the station’s airwaves. Craig Carton, the former morning host who received a second chance at the station following a turbulent arrest, remarked that he was at the top of the mountain and fortunate to redeem himself with the audience as he bid farewell for the final time. The reason Carton is leaving WFAN is to focus on his FOX Sports 1 morning television program, The Carton Show, on a full-time basis. Because of the ability for FOX Sports to garner exclusivity for his media rights, Carton will reportedly be paid a higher salary and, by virtue of working one job, have considerably more time to spend with his family.

“We started this show in November 2020, and here we are damn near three years later, and I am the most privileged and blessed person, I think, on the planet earth,” Carton said to open the program, “to have been given a second opportunity at a job here on what is, without dispute, the greatest sports talk radio station in America.”

Carton had long dreamt of working in New York City on WFAN, and it was his ultimate goal when he began hosting on WGR in Buffalo, N.Y. Following stops in Cleveland, Ohio; Philadelphia, Penn.; Denver, Colo. and Trenton, N.J., Carton was hired by WFAN in the summer of 2007 to join Boomer Esiason on its morning program. From the start of his WFAN career to the finish, there have been many highs and lows, but through it all, he has been able to draw an audience. Being able to say goodbye to his colleagues and the listeners on a last show is not an opportunity everyone in sports radio is afforded, and Carton made the most of the moment.

“When you do sports talk or any talk radio and if you do it really well, you build a very personal connection with an audience member – 99% of [whom] you will never meet in your lifetime even if you wanted to,” Carton said. “….It’s very intrusive, but it’s also what separates really great talk shows from anything else that’s out there in the media.”

Boomer & Carton consistently ranked at the top of the radio ratings and became a trusted, reliable source for information and entertainment. Everything changed a decade later when Carton was arrested for wires and securities fraud, part of a scheme that defrauded investors. As a result, he was suspended indefinitely from WFAN and resigned from the station. Shortly thereafter, Carton was convicted and then sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison, along with being required to make restitution of $4.8 million.

One year later, Carton was released from prison after he completed a 500-hour cognitive behavioral therapy course expediting the process. After spending time in a halfway house and in home confinement, he was officially released from federal custody in June 2021. Before that time though, he had rejoined WFAN following conversations with Audacy New York market president Chris Oliviero.

“I always knew I could do radio,” Carton said. “I thought I could still just show up and do a really good, entertaining radio show. The question mark we both had, and he impressed upon me was, ‘There’s no guarantee that the audience will accept you back because you hurt them,’ because they loved [Boomer & Carton] so much.”

The second departure of Carton, which took much deliberation on his end, led WFAN to revamp its programming lineup following Boomer & Gio, most notably moving Tiki Barber to pair with Evan Roberts in middays. Replacing Barber in his midday slot is Sal Licata, who will pair with Brandon Tierney with the hopes of bringing an explosive dynamism to their new show. The new lineup takes effect on July 24.

Carton returning to WFAN and experiencing the success that he did would have been considerably more difficult had it not been for Roberts agreeing to host with him. It was a decision that he deliberated with his family, friends and trusted advisers, and has ultimately paid dividends in further establishing him as even more of a beloved, impactful radio personality.

Roberts is slightly incredulous towards the move, not yet accustomed to the fact that his time hosting with Carton has come to a close. In the early stages of the process, Roberts remembers thinking that he would be miserable transitioning from Joe Benigno to Carton, but hastily realized the fears were askew. Contrarily, Roberts has thoroughly enjoyed his time working with Carton and knows, by virtue of their connection, will call him crying sometime in the next week or two.

“What’s weird is that it hasn’t sank in yet that I’m not doing a show with you on Monday, and I think it’s one of those things where I will get emotional,” Roberts said. “Because I really did; I had a great time doing the show with you, and that’s not just me giving you something nice to say. I genuinely did and I’m going to miss you, but right now, it doesn’t feel real.”

On the air, Carton conveyed that he was offered the ability to immortalize his microphone at the station with it being dipped in gold and put on display. While he was humbled to have been considered for such an honor after everything he endured and caused at the station in the past, Carton declined the opportunity. Instead, he hopes future hosts on the station remember the legacy behind the microphone and do the radio medium its proper justice. There was one moment, however, where Carton was genuinely nervous if the show would be accepted by the audience.

Two shows into Carton & Roberts, an article was written about the radio ratings and how the show had not gained traction. Carton affirmed that he was brought to WFAN not only for a second chance at a radio career, but also to reestablish afternoon dominance on the air and defeat The Michael Kay Show. In the end, Carton & Roberts only lost one of the ratings books to Kay and his co-hosts Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg and achieved what they sought out to do.

“I’m very proud to say, because the audience bought into the notion of me being back and you and I working together, that we’ve not only beaten them; we have put them out of business essentially,” Carton said of ESPN New York 98.7. “We have dominated Michael Kay and Don La Greca and that little no good weasel that works with them, and I’m very proud of that. When I look back at my career, that’s one of the great accomplishments, egotistically, of my career that I had a job to do and we did that job together.”

Carton ensured to emphasize how that no matter how many people disagree with his hosting style or do not like his return to WFAN, he will still have the tangible satisfaction of dethroning the rival local sports radio station. Throughout the segment, he understood he was being, in his own words, cocky, arrogant and egotistic – and even deemed himself guilty on all three counts. Nonetheless, he took the time to acknowledge the show’s success and made sure to thank the listeners who made it possible.

“I will tell you from January of 2021 through essentially July of 2023, you have not only accepted me back, but you have accepted the concept of Carton & Roberts, and I am forever grateful to the men and women who make up our audience. You proved that second chances are possible; that redemption is possible, and if you are honest and transparent about the mistakes you made and you lean on the audience to support you, the audience is there for you. I am forever grateful to the listeners of WFAN who said it was okay for me to be back.”

As Carton’s show reached his conclusion, he reflected back on his journey and expressed his gratitude for everyone who believed in him throughout his journey on the radio. The people who spew negativity do not impact him, instead choosing to focus on those supporting him as he embarks on the next chapter of his career.

“If nothing else, I truly believe and hope that my story and my comeback paves the way of thousands of comebacks and thousands of positive stories like mine, and I do believe it is a testament that once you start living your life honestly and openly and take ownership of your mistakes and are willing to ask for help and are willing to put the work in to not only get help; to make yourself a better person; to try to rebuild relationships, you can achieve anything you want in life.”

In the final moments of Carton & Roberts, Carton effusively thanked the listeners for giving him a second chance and accepting him into their everyday lives. While he will continue hosting his public service program – Hello, My Name Is Craig – he will no longer regularly be on the WFAN airwaves, although he would not be surprised if he returns to radio one day in the future. For now, FOX Sports 1 is the place where he will garner the pulse of the people and try to elevate his program to success.

“I will miss WFAN a great deal, and I appreciate all the support – and I will leave you with those two words: Thank you.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports Radio News

ESPN Chicago Announces 2024 Football Fest with Adam Schefter and Field Yates

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Graphic for ESPN Chicago's Football Fan Fest
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN Chicago on Facebook

ESPN Chicago announced the return of Football Fest, an event they started in 2022. The 2024 edition will take place at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana on Sunday, August 25. ESPN NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Field Yates are back as guests and will share insights and engage with fans throughout the event.

“Football Fest is the unofficial kickoff of the NFL season, and I am excited about this year’s fest, from the stars we’ll have in the room to the show we have planned,” said Danny Zederman, director of content for ESPN Chicago in a release. “We listened to fan feedback, and we’ve added new ways for fans to interact with their favorite ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities, as well as a live onstage version of our fan-favorite, unfiltered podcast Crosstalk Unhinged with Carm, Jurko, Waddle, and Silvy.”

ESPN Chicago and Bears Radio Network personalities will be available for meet & greets with fans taking photos and signing autographs. The Good Karma Brands owned station says the event “will consist of live programming from local and national experts on the upcoming football season, fantasy football, as well as games, vendors, and more.”

$10 tickets for the event are on sale through Ticketmaster.com.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

ESPN 103.7/104.1 Unveils New Lineup; Dawson Eiserloh Gets Solo Midday Show

“Can’t wait for this new challenge that’ll begin live from SEC Media Days next month.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Logo for ESPN SWLA and a photo of Dawson Eiserloh
Photo Courtesy: Dawson Eiserloh X Account

ESPN 103.7 in Lafayette, Louisiana and 104.1 in Lake Charles have announced a new, all live and local weekday lineup. Local programming will now be heard from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Starting on Monday, July 15 former LSU basketball player Jordy Hultberg will move The Jordy Hultberg Show to morning drive and go from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. He will be followed by Footenotes with Kevin Foote from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The lunchtime show will still feature RP3 and Meche, hosted by Raymond Partsch III and James Meche and it will air from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. That show had also previously featured Dawson Eiserloh, however, he will now move to the 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. slot to host his own show which will be called The Lohdown with D-Loh.

Eiserloh posted on his X account, “Really excited to announce I’ll be getting a solo show weekdays from 1-3 pm on ESPN Southwest Louisiana. Can’t wait for this new challenge that’ll begin live from SEC Media Days next month.”

After Further Review with Matt Moscona will follow in afternoon drive and airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The station also carries play-by-play for LSU athletics and the Houston Astros.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports Radio News

Howie Rose to Host on WFAN Monday to Commemorate 50 Years in Broadcasting

Rose will be in the studio with Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber for their afternoon drive program on Monday from 5 to 6 p.m.

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Howie Rose
Courtesy: New York Mets

New York Mets radio play-by-play announcer Howie Rose, who served as an original radio host at WFAN when the sports radio station launched in 1987, will make his return to the station airwaves on Monday. Rose will be in the studio with Evan Roberts and Tiki Barber for their afternoon drive program on Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., he will host solo for the ensuing hour-and-a-half, welcoming special guests such as broadcaster Marv Albert and former Mets all-star third baseman David Wright.

Rose has called Mets games since 1995, originally starting his time with the organization in the television booth. When Bob Murphy retired from broadcasting games on the radio in 2003, Rose started to work with Gary Cohen on the broadcasts on WFAN. Cohen moved to television upon the launch of the SportsNet New York regional sports network in 2006, while Rose remained on the radio broadcasts. Over the years, he has worked with a variety of partners, including Tom McCarthy, Wayne Hagin, Josh Lewin, Wayne Randazzo and Keith Raad. The Mets are currently broadcast on Audacy-owned WCBS Newsradio 880, which has been the flagship station for the team starting with the 2019 season.

Over the last several years, Rose has cut back on his workload with the Mets, calling approximately 101 games this season. He began to limit his travel during the 2022 season after being diagnosed and treated for bladder cancer. Rose entered the season planning to call all home games, the two Subway Series road games at Yankee Stadium, select National League East road games and a road trip in St. Petersburg, Fla. and St. Louis, Mo. If the team makes the postseason, Rose would call all games, according to Neil Best of Newsday.

Outside of his work with the Mets, Rose formerly called hockey games for the New York Islanders on MSG Networks. Before that time, he was a radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Rangers and famously called the Game 7 clinching goal by Stéphane Matteau in double overtime to send the team to the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.