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.
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.
Bobby Belt: ‘Pat McAfee Butchered The Name Shan and RJ’
“I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”
Shan and RJ is a show that routinely finds itself in the media spotlight. They may be a Dallas show, but when Jerry and Stephen Jones routinely appear on your airwaves, you are going to draw attention from outside of the market.
On Tuesday, Pat McAfee played a clip of the hosts talking to Jerry Jones. McAfee threw to the clip introducing the show as “Shan, RJ, and Chop.” On Wednesday morning, the 105.3 The Fan’s morning show had some fun with the former Colts punter’s struggles.
“There’s a lot to unpack here,” newly added co-host Bobby Belt said after listening to McAfee and his crew take three unsuccessful cracks at naming the show.
“Reggie made a good point yesterday when I was talking to him about this,” Belt said. “Reggie was like ‘I think McAfee was going to the clip, saw three faces and didn’t know a third name, and so he’s like ‘well, that must be RJ and Chop.’”
Belt delighted in the idea that in McAfee’s mind, RJ Choppy goes by “Chop” on air and even pointed out that one of the producers said that RJ “looks like a Chop.”
Pat McAfee called the show “Shan, RJ, and Chop,” “Shana, RJ and Chop,” and “Shannon and RJ” on different occasions according to Belt. He didn’t think it was disrespectful. He just didn’t understand how McAfee got it so wrong so often.
“They butchered this three ways to the weekend. I have no idea. I mean, it clearly says on the graphics ‘Shan and RJ’.”
Cubs Radio Voice Pat Hughes Named 2023 Frick Award Winner
Chicago Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2023 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.
The award is given annually for “excellence in broadcasting” by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
“Known throughout the Midwest for his easy delivery and unparalleled knowledge, Pat Hughes has called some of the biggest moments in Cubs history and has provided the narrative for one of the most successful eras in the history of the franchise,” said National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Josh Rawitch. “Since arriving at Wrigley Field in 1996, Pat has served as the radio voice for nine postseason teams – matching an ardent fan base with his own passion in every broadcast. His reverence for baseball history and gift for storytelling have made him one of the game’s broadcast treasures.”
Hughes has spent more than 25 years as the voice of the Cubs, and is a nine-time winner of the Illinois Sportscaster of the Year Award. Earlier this year, Hughes found out on-air that he would be inducted into the Cubs Hall of Fame.
Hughes was previously a finalist for the award in 2016 and 2020.
Craig Carton: Jon Heyman ‘No Longer An Insider’ After Aaron Judge Gaffe
“That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”
MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman erroneously reported that New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was signing with the San Francisco Giants in free agency yesterday, and the news was not well received by WFAN afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts.
After Heyman rescinded his original tweet saying “Arson Judge” appeared headed to the Giants, he resent a new one with the correct spelling. During the confusion, Roberts told producers to get Heyman — who is an Audacy contributor — on the phone, which Carton immediately shot down.
“No, we’re not putting him on the air,” Carton said. “I’m not putting him on the air. He doesn’t get a platform on this show. Listen, he made a deal with the devil when he took a job with The (New York) Post. That’s his business.”
While Carton and Roberts processed the news, producer Chris McMonigle said he was certain that Judge would be signing with the Giants, but that was not Heyman’s report, and would hold off until it was official.
Roberts mocked McMonigle by saying he was in denial. “He still hasn’t accepted that Jon Heyman knows what he’s talking about,” Roberts said. Moments later, McMonigle read Heyman’s follow up tweet apologizing for “jumping the gun”.
“That is a horrendous job by Jon Heyman,” Carton replied.
“Heyman’s done,” Roberts shouted. “Jon, what are we doing?”
“Heyman is no longer an insider,” Carton added. “That’s a bad job. And all that is is a guy trying to get ahead of everybody else. He screwed the pooch. That’s embarrassing.”
Carton later took umbrage with Heyman deleting his tweets.
“To play fans like that is absolutely unacceptable. It’s not right. Sorry. That’s because everyone’s gotta be first. God forbid someone else has it first. You’re a clown. Your entire career’s work has just been flushed down the toilet.”