The New York Post has a long piece devoted to the planned departure of Mike Francesa from WFAN in New York City. Francesa has been voted Radio Ink’s #1 sports talker ever since our list was created. He plans to leave the station at the end of this year when his contract expires. The Post points out that if it weren’t for one person, Francesa would have never even landed the job.
Back in the late 80’s when the station was getting started Luke Griffin was one of the people involved in the hiring. He tells The Post one of the reasons he wasn’t going to hire Francesa was his New York accent. “I was just blind to [the appeal of] that. But this was local [radio] and the three people doing the hiring were all national guys, from networks. We were looking for the nondescript accent . . . We really didn’t know what we were doing.”
CBS’ Jim Nantz knew Francesa and made a call for him. Nantz credits Francesa with helping him navigate his auditions, and continued to view him as an invaluable. He made a call to Griffin who changed his mind and made the hire. Francesa says If it hadn’t been for Nantz knowing Luke Griffin, “I don’t think I’d ever have gotten a shot.”
WFAN is in now looking to fill two very important positions. Francesa garners huge ratings – and revenue – for the station in afternoon drive. And, Chris Carton was recently arrested, accused of being part of a Ponzi scheme and resigned from the Boomer & Carton morning show.
Regarding Francesa’s replacement, VP of programming for WFAN and the CBS Radio Network, Mark Chernoff would only say, “We’re doing our homework is all I really want to say right now. No decision has been made.” However, The Post has posted some odds on who will get the gig. Here’s what they have to say:
The NFL Network’s Kim Jones is the favorite to get the job at 5-to-1
WFAN’s Evan Roberts (8-to-1)
CBS Radio’s Gregg Giannotti (15-to-1)
Detroit host mike Valenti (21-to-1)
Fox Sports Radio host Katie Nolan (99-to-1)