Who Is Happy About Mike’s Return to WFAN? Who Will Be Affected?
According to the New York Daily News, Mike Francesa is headed back to WFAN to take back his afternoon drive spot. Mike retired four months ago, after taking an 18-month victory lap. He was replaced by a three person team — Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott. NYDN sites anonymous sources as saying they don't know when his return will be, but it will be soon.
If the story is true and negotiations don't go sour, who will this affect? Here are my thoughts:
- CMB AKA Carlin, Maggie and Bart - Obviously, their time will be reduced to make way for Mike. I'll come back to this.
- WFAN Vice President Mark Chernoff - If you believe the NY Post, this decision was made over his head. The paper says Chernoff is not a FAN of Mike's return to the FAN.
- Joe & Evan - Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts have been doing the midday shift for many years, and will now have to split that spot with Carlin, Maggie and Bart, according to the sources in the NYDN piece.
- Boomer & Gio - The morning show has traded jabs with Mike in the media over a comment that was made on MLB's "High Heat." Now, the morning show has to share the hallways with him again. Here's some of that:
- Michael Kay - After years of competing with, and losing to, Francesa in the ratings, Michael Kay probably was relieved to see Francesa leave. Well, Mike is back. Kay reacted on his show yesterday and has this to say:
This story is personally interesting to me on a few levels. I am a huge sports-talk radio fan, I am a huge Mike Francesa fan, and I am also a radio personality. This makes my feelings on the matter complicated.
On the one hand, Mike Francesa pulled a Jay Leno here, yanking his job back from a show that is just getting started and their feelings be damned. This is, at best, not a nice move. It's obvious that he comes off as a person who only cares about him. This seems to be an ego thing.
On the other hand, I love Mike on the radio. I've been listening to him for years, I can't wait for him to come back, and I don't care much for the show that has replaced him. In this case, my selfish need to be entertained wins out over me KNOWING this was a selfish move on Mike's part.
If I feel bad, truly bad, for anyone in this case it's Joe & Evan. I like Joe & Evan, they seem like kind guys, they have great chemistry, and I love their show. Now they have to split time on that show with Chris, Maggie & Bart? This is NO BUENO. Joe & Evan not only don't deserve having to deal with this, but they are flat out better than the team they will share their spot with.
The papers are making this out to be like Carlin, Maggie and Bart are the victims here. While, what is happening to them is not fair, that's life. The three of them took a once in a lifetime, high risk job. It's not a job that you can say no to, but one you would go into thinking this may not last long.
I am not surprised how the papers are dealing with this story, it's almost all negative about Mike. You don't think any of that has to do with the fact that he has had contentious relationships with them over the years? How many of these same people were crying the blues for the backup quarterbacks that Brett Favre put out of work when he came out of retirement 12 times?
You may be thinking, how could you put a positive spin on this story? It's quite simple actually, it's what is best for the customer, the listener. Mike has the best show of anyone in the mix here, he has a huge audience who love what he does and were not ready for him to leave.
What to look forward to when Mike comes back?
Mike arguing with listeners ABOUT his naps
Mike having to say "Smurfs" while arguing with a listener about naps
Mike calling people dumb
I could go on an on about this. I'll likely spend way too much time today watching Francesa on Youtube. Who is excited about Francesa returning to WFAN? I am.