After hearing about Craig Carton’s issues, former WFAN personality Sid Rosenberg had plenty to say about it. During conversations with Scott and BR on the Mighty 1090, and the New York Post, the WABC midday host said he sympathizes with Carton but isn’t surprised by his demise.
“I know it sounds crazy, and I may be the only one in the country who feels this way but I actually look at it, because I’m a recovering addict, and I’ve had gambling issues in my life as well, there’s a part of me that’s sympathetic,’’ Rosenberg told The Post. “Like this guy is so sick. I went to Gamblers Anonymous time and time again, been abstinent for a long time, then I’d fall off the cliff a little bit.
“But I know how deadly the disease is, man. It’s like drugs and alcohol, that’s one thing, you can smell it, you can see it. But gambling is different. You can go years, no one is going to know. But you’re laying on your pillow at night and you’re like ‘How do I come up with a million dollars,’ and it’s terrible.
“He obviously did a lot of these things out of desperation and what he did was terrible, if it’s true. If he fleeced innocent people out of millions of dollars, he’s got to go to jail, he f—ed up. But that’s what happens with this disease.’’
While talking to The Mighty 1090 and former radio partner Scott Kaplan, Rosenberg elaborated even further.
“He was sitting in the driver’s seat in New York City. If his salary was $1.8 or $2 million dollars, that’s not what he was making. He and Boomer walk into a department store and they make $20,000 dollars for 15 minutes. His endorsement money, his appearance money, he’s written a book, his television show, this guy was making a lot more than his salary.
“In New York, all of the big players are here, and he had access to everybody. Like the guy or not, the facts are that his show was very successful. Don Imus left and to Boomer and Carton’s credit, they didn’t miss a step, in fact, they did well in Imus’ absence. Even though he was a dick on the air, everybody wanted to be around Boomer and Craig, and he took advantage of it.”
Rosenberg has gone thru his own personal challenges due to addiction. As a result he had to resign from WFAN and was terminated by 560 WQAM in Miami. Given those prior experiences, Sid says he thinks Carton was involved in something much deeper.
“If you’re going to do something as serious as this, and dupe people out of 4-5 million dollars, and go to the length that he did to create a company that didn’t even exist, and I know some of his associates here in New York, and they’re bad guys, but this is above casino gambling.
“Maybe they threatened him. He’s got a wife and four kids. But his actions say to me that this guy was a lot more desperate than paying a casino. The casino is going to charge you interest but they’re not going to hunt you down and shoot you at your front door. The way he acted tells me he was a lot more desperate than owing a casino some money.”
Rosenberg and Carton have history together, previously working on the “The Sports Guys’’ on WNEW. Their relationship started strong but eventually faded. Rosenberg said most of their issues stemmed from differences of opinion about the direction of their show.
“The guy had the best job in the world, morning show host on FAN,’’ said Rosenberg. “He’s finished. Trust me. I look at him as a sick guy. I know what this disease does. If this is not the scariest tale of all, I don’t know what is. If in fact he’s guilty, he’ll never work again. If he’s exonerated he’s got a chance, but my fear is not getting back on the air at FAN is the least of his problems.’’