Thu. Apr 25th, 2019

Francesa Addresses Future At WFAN

“Although Francesa said “outright lies” are being reported, he did confirm his future with WFAN is in question and a co-host is a possibility.”

Two days after Andrew Marchand reported WFAN tried to pry Adam Schein from SiriusXM to their afternoon show for a second time, the timeslot’s placeholder, Mike Francesa tweeted he was going to address the rumors.  Three hours later, Francesa carried out his Twitter plan and commented on what he clarified as “outrageous misinformation and outright lies.” 

In a trilogy of Tweets, Francesa stated he hasn’t signed a long-term deal with WFAN, but “If I stay I would consider adding another person to the program.” Although Francesa said “outright lies” are being reported, he did confirm his future with WFAN is in question and a co-host is a possibility.

Recently, Francesa’s on-air gaffs have received more attention than the hard-hitting takes, interviews and breaking news stories New York sports fans grew accustomed to. Adding a new voice could light a fire under Francesa, while also helping develop a plan for when he leaves WFAN a second time. With Mike admitting he told the company he would “consider adding another person to the program,” it begs the question of who the second voice might be?

As Marchand reported last week, SiriusXM’s Adam Schein is no longer a possibility to join WFAN. Another SiriusXM employee and familiar WFAN voice, Christopher Mad Dog Russo’s SiriusXM contract is set to expire soon, but according to Marchand the two sides are nearing an extension. Russo signed a three-year deal with the satellite radio company in September 2016.

Over the weekend Bob Raissman of the Daily News reported WFAN reached out to Max Kellerman for a second time. Kellerman signed a multi-year deal with ESPN in December, but during their first recruitment, WFAN was willing to let him continue working on First Take, while also hosting their afternoon radio show.

NFL Network reporter and part-time WFAN host, Kim Jones turned down the opportunity to replace Francesa over a year ago, but would she be interested in being his radio partner? Francesa has long-respected Jones, relying on her as a source for college football and NFL news. Their at times opposite perspectives, most notably about Odell Beckham Jr. could make for a fun radio dynamic.

The most commonly mentioned candidate is WFAN overnight host John Jastremski. Since Francesa returned to WFAN last spring, he’s treated JJ as protégé, also making him one of the most featured contributors to the Mike’s On App. Jastremski would offer an infusion of enthusiasm to the WFAN afternoon show, but the Sports Pope would need to view him as an equal, rather than his disciple.

The other hurdle with Francesa’s future remains the Mike’s On App.  Entercom owning WFAN while dually being involved in Francesa’s app complicates any potential split.

When Mike retired from WFAN in 2017, the then 63-year old wanted to spend more time with his family and less time working five days a week.  Since ending his four-month retirement, not only is Francesa back to hosting a radio show Monday through Friday, he also needs to stay active on social media and the Mike’s-On App, essentially increasing his workload.  

By no longer offering three hours of free content on WFAN each weekday, Francesa could work less and provide his subscribers with a more valuable product. We already saw Francesa struggle with giving up WFAN’s prime real estate once, is the Mike’s On App a big enough platform to make him try signing off again?

Mike still has no time frame for remaining with WFAN and a co-host isn’t out of the question. While Francesa called Marchand’s New York Post report out for being inaccurate, his Tweets addressing the topic didn’t seem to offer any finalities.     

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.