Craig Carton’s WFAN comeback was largely telegraphed even before his conviction and prison stint for federal fraud charges. It always seemed like a matter of when, and not if, he would return to the station.
But a national show on Fox Sports 1? No one was predicting that. But it will happen this fall, according to The Post’s Andrew Marchand. He reports Carton has a development deal with FS1 and will launch a morning show this fall. He will still host WFAN’s afternoon drive show with Evan Roberts.
The new Carton venture will put him in competition with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti, as his show will air parallel to the WFAN morning show simulcast on CBS Sports Network. But the magnitude of the head-to-head remains to be seen.
Esiason and Giannotti are on the air from 6-10 a.m. FS1’s current live programming doesn’t start until Nick Wright’s show at 7:30 a.m. and the Skip Bayless/Shannon Sharpe takefest starts at 9:30 a.m. Depending on where Carton fits into the schedule (or how it is changed to fit him), the overlap with WFAN’s morning show simulcast could be short.
Carton isn’t a hardcore sports talker in the way Roberts is. And he’s never really been a hot take artist. It will be interesting to see if FS1 tries to make the tent bigger with Carton’s show. There are only so many viewers who want to watch people screaming about the NBA all day. Also worth watching: Carton tends to play rough when it comes to on-air controversies and dust-ups. That is one thing locally, but it’s a different thing nationally — especially if he starts mixing it up with much more prominent figures.
The long-term question is whether Carton would bolt radio for a full-time TV gig if he finds success. WFAN finally seems to be on solid footing again. It’s not perfect, but it’s working in terms of ratings. Carton and Roberts have beaten back Michael Kay and ESPN Radio New York (for the most part). Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney are the best midday combo the station has had in a while. And the morning show is the same juggernaut it has always been. They need to keep this lineup in place and breathe a little.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]