mike francesa march madness
Peter Ackerman | Asbury Park Press

The king almost reclaimed his throne — for a day, at least.

WFAN approached Mike Francesa about a one-off program to celebrate the station’s 35th anniversary, according to Barrett Sports Media. But the big guy was not available. So the triumphant return did not come to pass.

From BSM:

There actually could have been a cameo return for Francesa to do a show.

This past Friday, July 1st, was the 35th anniversary of WFAN going on the air becoming the first ever all-sports radio station in 1987.

“WFAN asked me to do a show on July 1st on the anniversary,” said Francesa. “I (couldn’t) do it but I did voice a message to the fans on the 35th anniversary.”

Afternoon drive hosts Craig Carton and Evan Roberts were off that day. So WFAN presumably wanted Francesa — now hosting a BetRivers podcast — to fill up some of his former air time. Alas. Francesa instead had a pre-recorded message instead, the latest in what has been a series of sporadic spots on WFAN since he left the station for good in July 2020.

“I don’t hear the FAN a lot to be honest with you,” Francesa told BSM’s Peter Schwartz. “I really don’t. If I’m in the car, I might put it on but I really have not heard the FAN very much. I haven’t listened to it a whole lot. It just hasn’t fit my schedule very well. I haven’t heard a lot of sports talk. I watch the games. I hear the games. I listen to the ballgames on the radio if I’m in the car. I watch everything like always.”

Francesa has really started to hit a groove with his podcast. They’ve begun to feel like his old shows in bite-sized form. And if he can successfully condense and replicate his Football Friday programming this fall, it will give the new venture another boost.

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.