Westchester County Journal News

WFAN’s Craig Carton landed a deal to host an FS1 morning show back in May. Details were scarce beyond an anticipated fall launch and assurances Carton would stay put in afternoon drive. And they remain so. But we now know of a failed plan for the program.

Fox wanted to pair ex-Jets lineman and current ESPN NFL analyst Damien Woody with Carton, according to The Post’s Andrew Marchand. But ESPN blocked the move.

From The Post:

Woody has one-year remaining on his ESPN contract, which allowed the network to block the move. 

Fox Sports had not made an official offer, but planned to move fast and go strong after Woody to consummate a deal.


Fox went after Woody, but ESPN is blocking any official negotiations as it values what Woody has brought to the ratings success of its opinion shows. That is why ESPN wants to keep Woody and why Fox Sports wanted him to be Carton’s partner.

The timeslot for Carton’s FS1 show is among the many unknowns involved with the project. But since it is a morning show, it seems safe to assume some or all of it will overlap with WFAN’s morning show. Gregg Giannotti has already said he and Boomer Esiason have no beef with Carton and would not see the FS1 show as competition. But when one potential window for WFAN palace intrigue closes, another may open.

When Carton’s WFAN return began to take form, many expected the station would team him with a former athlete. That obviously did not happen. Carton and Evan Roberts were paired up as an odd couple — one that is now beating Michael Kay and ESPN Radio New York after a so-so start.

FS1 was interested in going with an ex-jock alongside Carton. And it will presumably stick to that playbook. It’s unlikely they can pull Bart Scott away from ESPN (although that would be a grand slam). Would Willie Colon leave Sirius XM? How about an already-on-the-roster wild card like Mark Titus?

And happens if Fox strikes gold with Carton and his new partner, whoever that may be? That person could become a dark horse candidate to eventually land at WFAN. Or a threat to help create success that pulls Carton to television full-time. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

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.