The New York sports talk radio war has experienced yet another massive upheaval.
Craig Carton is leaving WFAN and its ratings juggernaut afternoon drive program to go full-time with his Fox Sports 1 morning show, according to The Post. Sports media columnist Andrew Marchand reports:
Carton will now just do the FS1 program, which will pay him seven figures, according to sources.
He is expected to leave WFAN in a little more than two weeks.
For Carton, the financial difference between WFAN and FS1 was too great and the previous schedule was too daunting to remain on afternoon radio in New York.
Even Audacy president Chris Oliviero, who oversees WFAN, gave Carton his blessing to take the FS1 deal, according to sources.
The news is not a total shock. Marchand reported Carton would need to choose between cable television and radio at some point in April. And everyone knew there was more money in TV than radio. Especially with Audacy, WFAN’s parent company, in dire financial straits. But still: It is a colossal blow for WFAN, which had finally regained a stranglehold on the market and was dominating ESPN Radio New York’s Michael Kay in the ratings battle. And it is a life jacket for Kay, who now has a chance to regain relevancy. Remember: WFAN has not beaten Kay without Carton or Mike Francesa.
So what now? Marchand reports Evan Roberts will stay in afternoon drive and that Tiki Barber is the leading internal candidate to replace Carton. He also reports actor Jerry Ferrara — who played Turtle on “Entourage” — has his name being kicked around. Ferrara is a huge New York sports fan and has appeared on WFAN in the past. Marchand also reports another Francesa comeback is not in the cards. This is a big legacy moment for WFAN program director Spike Eskin.