Saturday nights are for schmoozing.
Steve Somers is the latest WFAN legend to return to the station in a semi-retired capacity. He will have the Saturday evening shift moving forward, according to discussion on Friday’s morning show. Somers, 76, is scheduled to work 8 p.m. to midnight this week.
Somers’ return was a bit telegraphed in hindsight. He came back for a night in July to celebrate WFAN’s 35th anniversary. And before that, he did a call-in spot with night host Keith McPherson. Somers’ retirement also always seemed to be a begrudging one. Somers, a former midday host, left in 2021 after declining to retake the wheel as overnight host. He had been doing mostly nights and bridge shows — he was seemingly on the air for five hours or five minutes with little in-between.
Somers joins Joe Benigno as icons who have been called out of the bullpen. Or cannot live without a microphone in front of them. Benigno handles the Saturday morning show and has done some weekly spots and fill-in work. It seems unlikely Somers will do as much as Benigno has. Mainly because his style is best suited for nights and weekends. It is out there, but it has its fans. Including Jerry Seinfeld.
We have to acknowledge the elephant in the room: WFAN keeps on finding ways to get proven commodities back in the fold as its current crop of voices are met with mixed reviews. Is this a strategy to calm the seas? An acknowledgment the station has failed to properly develop talent for three decades? And who could be next?
Can bosses Spike Eskin and Chris Oliviero make a deal with WABC to Sid Rosenberg in for a shift or two? What about Russ “The Sweater” Salzberg? Maybe Mark Chernoff has been grinding down at the Jersey Shore for this exact moment. You know what? This could be a good topic for Shaun Morash’s next daily 5 p.m. segment.