It’s been a wild couple of years for former Philadelphia radio guy Craig Carton. He got out of jail, was linked to a Philly return, and then wound up going back to WFAN instead. It’s unclear to what extent the Philly connection was real vs. being an agent-driven leverage play, but based on what I heard behind the scenes, the Fanatic absolutely would have been down with Carton working there. I’m just not sure what that looked like in terms of legit discussion with the powers that be. It could have been a phone call and nothing more. Not entirely clear on that.
Anyway, according to Andrew Marchand at the New York Post, Carton is now getting a national TV show:
WFAN’s Craig Carton is expected to host a national TV show this fall on Fox Sports 1 that will air in the mornings, The Post has learned.
Carton will continue to do his local afternoon drive time radio program on WFAN with Evan Roberts, according to sources.
Carton’s new FS1 morning program would put him in competition with his old partner, Boomer Esiason, who now teams with Gregg Giannotti, on FAN’s highly rated morning program. “Boomer & Gio” is simulcast on CBS Sports Network.
That’s interesting from an overlap perspective. Carton and Roberts do 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on WFAN, and they’ve got a simulcast on SNY, kind of like Mikey Miss on NBC Sports Philadelphia. As Marchand notes, WFAN radio talent will be competing with each other on different platforms. If Audacy had a problem with that, or there was a stipulation in Carton’s contract, then Marchand wouldn’t be reporting this.
Spike Eskin is running the show up there now. They’ve got a pretty solid lineup but I’ll defer the take to James Kratch at our sister site Elite Sports NY:
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.
You’d have to be in your 30s or 40s to remember when Carton was on 610 WIP. He had a brief stint here in the mid-1990s, which included the lawsuit filed by the Flyers when Carton alleged that Eric Lindros missed a game because he was hungover. That ended with an out-of-court settlement.
Craig Carton on national morning television. Yay or nay? Anybody?