By: Sal Marinello
Photo: Radio.com Player
WFAN, New York City’s iconic, first-of-its-kind, sports talk radio station has outlived its usefulness. Formerly the home of unique and dynamic talk-show personalities, the on-air talent at ‘the Fan,’ is dull and boring, and so are their shows. Regardless of the time slot.
Legendary host Mike Francesa (pronounced, ‘Fransesser’) who is retiring at the end of 2017, is the worst of the bunch. Since splitting with his partner Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo in 2008, Francesa has been disinterested at best, and at times flat out hebetudinous. Look that one up…
Photo: CBS New York
Since announcing his retirement, Mike has taken his indifference up a notch during his afternoon drive time show. To say he’s been mailing it in doesn’t do justice to the level of lethargy Mike brings to the airwaves. Francesa has elevated mailing it in to an art form. Look up the word ‘phlegm’ and that best describes Mike’s show.
Over the past year or so, the only reasons to listen to Francesa was to see just how apathetic and sloppy he could be, as well as to revel in his mispronunciations and diction. Mike’s Long Island accent (‘lawn guy land’) is a source of constant amusement, as are the times he contradicts himself, and when he predicts something with total certainty only to have the exact opposite happen. That’s called a ‘#TankMush,’ by the way.
Anybody on the Twitter who isn’t familiar with the #MongoNation, needs to get with the program ASAFP. Mongo Nation is basically a Francesa Fan Club, and some members love him, but it also seems like some love to hate him. Or at least call him out on his BS. They are a ‘must follow’ companion to the show, if you can still stand to listen. The ‘Mongos’ also flock to FrancesaCon.
But I’ve had to turn his show off. Mike’s tired and I’m tired of listening to him.
The programming day doesn’t start off any better with Boomer and Carton. And while the hosts of this drive time show from 6AM-10AM have much more energy, Carton’s shtick is toxic. What could be a semi-funny for 10-seconds becomes an interminable, repetitive and aggravating bit replete with forced laughter.
Photo: B-Flo 360
Photo: NY Daily News
At first it was so bad I actually switched over to ‘Mike and Mike’ for a few moments before switching back. Then I wouldn’t switch back to the FAN even if a ‘Kars for Kids’ commercial was on the other station. And that was it.
Loved Boomer and the other characters on the show, especially Al ‘Hughes’ Dukes, but it’s not enough to overcome Carton. Great show would be Boomer and the Simms (Phil and Chris), but that ain’t happening.
Listening to The Boomer and Carton Show is like picking fly shit out of pepper. Not worth the time and effort, so I turned it off.
Sandwiched between the two drive time shows is the ‘Joe and Evan’ show. Frankly, I could listen to Joe Benigno awl day. His accent is every bit of the train wreck that Francesa’s is, but his curmudgeonly demeanor is appealing, as is his being a tortured Jets and Mets fan.
Photo: Scott’s Tip Of The Day
What kills this show is Evan Roberts. His George Costanza-sounding voice is beyond annoying, and he doesn’t offer any unique or worthwhile insight or come across as particularly likable. Bad combination.
So where does this leave the station? Sure the ratings have been good, and the Fan is the leader in the tri-state area, but will Francesa’s departure mark the end of the era in more than one way? Nostalgia may be what keeps many listeners tuning in, but I’ve moved on.
The shows on WFAN really are not compelling at this point and the format is stale. It’s time to turn the dial.