Bart Scott Can't Wait

There’s still no decision on who will replace afternoon host Mike Francesa or former morning co-host Craig Carton on New York’s WFAN, but it sounds like one is coming soon. Newsday‘s Neil Best writes that WFAN is facing some time pressure, with sales staff soon needing to sell Q1 2018 ads, and that “station management would like to settle all this by early next month, but nothing has been decided or signed.”

But the most interesting part of Best’s article may be some of the unexpected options he floats out there, including current ESPN New York host/contributor and former CBS NFL analyst and New York Jets’ linebacker (and interview trademarker) Bart Scott. Here’s what Best writes about some afternoon show options, including Scott:

If WFAN decides to go the ex-jock route, the most intriguing option is former Jets linebacker Bart Scott, whose colorful personality was on display during fill-in appearances over the summer.

Scott currently is heard on ESPN New York radio, but assuming that is not a long-term deal, WFAN could be a fit – as long as he takes a crash course in knowing and caring about baseball, a must for any New York host.

Chris Simms has been a regular at WFAN and also could be a candidate if it wants a former pro athlete in the room.

Chris Carlin and Kimberly Jones were a popular fill-in pair earlier this decade and would make good sense now, too. Carlin is at WFAN’s sister station in Philadelphia and Jones works for the NFL Network, so there could be some hurdles there.

An unconventional two- or three-person crew would make sense, because inevitably the program that replaces Francesa’s will be closely scrutinized for content and ratings. The more different it is, the better for all concerned.

Scott would certainly be an unconventional hire, and one far different from Francesa, but the WFAN afternoon slot is a long way from what he’s doing now. Scott does have some media experience (working on CBS’ That Other Pregame Show in 2013 and The NFL Today from 2014-16), but he only joined ESPN New York in September. There, he serves as a cohost of New York’s Game Day Sunday mornings with Anita Marks and Chris Canty and Inside The Jets Monday nights with Eric Allen, and appears on The Michael Kay Show and Humpty & Canty

Cohosting NFL-specific shows twice weekly at off-peak hours is very different from holding down a daily afternoon show, especially one as high-profile as Francesa’s long-time slot, and Scott would definitely have to prove that he can knowledgably talk about sports beyond football.

But maybe Scott could be a decent part of a two or three-person mix. And there might be more than two or three people eventually involved; it’s worth remembering that WFAN programming director Mark Chernoff has previously talked about splitting up Francesa’s 1-6:30 p.m. slot, commenting in February “I can’t say that the next person or team doing the show will do five-and-a-half hours.” And Best’s piece notes that the midday show of Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno is likely to get an extra hour post-Francesa, running from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. instead of 1. (Then again, Chernoff said in June his goal was to have a succession plan in place by Labor Day,  so not everything he says comes true.)

In any case, Scott is definitely an interesting name to add to the discussion here, and a much more outside-the-box one than the rest of the mentioned candidates. As for the morning show, the only candidate Best mentions specifically CBS Sports Radio morning co-host Gregg Giannotti, who co-hosted with Esiason for a week in September and could presumably slide over without too many problems given that WFAN is owned by CBS. So that discussion may not be as notable, unless Chernoff goes outside of the box.

At any rate, we should soon know where WFAN is going with their morning and afternoon shows. And it will definitely be interesting to see who they tab as successors to Carton and Francesa.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

  • Walt_Gekko

    There are a lot of people who would like to see Chris Carlin and Kim Jones reunited (they did mornings for a while before Boomer & Carton on WFAN in 2007 after Don Imus had been abruptly fired) and having them replace Francessa if possible might make the most sense IF Carlin wants to return to New York. One longshot possibility would be Carlin and another co-host in an afternoon show that would air on BOTH WFAN in New York AND WIP in Philly. Given the large crossover of people who live in the two cities, such might actually work.

    • DrewShervin

      Never happen. Sports fans in Philly hate everything about New York.

      • Walt_Gekko

        And you don’t realize how many New York natives actually live in the Philadelphia area, in no small part due to the extremely high rents in New York (Philly is actually considered in some circles to be the unofficial 6th borough of New York). Given also how many in Philly actually work in New York and north Jersey, such a crossover show I think would surprisingly work.

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    Terrestrial radio stories…..that’s cute

  • John Vicari

    Enjoy Bart Scott on The Michael Kay Show but he’s a football guy. I can’t imagine him being well versed in all sports by the time WFAN wants him. Hope he stays on ESPN 98.7 and becomes knowledgeable in all sports so he can get a show there.

  • Cappy

    Just give it to Joe and Evan (just Evan when Joe retires) and call it a day..

  • DrewShervin

    No hurdles. Please take Chris Carlin off our hands.

  • Sonia K

    Wasn’t impressed by Giannotti’s audition. You can tell when Boomer doesn’t like someone much: He gets this sarcastic tone where he’s trying to be funny but just sounds annoyed. You could say they just need time to mesh, but… meh. I don’t think there’s any need to recreate the old format. What they have now is good, with Boomer and a crew of sidekicks led by Jerry. They have chemistry. They don’t need a big name, because Boomer’s the big name. Just let it be. Don’t try to force some new “dynamic duo.” The show’s going fine.

  • Vinnytee forelife

    Not a fan !!!