Craig Carton

Following New York City radio host Craig Carton’s September arrest on charges of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme to pay his gambling debts and subsequent resignation from WFAN,  he’s largely been quiet, only releasing a short statement a week after his arrest that denied the allegations against him and vowed “My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.”

Carton has now broken his media silence, speaking to Martin Rogers of USA Today. In that interview, Carton again proclaims his innocence, and says these charges have messed up his life for now, but won’t stop him from eventually returning to sports radio:

“It is killing me,” Carton, 48, said while sitting in a meeting room at his attorney’s offices near Wall Street. “I made my living speaking and being opinionated on whatever it was I was speaking about. Now I am the focus of that. I am the subject that people are talking about. It is extraordinarily frustrating. It is maddening. It was beyond difficult to keep my lips tight for the last two months.”

…“It is devastating. There is no other word for it. It has thrown my entire life upside down – I have to talk to my kids about things that they might not understand but that I know they are reading … adult things that no kid should ever have to read about, especially when you are talking about their father.”

“As far as the personal toll, I was employed for 10 years at my dream job. I have no income now. My life unfortunately is kind of on hold. The last two months have been hell.”

…“I think about (being on sports radio) every minute of every day,” he said. “You can bet your (butt) that I will do it again at some point.”

Here’s video from Rogers’ interview with Carton:

Any return to radio may be a long way off, though. Rogers’ piece notes that Carton is set to plead not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday, but a trial may not take place until a year from now. And even if Carton is eventually cleared at trial, this baggage may make it difficult for him to get a high-profile job afterwards. But it’s interesting that he’s still so intent on returning to radio, and confident that he’ll be cleared. And he does have plenty of supporters, including New Jersey governor and frequent caller/co-host Chris Christie, who told Rogers “I believe in Craig and I believe in his goodness as a person.”

Rogers notes that Carton wrote in his 2013 book Loudmouth: Tales (and Fantasies) of Sports, Sex, and Salvation, “My single fear is being locked up in jail. It’s irrational, but I think about it often.” That’s less irrational these days. But it’s clear Carton’s still planning to fight these charges, and still thinking about getting back to radio. We’ll see if he’s able to pull that off.

[USA Today]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.