Mike Francesa

Mike Francesa’s extremely brief retirement ended Tuesday when he announced he was returning to WFAN, only four months after walking away amid much pomp and celebration.

Now, as details emerge about how the Sports Pope’s comeback came to pass, it is becoming eminently clear just how desperately Francesa wanted to get back on the radio — and how unhappy practically everyone at his station is with his return.

The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports Wednesday that Francesa, who was making $3 million a year by the time he walked away from WFAN in December, will take a “significant pay cut” to rejoin the station. Marchand also reports that Francesa went over his longtime boss Mark Chernoff’s head, running straight to David Field, the president of WFAN parent company Entercom, to negotiate his return.

Per Marchand, Francesa will be back on WFAN “early next month,” with a show that will air daily from 3-6:30 p.m. ET, with Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott moving to 1-3 p.m. and Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno losing an hour and running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Newsday’s Neil Best reports that Francesa is expected to sign a contract that will keep him at WFAN through the end of 2020 and that he could return to the airwaves as soon as Tuesday.

The Francesa-WFAN reunion has rubbed a whole lot of people the wrong way, from Chris Russo to Michael Kay to Steve Politi to Boomer Esiason, who spent part of his show Wednesday morning bashing Francesa for trampling over Gray, Carlin and Scott. Via Newsday:

“Radio can be a real sewer pit, and there’s a lot of backstabbing and knife-throwing and all that other stuff that goes on,” Esiason said. “We try to stay above all that stuff, but unfortunately you can’t, and three people basically have gotten screwed.

“I don’t care how you put it, they have gotten screwed and they have gotten screwed by a guy who said he was never going to be on this radio station who decided to come back because of some conspiracy to keep him off the air. I have no idea what the hell that means.”

Carlin, Gray and Scott, for their part, handled the situation about as graciously as anyone could, welcoming Francesa back to WFAN with relatively open arms.


Still, it’s hard to believe they’re a little upset to have Francesa undercut them like this.

So, to recap, Francesa will return to WFAN to work with a boss who didn’t want him back and wasn’t involved in bringing him back, to share a station with one set of colleagues (Esiason and Gregg Giannotti) who never liked him and another (Gray, Carlin and Scott) whose airtime he’s snatching. Sounds like a pleasant situation all-around.

[New York Post]

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.