It’s been quite the year for former WFAN mornings co-host Craig Carton, who was released early from prison in June (he served just over a year of the three and a half years he was initially sentenced to in April 2019 for his role in misappropriating $5.6 million in funds from a ticket-resale Ponzi scheme), was discussed as potentially coming back to WFAN at that time, saw a HBO documentary on his rise and fall air earlier this month, was reported as “expected to sign a contract” with WFAN last week, and now has seen the drive-time slot cleared for him. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post broke the news Wednesday morning that 67-year-old current drive-time co-host Joe Benigno would announce his retirement from that role on Wednesday’s show, paving the way for Carton, and Benigno (seen above) did just that. Here’s more from the Joe and Evan show’s posting on Entercom’s Radio.com about this move:
Joe Benigno announced Wednesday afternoon that he is retiring full-time from WFAN. His final show with Evan Roberts from the Town Fair Tire studio will be next Friday, Nov. 6, from 2-6 p.m., ending a 13-year partnership that began as “Benigno & Roberts in the Midday” on Jan. 2, 2007.
“It’s time,” Joe said at the show open. “It’s been a great run, a stellar 25 years here, almost 14 for us. We’ve had a stellar ride, all the things we’ve done, we’ve had a lot of fun and some memorable moments, but it’s time for me to go.”
Benigno, who last month both turned 67 years old and celebrated his 25th anniversary as a full-time WFAN employee, will continue in a part-time role on WFAN into 2021, with scheduling to be determined.
“We’ll see what happens,” Benigno said.
And here’s more from the official Entercom announcement of Benigno’s shift (via Mike Rosenstein at NJ.com):
Entercom announces longtime WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM (WFAN-FM/AM) on-air host Joe Benigno will retire from his afternoon drive co-host role. His final show will be Friday, November 6. Benigno will continue to be heard on the station in select roles beginning in 2021.
“Joe Benigno is the quintessential New York sports fan, broadcasting his trademark straight-from-the-heart perspective on the city’s sports scene every day for nearly three decades,” said Chris Oliviero, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom New York. “Though Joe first came to prominence as ‘Joe from Saddle River,’ he departs as one of the most successful and enduring hosts in the long and iconic history of WFAN. It is comforting to know that he remains a part of the FAN family and will still be keeping a close eye on his beloved Jets, Mets, Knicks and Rangers.”
“It seems like these 26 years have gone by in 10 minutes,” said Benigno. “Where has it all gone? It’s been a stellar ride.”
Benigno first joined WFAN in 1994 after winning a Fan Appreciation Day contest that came with a prize of being hired as a host for one day. He turned that into a job at a small radio station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and then was hired as WFAN’s overnight host in 1995. He then shifted to middays in 2003 and held that role through Mike Francesa’s (second) retirement last year, which then saw Benigno and co-host Evan Roberts bumped to the afternoon drive slot. Now, it looks like Carton will be sliding in alongside Roberts. We’ll see how they do against ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show, which has been winning the afternoon ratings battle for quite some time now.