The partnership will see Carton go up against his former radio partner Boomer Esiason, whose WFAN morning show with co-host Gregg Giannotti is simulcast by CBS Sports Network. But according to Giannotti, as long as the yet-to-be-detailed FS1 show isn’t on the radio, headlines pitting Carton against Esiason were without merit.
“I saw Andrew Marchand put out that Craig’s gonna do a morning TV show on Fox Sports,” Giannotti said Tuesday morning on WFAN. “And the headline was ‘he’s gonna go up against former partner Boomer Esiason,’ like it was some big controversial thing.”
The exact headline from The Post was: “WFAN’s Craig Carton lands national FS1 show that pits him against Boomer Esiason,” but according to Giannotti, there is no controversy. “I’m actually happy for him, that he gets an opportunity to do something like this,” Giannotti said.
“People want to make that into something bigger than it is,” Giannotti added, referring to the potential rivalry between Carton and Esiason.
Carton dominated morning radio in New York alongside Esiason on WFAN for a decade. But their run came to a screeching halt in 2017, when Carton was arrested and convicted of fraud, landing him in federal prison for one year. After being released in 2020, the brash radio host returned to WFAN in afternoon drive and continues to prove he has a knack for generating ratings.
“If Craig didn’t come back here to work on the radio, the headlines that were out there yesterday would have been warranted,” Giannotti said.
While their CBS Sports simulcast is a valuable tool for the show, Giannotti and Esiason are much more concerned about their radio ratings than TV. And in radio, Carton’s ability to reinforce WFAN’s lineup makes him much more of a teammate to Giannotti and Esiason than he will be a competitor on FS1.
“It’s not gonna be a thing,” Giannotti said of Carton vs Esiason on TV. “It would have been on the radio. That would have been a thing. It would not have been fun…but we’re on the same team here. We’re not on different teams. We want each other to do well, I can’t believe we have to say that.”
What is interesting about Carton’s looming project with FS1, is will it eventually impact his show afternoon show with WFAN and co-host Evan Roberts? Morning TV followed by an afternoon radio show on a daily basis can be a grueling schedule, and how would potential success with FS1 impact future contract negotiations with WFAN?
Those questions remain a long way off, considering we don’t know how long Carton’s FS1 show will be or what the format is. But we do know that the show is coming, and Giannotti won’t be viewing it as competition.