New WFAN-AM Afternoon Show Focuses On Giants, Jets In Debut Broadcast
WFAN-AM yesterday launched its new show hosted by Chris Carlin, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray in Mike Francesa's former afternoon time slot, and the debut was a "radical departure from Francesa," according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. Over the course of 4.5 hours, the new trio "discussed the Giants" for 3.5 hours, the Jets "for one hour and hockey, college football and everything else going on in the world not at all." Carlin "paid tribute to Francesa and Francesa’s former partner, Chris Russo" early in the show. For the most part, Carlin, Scott and Gray "took turns talking and did not seem squeezed by the three-person format." By sticking to the NFL, they "kept things in Scott’s comfort zone." The questions about "how he will fare when talk turns to baseball or hockey will have to wait." As expected, Scott also "had some moments of edginess." The three hosts "navigated the interviews by taking turns and let the guests answer fully, unlike Francesa, who was famous for interrupting." Best notes "inevitable social media criticism" will "not matter." All that matters is the "ratings, and the report card will come out in April, when Nielsen Audio’s winter book that covers January through March is revealed" (NEWSDAY, 1/3).
PLENTY OF WORK TO DO: In N.Y., Evan Grossman writes Carlin, Gray and Scott's first show together was "as remarkable as a bowl of oatmeal." After much fanfare about "how this three-person team of diverse personalities was going to be such a departure from everything else that’s out there, in the end, 'Afternoon Drive' sounded like every other sports show on every other station." Grossman: "In a word, their first show was meh. It was boring. It was cookie-cutter. It could have been on in any other city like Philadelphia or Boston." But it was refreshing to "hear someone ask questions and wait for a response without talking over them." The new hosts are "going to have to work to endear themselves with their audience." The more Gray "talks about her love of the Buffalo Bills and Scott brings up growing up in Detroit, it makes you realize how much work they have" to get people in N.Y. to "care about what they have to say" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/3).