WFAN Working Hard To Find Replacement For Mike Francesa
WFAN is "scheduling, holding and canceling live on-air auditions as it tries to figure out how exactly to replace" Mike Francesa in the afternoon drive slot in a few weeks time, which is "highly unusual at this late juncture," according to Andrew Marchand of the N.Y. POST. As Francesa prepares to move into a different role, "turmoil and anxiety remain high" at the station. On top of that, two of WFAN's "linchpins, Bart Scott and Gregg Giannotti, remain unsigned for next year." Scott has "emerged as the power player in the future" of WFAN, and Giannotti has been a "part of the No. 1 morning show for two straight books." ESPN has "interest in luring" Scott away from WFAN for "Get Up" and "possibly radio." He is "valued by WFAN because he is the second-most-requested personality by advertisers" after Boomer Esiason. Meanwhile, Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno have "established themselves with continued strong ratings" in their midday role. Each of them have "one more year on their current contracts" (N.Y. POST, 11/14). On Long Island, Neil Best notes WFAN's afternoon drive time tryouts have "taken a detour," with Roberts "no longer scheduled to work alongside Maggie Gray" and Scott next week. Instead, John Jastremski will be "sitting in with Gray and Scott in what widely is viewed as a test of a potential show to replace" Francesa in January. The plan was for Roberts to join Gray and Scott, but that has "been postponed for now" (NEWSDAY, 11/14).