WFAN Replacing Francesa Slot With Evan Roberts, Joe Benigno Duo
WFAN will replace Mike Francesa's afternoon drivetime show by "sliding its longtime midday team of Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts into the slot Francesa left for a second time on Dec. 6," according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. Benigno and Roberts have been paired since January '07, and were "considered the favorites for weeks" to replace Francesa. The deal to move the pair to afternoons had been "held up by contract details, but they are believed to have gotten new three-year deals -- with raises -- that would replace their contracts set to expire" at the end of '20. By opting for Roberts and Benigno, WFAN execs "eschewed more outside-the-box options," though VP/Programming Mark Chernoff is "believed to have been in the Joe-and-Evan camp." The station's Maggie Gray and Marc Malusis will become the "new midday team," with Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti continuing as the morning hosts. The new lineup will debut Thursday. WFAN had "explored a pairing of John Jastremski and Gray in middays, but Gray and Malusis have a long-standing relationship from their days together at CBS Sports Radio and are comfortable with one another." Jastremski will "remain on the overnight shift for now" (NEWSDAY, 12/31).
EYE OF THE STORM: The N.Y. Post's Andrew Marchand tweeted that CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolora will become the station's "new morning host." Meanwhile, Peter Senercia, who is known on CBS Sports Radio as Taz, is "leaving the company" (TWITTER.com, 12/30).