WFAN's Roberts, Benigno Could Be Best Options To Replace Francesa
WFAN is faced with replacing Mike Francesa in the afternoon drive time slot, and the "simplest, safest, smartest move" is to bring in longtime midday co-hosts Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno, according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. Both Roberts and Benigno are "known quantities, and the best bets to make a ratings race of it" with ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y.'s Michael Kay. The Roberts-Benigno "default plan began to emerge last week after an experiment" with hosts John Jastremski, Bart Scott and Maggie Gray "flopped badly." The new WFAN lineup "could well feature" Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti in the morning, Gray and SNY's Marc Malusis from 10:00am-2:00pm ET, then Roberts and Benigno in Francesa's current slot (NEWSDAY, 11/17).
MUSICAL STATIONS: In N.Y., Bob Raissman cited sources as saying that Malusis "recently met" with ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y. about a "possible gig." The station will have "openings after it soon announces" Stephen A. Smith's 1:00-3:00pm slot will "go local" beginning in '20. Malusis' contract with SNY "expires at the end of this year" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/17). Also in N.Y., Andrew Marchand cited a source as saying that Scott is "expected to leave WFAN to join ESPN, where he will be part" of the new 1:00-3:00pm local show. ESPN also has "interest in Chris Carlin, but Alan Hahn is emerging as a potential internal candidate to be Scott's partner" (N.Y. POST, 11/17).