Former WFAN New York host Chris Carlin crossed the sports talk radio street for an appearance on “The Michael Kay Show” on rival “ESPN NY 98.7” WEPN-FM Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 9). Originally promoted to be sitting in for co-host Pete Rosenberg, Carlin only spent a half-hour on the air, or else he faced forfeiting the remaining three-month pay-out of his contract with Entercom. Kay originally said Carlin would be on the program for two hours, however, according to numerous reports, Entercom notified WEPN-FM that if he was on for more than a 30-minute guest spot, his contract could be voided.
“They’re so mean-spirited and petty, to stop a guy from going on the air,” Kay said during the program, according to the New York Post. “If he’s that bad that you fired him, what do you care if he’s on the air for two hours with us?”
During his guest segment, Carlin spoke about getting handed walking papers from WFAN. “I don’t know that I would say I was surprised,” he told Kay about his departure. “Of course, it’s going to hurt.” Carlin said he understood that it was a business decision and had nothing but good things to say about his former co-hosts Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, who continue on “The Fan,” crediting them with the success of the show after being bumped from afternoons upon the return of Mike Francesa from his short-lived retirement.
“I think I’m pretty good, but Maggie was the breakout star of the show and Bart knows so much about everything and people don’t even know how much Bart works,” Carlin told Kay, Newsday reports. “They are phenomenal people, and they’re outstanding at this.”
Meanwhile, Carlin says he is looking for work, joking that Gray “could have hired me to be the nanny... wouldn’t have killed her” or that he could serve as a driver for Scott. “Will show up for food, literally,” he said.
Carlin was let go from WFAN in September, with some seeing it as potential precursor to more changes coming in the new year at the station. Both Gray and Scott have their contracts coming to an end in December and all three were hired as afternoon talent with salaries that align with the drive time position. They were formed as a team to serve as the replacement for Francesa in afternoons when he entered retirement at the end of 2017. However, Francesa famously un-retired and returned to his usual afternoon spot in May 2018, bumping CMB to 1-3pm.
The New York Post cites sources saying that Gray and Scott are part of future plans for the station. The tabloid has previously reported that with Entercom’s purchase of Francesa’s “Mike’s On” app, the host could devote more time to the Radio.com platform and less time on-air, with speculation that Gray and Scott could wind up back in afternoons as “The Fan” returns to a traditional three-show workday lineup.