Mike’s On: WFAN’s Francesa Talks Belmont Stakes, His Broadcasting Future and Acquaintance Donald Trump
By Neil A. Carousso
New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa sat down with me before his annual radio show from Belmont Park, the day before the 148th Running of the Belmont Stakes. In addition to horse racing and last year’s Triple Crown by American Pharoah, we discussed his future when he leaves WFAN at the end of 2017 and I asked him if he would consider hosting a politically focused program since he takes calls about the 2016 presidential race. Francesa informed me about his relationship with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Francesa has been with WFAN-AM, now also on the FM dial, since August 1987. He co-hosted “Mike and the Mad Dog” with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, starting in 1989. Mike’s encyclopedic knowledge combined with Russo’s enthusiasm, energy and vibrant passion revolutionized sports talk radio and propelled successful careers for both Francesa and Russo. I brought up “Mike and the Mad Dog” in the context of Mike Piazza’s career, which Francesa and Russo would chronicle during their afternoon drive show during Piazza’s prime in a New York Mets uniform; however, that portion of the interview will air on “WRHU’s 3rd Annual Hall of Fame Live Special with Neil A. Carousso,” which I will host live from the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at 12 noon ET on 88.7 FM WRHU in New York, WRHU.org and the free WRHU mobile app. Piazza, who Francesa deems the undisputed “best hitting catcher of all-time,” better than Hall of Fame catchers Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk, in Francesa’s opinion, will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame while donning a Mets cap on his plaque. Ken Griffey, Jr. will be inducted into the Hall with Piazza.
Mike Francesa, considered “the biggest name in sports talk radio,” currently hosts “Mike’s On: Francesa on the FAN” afternoons from 1-6:30 PM ET on sports radio 66 and 101.9 FM WFAN New York. Francesa also hosts “NFL Now,” Sunday mornings during the NFL season.