Breaking News: WFAN Drops The Mad Dog

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And just like that, the long rumored breakup between Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and Mike Francesa has finally come to pass. Neil Best of Newsday first reported on the rift back in June and now according to Newsday, it's official....

WFAN announced Thursday that it has released Chris (Mad Dog) Russo from his contract.

This means the end of his 20-year partnership with Mike Francesa on the highly successful “Mike and the Mad Dog Show.”

Russo, whose contract was to run until the Fall of 2009, has been rumored to be headed to Sirius XM Radio. Sources said Russo has no signed agreement with the satellite company.

Russo will not make a final appearance on WFAN.

Renowned for his signature greeting - "AAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDD good afternoon everybody! How are you todaaaay?" - and his tirades, Russo joined WFAN in December 1988 as an overnight, weekend and fill-in host.
These two were the best and worst of Sports Talk Radio, but in the end, I'm sad to see them split. They were loud, obnoxious, combative, stubborn and a tad bit dumb, but I just couldn't get enough of them. I listened to them for a good three hours the day that the Mitchell Report came out and I was riveted.

The other good thing they had going for them was that they had no affiliation with ESPN Radio and still nationally known. Local Sports Radio outlets are slowly being purged across the Country, and with Daniel Snyder having already bought up every DC station, I think the last of my out-of-town Sports Radio go tos are gone.

Update: Via WFAN operations director Mark Chernoff....

"WFAN announced today it has signed a multi-year contract with Mike Francesa making him the sole host of afternoon drive (1:00-6:30PM) on the nation’s first and most listened to all-sports station. Mike began his career at WFAN in 1987 and has been heard in afternoons on the station since Sept. 5, 1989."

Chris (Mad Dog) Russo out at WFAN (Newsday)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 4:30 PM


man this sucks is the show still gonna be on wfan? cuse i loved watching that everyday in upstate new york on YES. and i agree with you about the no local sports stations. all of them are ethier espn radio or fox sports. theres none in my area and i search online for ones in big sports cities like new york boston chicago that i can listen to on my computer threw streaming but all that i ever find is espn affialiates and fox sports affialiates thatll have one or two local shows a day with the rest just being national shows.

zach said...
Aug 14, 2008, 8:21:00 PM  

Isn't Tony Kornheiser's radio show finished as well?

Zach: Have you listened to WSCR online? Their awful national affiliation, Sporting News Radio, is only at night and they have a wide variety of Chicago area sports blather.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 9:56:00 PM  

i grew up in new york and came back after college. i have horrible taste in music and don't listen to anything except the stuff i liked back in middle school like green day and pearl jam. why? because of this show. yes, russo was an idiot clown, and yes, francesa was an arrogant bully, but together they had a great show. it's really really sad that it is over.

lineup said...
Aug 14, 2008, 9:57:00 PM  

I hear you on the dearth of quality local sports programs, but I won't miss this show in the slightest. Chris Russo's voice was, at best, irksome and at worst, the most grating in all of radio.

Dan said...
Aug 14, 2008, 9:58:00 PM  

I hope this doesn't mean the end of the "Mad Dog Minute" on

Tainted Alligator Souffle said...
Aug 14, 2008, 10:04:00 PM  

There's a dearth of quality sports talk radio period, not just locally. Van Pelt's solo hour on the WWL is the closest thing to listenable, but I gave up on Mickey Mouse Radio a month ago. Occasionally, I'll catch The Team 1380 out of St. Louis, just because of the Cardinals, buit otherwise, I'm done with sports talk.

Bruce said...
Aug 14, 2008, 10:21:00 PM  

The Sirius rumor is very interesting. At this time Sirius doesn't have their own sports talk content (I think there is like a show or two that just plain suck). Outside of Farrell on Stern 101, it's barren. I'd welcome a good sports lineup.

Steve said...
Aug 14, 2008, 10:32:00 PM  

Who gives a freaking rat's ass?? Two fuckockta megalomaniacs are breaking up and this is important??
I puking all over my sweatpants.

hollywood wagon train said...
Aug 14, 2008, 10:43:00 PM  

More quotes from the NY Times:

I don't care how ridiculous they are, I loved getting my lunch at 1 and listening to the first half hour or so of their show. It was extremely entertaining.

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 11:31:00 PM  

Russo and Ferrall would be an amazing team on Sirius

I will definitely not be listening to that idiot Francesca by himself..pompous idiot

Anonymous said...
Aug 14, 2008, 11:48:00 PM  

Farrell?!? That dude's voice is even more grating than Russo's.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 12:03:00 AM  

unless I'm mistaken, Kornheiser will be back in Jan or Feb -- sometime after MNF season ends.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 12:06:00 AM  

From Mediaweek: "Also not returning to the Bonneville properties will be sports talk host Tony Kornheiser, who has been heard on WWWT except during football season when he takes a hiatus to focus on his ESPN “Monday Night Football” duties."

But you are probably right, Anonymous 12:06.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 12:28:00 AM  

"WFAN announced today it has signed a multi-year contract with Mike Francesa making him the sole host of afternoon drive (1:00-6:30PM)"

The dream of the Mike & Brandon Tierney Show is over. Damn.

/would not wish that on anyone

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 12:38:00 AM  

I'm surprised that WFAN gave Francesa such a big deal; I'm not sure how he will do as a solo/lead. Russo can be annoying as hell, but he was a valuable foil for Francesa. Indeed, I wonder how successful either will be in a solo role. The whole was definitely greater than the sum of the parts.

jvwalt said...
Aug 15, 2008, 12:56:00 AM  

This sucks. As a young New Yorker in his early 20's, I can't stress to you guys how sad this is for me and fellow young sports fans in NY. I grew up with these guys and would always have them on because I know something entertaining would happen everyday. It stinks, makes me feel older too. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels the same way.

Andrew said...
Aug 15, 2008, 1:09:00 AM  

One more time...

They're talking sports going at it as hard as they can, It;s Mike and the Maddog on the FAN. DA NA NA.. NAA NA NAAAA

What do they do with the song?

Andrew said...
Aug 15, 2008, 1:17:00 AM  

This is a tragic tragic day, honestly this possibly hurts more then the yankees season this year. As a 17 year old avid sports fan in North Jersey, Mike and the Dog were the creme of the crop, and a must listen every day. Who can forget Mad dogs rants on Pacman jones, or him going off on brian cashman about Lidle (RIP), this is just so sad. I hope the rumors about him going to serious are not true, and somehow he continues to stay in NY. Fatcessas is not going to be too good by himself and its only a matter of time till they get sid rosenberg back.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 1:56:00 AM  

"I think the last of my out-of-town Sports Radio go tos are gone."

LeBatard's show is a great "non-sports" sports show.

Same for Dave Dameshek, who has now been "relegated" to podcasting for ESPN710 in LA.

odessasteps said...
Aug 15, 2008, 2:00:00 AM  

i'm with Andrew, I'm 26 now so I basically grew up with Mike and the dog from the start hearing them in the car with my parents-- its pretty weird knowing they've broken up-- they might be ignorant and know nothing about sports other than their knowledge of whats happened in the past-- but they made good radio.

Russo's solo saturday morning show was always entertaining too.

Evan said...
Aug 15, 2008, 2:18:00 AM  

I loved the Mike & the Mad Dog show. This stinks. Russo is the perfect Yankee hater to balance Francesa and they played well off each other.


Jim Hoffman said...
Aug 15, 2008, 7:11:00 AM  


madnice said...
Aug 15, 2008, 8:58:00 AM  

I will miss Chris Russo. I know he can be annoying, but at the same time, he doesn't need Francesa anymore. If you want to claim that he was fired, go right ahead. However, he was doing this Mad Dog Minute on MSNBC with his own sports commentaries. He may end up at ESPN.

JMNOR55 said...
Aug 15, 2008, 10:34:00 AM  

GOOD BYE mutt, too bad you don't take the big fat ego guy with you. The 2 of you think you know more then the fans that made you, well guess what YOU DON'T. You can name drop and talk you garbage all you want, you 2 are still nothing but talking heads with BIG MOUTHS. Good-bye no tears here.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 11:29:00 AM  

Thank God. Hopefully this means that those of us who are fortunate to not live in New York or the East Coast will no longer be subjected to endless posts about Mike and the Mad Dog.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 11:43:00 AM  

Dear Sir:

I live in Chicago. However, Mac Jurko & Harry (MJH) would be lucky to carry Francesa's bags or jockstrap. Chicago sports radio is about as sophisticated as Lincoln, Nebraska. I have no idea where you are from, but for better or worse, Mike and the Mad Dog was the gold standard in sports talk radio. Look at Mike and Mike on ESPN.

JMNOR55 said...
Aug 15, 2008, 11:50:00 AM  

The Bobcat has a good show out of Toronto. Also, the drive with JMV in Indianapolis is good and Phoenix has some good shows. It's not as good as it once was, but there's still some viable options.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 1:26:00 PM  

I don't get the logic of WFAN or its owners, CBS Radio. To me, Chris Russo was the better of the two radio sports talk hosts. If you are intending to go in the direction of a solo host for 5 and 1/2 hours, Russo seems to be the better option.

I'll admit to not really following or being a fan of Mike and the Mad Dog, but they were enjoyable to listen to and they always seemed to take a definitive stance on a subject, even if it meant opposing the other. To me, I don't expect this to last with Francesa hosting solo. WFAN will either add someone else or shift its program lineup.

Anonymous said...
Aug 15, 2008, 4:41:00 PM  

I remember in 1989 that putz Phil Mushnick had a column in the Post proclaiming that FAN should 'split aces' when it was announced that they were partnering Mike and the Dog.
As usual, Mushnick breath was wrong and the show lasted a great 19 years.
All the best to both of you, fellas, you were two nice Italian guys doing a great show together

ceez said...
Aug 15, 2008, 6:38:00 PM  

Worst sports talk show in the nation...THE HARDLINE on The Ticket in Dallas.

One reason...Danny.

The rest of the crew is rock-solid.

When you listen to The Hardline, all you get are Danny drops played by Danny over and over again, ad nauseum, just to give Danny a chuckle.

Oh yeah, Sorta sucks as well.

Anonymous said...
Aug 16, 2008, 3:16:00 AM  

Worse than the Tony Rizzo Show in Cleveland?

Anonymous said...
Aug 16, 2008, 11:25:00 AM  

I was teary-eyed yesterday. Doesn't matter what anyone says that is negative because I listen to WFAN every day, and probably listen to Mike and the Mad Dog for a bid every day. It has become a part of my life since the beginning and I will miss it. While I think Mike is a snob and he is arrogant, he has showed in the past to be much more pleasant on his own.

Jay said...
Aug 16, 2008, 3:39:00 PM  

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