Mike Francesa Returns To The WFAN Mic Again On Tuesday

He’s baaaaack.

Want to know why legendary WFAN sports talk host Mike Francesa is back on the airwaves after a four-month retirement from 3 pm to 7 pm beginning on Tuesday?

WFAN Sports Radio on Twitter

BREAKING: Mike Francesa returning to WFAN as part of multiplatform partnership. First show is Tuesday. https://t.co/2scCw124Qh

Its not because of the ineptitude of new hosts Bart Scott, Maggie Gray and Chris Carlin (CMB). Ive been an avid sports talk radio listener and participant for over three decades and in my opinion, they were developing some solid chemistry over the past four months. Each sports brain has an area of expertise which compensates for their other weaknesses in certain areas.

Bringing The GOAT of NY sports talk radio back shakes up the ratings game and it’s a perfect time for him to return as the savior considering it took one ratings book for Michael Kay and ESPN to push WFAN to second for the first time since Derek Jeter was a rookie (or something like that).

New York Post Sports on Twitter

Mike Francesa says he plans on returning WFAN: “I didn’t decide to go back to WFAN until I was told I better not go back.” https://t.co/cu6KHE00sZ

Entercom, Francesa and CAA Sports on Friday announced a partnership spanning broadcast radio, digital and live events. The partnership includes the debut of the “Mikes On” radio show, featuring Mike Francesa, airing Monday through Friday from 3pm until 7pm p.m. on WFAN 101.9 FM/660 AM, beginning Tuesday. The partnership also includes the launch of a mobile app and online destination by the same name, Mikes On, which will feature exclusive live video streaming of Francesas weekday radio program on WFAN.

The Michael Kay show on ESPN radio has been the runner-up to Mike for years and now they will have to compete with The GOAT again. Kay and co-hosts Don LaGreca and Peter Rosenberg, say they aren’t sweating it.

unhouse on Twitter

And finally, Don La Greca wants you to know that he doesn’t care about Mike Francesa. Not at all. To prove it, Don demonstrates how steady his hand is. https://t.co/oKXqmuqerH

They welcome the challenge, like a freestyle battle in hip-hop.

unhouse on Twitter

Here’s Peter Rosenberg letting you know that he’s excited for the challenge of going up against Mike Francesa again. On a related note, Peter is lying. https://t.co/JNH4ekRYJd

As for CMB, following The GOAT of New York sports radio was a doomed endeavor from the start. That’s why WFAN suits decided to use at least three hosts of different races and genders to reach the widespread demographics that Mike Francesa amassed in his 30 years at WFAN.

Im a Black guy from Jamaica, Queens. As a radio host, Mike was the equivalent of Bruce Springsteen in music. He was also like a playground legend talking sports. That constant record skip when you’re sleeping but the needle is still spinning. My grandfather listened to Mike. My dad listened to Mike and I listened to Mike, from the time he launched with Mad Dog Chris Russo back in the 80s.

Mike Francesa & The Mad Dog Chris Russo on High Heat (FULL VIDEO)

Best audio quality on youtube. Subscribe to keep up with all the latest videos! See my response on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SportsRadioBen Schedule(Subject to change) Mon-Fri-Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts(10-2),Carlin,Bart, & Maggie(2-3),Mad Dog Unleashed(3-6) Sat-Evan Roberts(10-1)

My 11-year-old sons been listening to Francesa since he was born. The first thing he asked when I turned on the radio last week was, Mike Is Back Daddy?  My son met Mike and his sons at Frozen Ropes in Long Island during a week-long spring break youth baseball clinic in 2015 and has been really hooked on the show ever since. He’s not a big fan of the guys that took over for Mike though.

Meeting Mike was just a thrill to me. You know I took selfies and all that. I wouldn’t necessarily fit the demographic of the majority of daily listeners of Mikes afternoon drive slot, but I can attest that in addition to his reported base, Francesca has a legion of sports talk fans — people of color — who have been hanging on his every word for decades and I am one of them. When at his peak, Francesa was vibrant, consistent, firm and conscious in his execution of his show. When he took a side on something he didnt waver. Francesa was tough but non combative unless he needed to be.

Mike Francesa: “When you get back from Mars, call us”

Uploaded by cpinla41 on 2015-05-05.

At times, he could make a person want to hop out the window of the FAN studios or throw their cell phone out of the window, but you never got the sense that he was partial to any side because of race or background. He was a staunch patriot, but so am I. He was fair. His rants were classic and impactful because he was a tempered guy for the most part.

Via Deadline.com: Francesa, 63, helped build sports talk radio into the monster format it is today. He began at WFAN as a weekend host, then a fill-in for absent, bigger-name colleagues, until finally teaming with partner Chris Mad Dog Russo on the long-running Mike and the Mad Dog show, quickly establishing it as a must-listen in drive-time radio for sports fans. The show ran from 1989 to 2008, when Russo split for a new lucrative deal with Sirius XM.

Mike went on to have another decade of even greater success without The Dog. With the mic all to himself, Francesa was able to flex his full bag of talents and become the indisputable One Man Band and master of the drive-time radio slot.

Mike Francesa rant on the NY Mets 8/23/12

Mike Francesa rant on the NY Mets 8/23/12

Sometimes he would hang up on callers or berate guests, but that was the New York dog in him. True sports fans appreciated Francesa because he could speak on any subject with authority and largely made total sense, but his credibility lies in him being homegrown. His radio aura captured the essence of the city and he became the daily mouthpiece and sounding board for our emotions as he shared some of the biggest moments not only in sports but in America over the last 30 years with his audience.

Francesca is the dominant radio voice, epitomizing the golden era of New York radio. Hes broken down barriers, galvanized races, become a blueprint for a iconic radio career where political slants are largely avoided and so are any racial, ethnic or gender qualifications needed to enjoy his spit game.

I always wondered if he understood how many young men who looked like me were listening to him and agreeing and disagreeing and wishing they were on that mic everyday. On the way to my youth baseball games as youth, my grandfather would put “Mike and The Mad Dog” on in his long body Chrysler and wed discuss the topics and listen intently to Mikes opening reaction to the captivating story of the moment.

Taking Mike off the air was akin to closing every McDonalds in New York city. The people didn’t stand for it. The listeners  encouraged his return and his replacements got caught up in the power play of a legend. CMB hasn’t established  solid enough fan base in just four months to hold Mikes ratings steady. Mike was the king of ratings and laid waste to Michael Kay and Don LaGreca every quarter and his return will spark the rebirth of one of sports radio’s greatest competitions.

Michael Kay rips Mike Francesa

Michael Kay rips Mike Francesa 11/05/14

As far as CMB’s future is concerned, they should feel fortunate that they were retained to do the 1pm to 3:00 pm slot.The FAN could have just reinstated Mike, scrapped the entire idea of replacing him and called it a day.

The king of New York sports talk radio has returned to claim what is rightfully his. News about a bunch of old sports talk jockeys has never been so captivating.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.