Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo unsure where he'll next bark
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Chris Russo has 101/2 months left on his contract with Sirius XM Satellite Radio. So, what's next? "I swear, I don't know," he said.
Naturally, fans of the old "Mike and the Mad Dog" show on WFAN wonder whether a reunion might be possible with Mike Francesa, whose deal expires in March of 2014. But while Russo said, "I'd never say never to anything," he acknowledged such a plan would encounter "a lot of movable parts" -- financial, logistical and personal.
More likely is that he will stay at Sirius or that another company will pursue him as a solo act. For example: NBC just launched a national sports radio network and might want to make a splash. And there's always ESPN.
"I've thought about it," Russo said. "Do I continue this? Do I shorten the show if I stay? But I really haven't put anything into my head yet."
Sandy Montag, Russo's agent, said he has had "initial discussions" with Sirius but would meet with Russo in the coming months to gauge his wishes.
Among the possibilities are a return to terrestrial radio, a TV simulcast project or a new deal with Sirius, perhaps minus his role overseeing the entire "Mad Dog Radio" channel.
As Montag said, "Chris wasn't born an executive. He was born to talk."
First question: Would Sirius be willing to keep paying Russo $3 million per year?
"Maybe they say, 'Russo does a nice job but we're not paying him like this; we're going to pay him half,' " Russo said. "Then, I say, 'Hey, if you're going to pay me half, I'm going to look around.' So there is a lot of byplay there."
Still, Russo insisted he "loves" Sirius and is not looking to leave. "I'm expecting that if they want me and I want them," he said, "we'll have no problem staying."