Bart Scott has been enjoying his nascent radio career recently, but he soon will begin a television job that offers a practical bonus he does not get on WFAN.
“I finally get the opportunity to pull my suits back out, man,” he said Wednesday. “I invested a lot of money in my time on CBS, and I’ve still got those suits.”
Starting with a preview show at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 and continuing throughout the season, Scott is joining SNY’s Jets pregame and postgame studio team, which also includes analysts Ray Lucas and Willie Colon and host Jonas Schwartz.
Scott, a Jets linebacker from 2009-12 and an analyst on CBS’ “The NFL Today” from 2014-16, said he not only is looking forward to a return to TV but also to focusing on one team and going into greater detail than on a national show.
“What I love about where the game of football is is that our fans are so much more educated than they used to be,” he said. “You can credit a lot of that to video games, but mainly to fantasy football and sports betting and things like that. You have to give the fans more.
“I like talking football on a master level, and I feel like the fan base in New York is so smart they can digest a lot of things I want to talk about to be able to provide unique angles about strategy, chalk talk and that sort of thing.”
SNY is a far lesser platform than CBS from a national perspective, but since 2006 its Jets postgame has been a popular destination for fans – especially after frustrating losses – even as it has cycled through hosts and analysts. (Only Lucas has been there from the start.)
Scott said he and his teammates watched, too.
“That was the first thing that we went to, at least the first thing I went to, when I went home [after recording the show], to kind of see the highlights, see what they’re saying,” he said. “Instead of going to ESPN or anything like that, we went straight to SNY because we knew they’d be talking about us.”
One of the appeals of the show has been its willingness to offer blunt, sometimes emotional criticism. Scott should fit right in.
“I couldn’t care less; I’m too dumb to lie,” Scott said. “That’s my entire brain. That way you don’t have to apologize. You never have to worry about someone saying you’re flip-flopping. That’s the beauty of always saying what you feel, no matter who it is.
“I consider myself a mentor to a lot of these players. I’m still in the Jets' building, but I have no problem with it at all. If somebody’s not getting it done, I’ll tell you why he didn’t get it done and I’m going to show you how he can get it done and what he has to do.”
Scott was hired by WFAN last fall along with Chris Carlin and Maggie Gray to succeed Mike Francesa in afternoon drive time. Four months into the job, Francesa returned, moving “CMB” to a shorter and less prestigious 1 to 3 p.m. slot.
The news came as a shock initially, but Scott believes it has benefited the show’s content.
“I feel like we’re starting to find our groove and get our chemistry,” he said. “When we moved to the different time slot we weren’t so concerned with what the traditional fans of that time slot thought about us . . . We were able to do more fun things, where we could inject some of our personality and our youth and our different perspectives.”
When the show was on from 2 to 6:30 p.m., he said, “You can’t just be free to do whatever you want because you have to take the fan base that had been accustomed to a certain way of listening and kind of spoon feed them slowly. We’re at the point now where . . . we do whatever want. We don’t care. We don’t apologize, and I think the fans are gravitating to it.”
Scott and his colleagues are under contract through 2019. Beyond that, it is unclear what their future is at WFAN.
“I just want to continue to have fun, continue to develop the craft,” he said. “The ball is in their court. I don’t know what their plans are long term. It’s a new company [Entercom]. All I can control is how we continue to grow and mesh.
“One thing I do know: If I’m going to be on radio, I want to do it with those guys, because I feel like we were able to get chemistry and bond organically. I hope it comes off like we like each other. We’re able to have fun and we’re able to provide a unique perspective, which is why we were hired in the first place."