Boomer Esiason officially began life without his professional partner of 10 years early Thursday morning, less than 12 hours after the resignation of Craig Carton, in a WFAN studio scrubbed of Carton’s name and memorabilia.
Overnight, the “Boomer and Carton Show” had been re-branded, “The Morning Show with Boomer.”
Shortly after 6 a.m., Esiason addressed on the air Carton’s departure, one week after his arrest by federal authorities, saying he endorsed Carton’s focus on dealing with his legal situation and removing a distraction from the station.
“I think it’s a good move for Craig, and I think for he and his family he has got to focus supremely on that; that’s the one thing that he has to take care of, and that’s the one thing we want him to do,” Esiason said.
“We want him and his family to get through this, and he’s going to put all of his energy into that, and by resigning I believe he takes a lot of pressure off of all of us here at WFAN, his co-workers and everything else. I heard the statement from (station vice president) Mark Chernoff and I don’t know what else to say. He’s got to get his life in order. He’s got to get it right.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if someday, somewhere, somehow, he’ll be behind a microphone. I don’t know where. I don’t know when. I don’t know if I’ll be a part of that or not. But I do know that he has resigned from WFAN, so that chapter at least, the ‘Boomer and Carton’ chapter, is now closed here.
“And we, as I said last week, kind of have to move forward. We’ll move forward as best as we know how. We’ll try to deliver the best shows we know how to do. And we will talk about all the things that sport fans in the greater New York area want to delve into.
“But Craig has resigned and I’ve got to tell you, they came in here and scrubbed this studio quickly. So if you’re watching on CBS Sports Network, everything has now changed. There are WFAN signs, there are CBS Sports Network signs. Anything that Craig was a part of in this studio unfortunately has been taken down and they almost, I think, took everything down of me, too, by the way.
“It’s a sad day. It’s the end of ‘Boomer and Carton.’ For 10 years I sat next to somebody who I think, and I still believe this, is one of the greatest personalities, radio personalities, that we’ll have ever seen. And I certainly had the privilege for 10 years to sit next to him and watch him do his thing every single day for four hours.
“So I wish Craig and his family nothing but the best and I want him to put all of his energy into fighting and I think we have to put all of our energy into this radio program.”
Esiason sat alongside Jerry Recco for the third morning in a row. Phil Simms and Brandon Tierney also have sat in Carton’s chair since his final show on Sept. 5.
Carton was arrested early on Sept. 6 and charged with conspiracy and wire and securities fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud investors as part of a ticket reselling business, aimed at repaying his casino and other debts.
CBS Radio said Wednesday night that the search for a successor to Carton would begin immediately. The show has been a ratings hit for WFAN in recent years.
Afternoon host Mike Francesa is scheduled to leave WFAN on Dec. 15, but he said Tuesday he is open to discussing an extension of his stay to help the station through its current programming uncertainty.