Boomer Esiason said on WFAN early Thursday that he spent a half-hour on Wednesday afternoon having an “emotional” talk with Maggie Gray and Bart Scott after the news that their midday partner, Chris Carlin, had left the station.
“Maggie loves Chris Carlin,” Esiason said, shortly after 7 a.m. “She genuinely thinks the world of him, like her big brother or whatever, and she was emotional about it.”
Esiason said that his message was, “These are the hard facts of this business. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Bart and I were looking at each other going, ‘Man, this happened to us in football, this happened to us in other places.’
“We’ve been fired from places, we’ve been traded, we’ve been cut, and the football player always had a level of insecurity in their life because you never know when it’s going to end.”
Gray and Scott are not scheduled to be on the air on Thursday because of the Yankees doubleheader in Detroit. Their first on-air chance to weigh in on the situation will be at 1 p.m. Friday.
Esiason advised the remaining hosts to do the best show they possibly can, as Carlin would want them to do.
“They also deserve to hear your rawness about this whole thing,” Esaison said he told them. “Just be honest with your listeners. That’s the best way to go about this and move forward.”
Esiason’s co-host, Gregg Giannotti, said the news Carlin was out “was really, really difficult to see.”
Giannotti said that despite a much-discussed argument he had with Carlin on the sidewalk outside WFAN’s lower Manhattan studios last year, the two had a longstanding and close relationship.
“In the course of trying to entertain, I poke fun at Chris like many others that I do a voice of and we have fun with,” he said. “Yes, there was one time we had a disagreement that became public . . . However, the behind-the- scenes stuff that people don’t know is that Chris has been a friend to me for many years.
“He has been a mentor for me for many years. When I was an intern, he made sure to look out for me. When I was a part-timer, same thing, full-timer, host, all of that.”
Giannotti added, “When people say there’s not a better guy out there, he didn’t deserve this, all of that, it’s not hyperbole. It’s not nonsense, it’s true. This business is harsh sometimes. Not everything you want happens, and unfortunately for Chris yesterday, it’s not what he wanted. He wanted to continue that show and it didn’t happen.
“One thing I do know is Chris Carlin is going to be OK. There’s a lot of people out there that care about him. He works his ass off. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he’s going to be all right . . . I owe a lot to him and I’m always going to keep in touch with him and I’m disappointed he’s not here at WFAN as part of the team any longer, but I know he’s going to be all right.”
Esiason said Mike Francesa’s return after four months on May 1, 2018, left “kind of a cloud over the whole situation and all that and Chris is a proud guy, that’s the way I look at this. Chris is going to find his way, just like we all do in this business . . . He’s going to be fine; he’s too talented not to be. It was a tough day here yesterday afternoon, it really, really was, because Maggie and Bart were hurt by this whole thing. But they have a responsibility when they come back on this radio station to be the professionals they both are.”