Chris Carlin admitted it “hurt” to be let go by WFAN last month, but he took the high road on Wednesday during a half-hour appearance on ESPN Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
Asked whether he was surprised WFAN parted ways with him after less than two years, he said, “I don’t know that I would say I was surprised, but that was OK. Of course, it’s going to hurt. But I understand it. It’s a business decision.
“I’m 47 years old. The fact that this is the first time this has happened to me is remarkable. I’m so fortunate that that’s the case and my career has been what it’s been that I’ve been able to do this. So, no, I don’t hold any ill will against anybody.”
Kay announced on Twitter on Tuesday that Carlin would fill in for Peter Rosenberg, who was off for Yom Kippur, and would spend two hours on the show. The fact that he was limited to 30 minutes was a function of his contract with WFAN, which does not expire until the end of the year.
“We wish that you could stay longer, but you’re a guest with us,” Kay said.
About 30 minutes later, he confirmed on air that shortly before the show, an Entercom executive contacted ESPN Radio to warn that Carlin would forfeit the last three months of his salary if he appeared for two hours.
Kay said it “befuddles” him that a company that fired someone would stand in his way. “Such petty, petty things,” he said. “They don’t matter to us at all. They’re fleas on our backside. But I can’t believe they would do that to somebody . . . They’re so mean-spirited and petty, to stop a guy from going on the air. If he’s that bad that you fired him, what do you care if he’s on the air for two hours with us?”
Entercom did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Kay’s remarks.
Carlin joked that he joined Kay’s show because he was just “killing time. Got out of the bathrobe for a couple of days, put on some pants and here I am.”
Carlin also referenced needing a job, and joked that his former partner, Maggie Gray, who has a newborn baby, “could have hired me to be the nanny. Wouldn’t have killed her.”
He also joked he would be a driver for his other former partner, Bart Scott. “Will show up for food – literally,” Carlin said.
Kay suggested that if it were him, he would be rooting for his former partners to fail, but Carlin said he does not feel that way, calling Gray and Scott “two of my best friends.”
“I love them to death,” Carlin said. “They are phenomenal people, and they’re outstanding at this. They’re so good at this.
“I think I’m pretty good, but Maggie was the breakout star of the show and Bart knows so much about everything and people don’t even know how much Bart works. Bart just works. I love him to death. And they’re unbelievable people who have your back all the time.”
Carlin, Gray and Scott initially competed head-to-head against Kay early in 2018 before Mike Francesa returned to the station and the trio was moved to 1 to 3 p.m.
Gray will remain with Entercom, WFAN’s parent company into 2020, and the company is believed to want Scott to stay, too, but he has not yet signed a new contract.
It is not clear how long Francesa will remain, nearly a full year after he first said on the air last Oct. 22 that he might leave for a second time.
He could leave as soon as December, which would leave WFAN with big decisions to make on its lineup in the coming weeks.