Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo has no plans to leave SiriusXM
Might Chris Russo be a candidate for “Dog” day afternoons on ESPN New York radio if Michael Kay decides to leave this summer?
Don’t count on it.
Kay and his co-hosts have made many on-air references to the possibility that he will leave when his contract expires later this year.
Replacing Kay with Russo would make a splash for the ratings-challenged station. And Russo already has a relationship with ESPN via his weekly guest appearances on “First Take.”
But Russo told Newsday, “I would think that's probably not realistic.”
Russo said he is not sure if the station would be interested in him if Kay leaves, and regardless, he has no intention of departing SiriusXM, where he has worked afternoons since 2008 and is under contract until next year.
“I’m not going to leave Sirius, let’s put it that way,” he said. “I love Sirius so much. They’ve been good to me.
“I’m not ruling out the idea somebody takes an hour of Sirius and puts it on terrestrial radio. That would be different . . . But Sirius in the afternoon, I'm going to do that as long as they'll have me, to make a long story short.”
Russo said he is sure SiriusXM enjoys the cross-promotion it gets from his shows on MLB Network and ESPN, but SiriusXM remains his core job.
“I would never sit there and say, ‘You know what, I've had enough Sirius, I’ll go back to terrestrial,’ ” he said. “I would not do that.”
As for WFAN, Russo said he rarely gets to listen to Craig Carton and Evan Roberts in the afternoon because he is working.
But he does sometimes hear morning hosts Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti, both of whom he has worked with in the past. And when he does not hear them, his friends frequently tell him about them poking fun at him.
Most recently, it was his reference to NFL “draft booty” during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“That's a compliment,” Russo said. “I have no problems there . . . I don’t listen too much. I really don't. But all my buddies tell me what Boomer and Giannotti say. So I get an update every day, and I guess this week it was the 'draft booty.’ ”
Russo’s son Colin and Carton’s son Sonny did a WFAN show together in late 2020.
Russo said he has been impressed with what Carton and Roberts have done with the old “Mike and the Mad Dog” time slot.
“Carton has done a tremendous job with that show, with the ratings, everything else,” he said. “You’ve got to give them a lot of credit.”