One last time, Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo reunited Thursday on Radio Row at the Super Bowl, spending 45 commercial-free minutes together to mark Francesa’s final visit to the big game before he leaves WFAN on Dec. 15.
Francesa said the idea came from Russo, his partner on “Mike and the Mad Dog” from 1989-2008, during which the pair helped pioneer the concept of radio stations setting up at the Super Bowl site. They first did so in New Orleans in 1990.
The show, simulcast on WFAN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, featured the chemistry for which the two were known in their heyday, complete with reminiscing, family updates, thoughts on this year’s game and Russo pressing Francesa about his future plans.
Francesa insisted his decision to leave WFAN is final, but he indicated he will not be between jobs for long. When Russo asked whether Francesa will be employed come Jan. 3, 2018, he said, “Yes, absolutely. You will hear my voice; how’s that? . . . I’m not promising it will be conventional radio. It might be something new.” He said he is talking to “six or eight” potential employers.
The two have made several joint appearances since Russo left WFAN in the summer of 2008, including in the week before Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, and held a three-hour reunion for charity at Radio City Music Hall last March.
Francesa told Russo he is not sure who will replace him in afternoon drive time, a process that became more uncertain on Thursday with the news that WFAN’s parent company, CBS Radio, is merging with Entercom Communications.
Francesa acknowledged to Russo that he was worried about maintaining the show’s ratings success when when Russo left, which Francesa largely has done. “It kept me awake at night,” Francesa said. “I had to succeed.”