Chris “Mad Dog” Russo ruled out a reunion with Mike Francesa – and a return to terrestrial radio in general – in an appearance Wednesday on ESPN New York Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
Francesa wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he is open to adding another person to his afternoon drive time show, which he has hosted solo since Russo left in 2008, and also has said he might leave radio altogether to focus on his app.
When Kay began Russo’s 20-minute segment by asking about whether a return to WFAN is possible, he said, “I think Mike could get a partner. I wouldn’t rule that out, based on what I’ve read. But I do not think you will see me in that direction.
“I thought there was a chance maybe a couple of years ago when that [ESPN] ’30-for-30’ [on ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’] came out . . . I thought there was a chance there a couple of years ago that that could occur. That did not, so I would say probably safely that ship has sailed.”
Kay then asked whether Russo would be interested if asked, and he said, “They won’t ask, No. 1, so it’s a hypothetical, but probably at this point in my life I would not.”
Not even if WFAN’s parent company, Entercom, offered him $5 million per year?
“They won’t,” Russo said. “If they did, I would probably say ‘no.’’
Russo has been with SiriusXM Satellite Radio since leaving WFAN.
“I don’t want to be lovey-dovey with Sirius, but they’ve been very good to me for 11 years now, and for me to leave them to run back to terrestrial, I’d never hear the end of it,” he said.
“Plus, I love the content you can do at Sirius, plus it would affect the MLB Network show [‘High Heat’]. So the timing would not be right. I think there may have been a time that there would have been a consideration, but at my age right now , guys, that would not occur.
“First off, let’s be fair: I’m not that important. Entercom or [WFAN executive] Mark Chernoff or anybody else, or Mikey, they’re not going to come back and say, ‘Chris, by the way, we love you so much, here’s five million, let’s topple ESPN Radio with the ratings.’ They are not going to tell me that.
“It’s a nice hypothetical, Mike. I know you’re trying to get me in a little trouble. I would say they wouldn’t want me and I wouldn’t go.”
Russo appeared with Kay on the final day of the winter ratings book, which is expected to reveal a close finish between Kay and Francesa when the final data is revealed in mid-April.
The booking widely was viewed as an attempt to boost Kay’s ratings near the finish line. Russo said he was not aware of the timing when he agreed to come on.
“Believe it or not, I didn’t even realize that this was sort of the end of the ratings period, this day,” he said. “I can see I’m a pawn and a sacrifice . . . That would not have been my intention, because obviously FAN was my home for 20 years with Mike. So I did not think that, but listen, the fact that there’s still people who care [about me] in New York is a good sign.”