“This has been a rudderless franchise in every way,” Mike Francesa said on Monday, more or less picking up where he left off on the subject of the Giants when he departed WFAN’s afternoon drive time slot on Dec. 6.
Since then, the Giants have fired a coach, declined to fire a general manager and taken steps toward hiring a new coach, and Francesa naturally weighed in on all of the above when he debuted his new WFAN mini-show.
Francesa has ceded most of the afternoon time to Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, but as part of the station’s new lineup, he will be heard most days from 6 to 6:30 p.m., usually live.
On Day One, the half-hour featured his regular theme music and familiar “Back after this” as he led into the show’s one five-minute commercial break.
In essence, it was a traditional Francesa program, albeit one severely condensed and with no callers or guests.
Francesa noted the death of his former WFAN colleague, Don Imus, at the top of the show, then turned to the Giants, including his belief that GM Dave Gettleman should have been fired along with Pat Shurmur.
After the commercial break, Francesa discussed the weekend’s NFL wild-card games and the upcoming divisional round, then paid tribute to three recently departed figures in Imus, Big Blue Travel founder Barry Liben and former NBA commissioner David Stern.
Francesa’s half-hour on WFAN followed a live hour that was exclusively on Radio.com, the digital arm of Entercom, WFAN’s parent company. The plan is for Francesa to be live most, but not all, days starting at 5 p.m., then have the final half-hour of his 90 minutes on both Radio.com and WFAN.
The show began with him, unaware his microphone was on, saying, “You going to give me a ‘go,’ or I just go?”
Then he went, opening with a discussion of his new schedule, which will include a five-minute morning segment at 7:30 a.m. He said his hour on Radio.com at times will be split between sports and politics as the 2020 presidential election heats up.
Francesa opened with a discussion of the Giants’ coaching search, then discussed the weekend’s wild-card games.
He hinted at which part of his show is the priority, saying he would save his commentary regarding other elements of the Giants’ situation for when he was on WFAN. He had one of his regular guests, Albert Breer, on at about 5:20 to discuss NFL matters. Breer was on for nearly 30 minutes.
here were no advertisements during the exclusive Radio.com hour, and Francesa took no calls. For the 5 to 6 p.m. hour, Francesa in effect will be competing with Benigno and Roberts, even though all three are on the same corporate team.
At 5:57, Francesa said he would take a break in advance of reappearing on WFAN. Other than someone saying “Good show,” there was just a hum of white noise for a minute before Benigno was heard wrapping up his show on the mothership, followed by Francesa’s return.