WFAN is giving the literal next generation of current sports talk radio a shot on its airwaves.
Chris "Mad Dog" Russo made a brief appearance on his old station Wednesday, joining Craig Carton to announce that their sons would host a show together later this month. College freshmen Colin Russo and Sonny Carton will take over the 2 p.m. slot typically occupied by "Carton and Roberts" for at least an hour on Dec. 30.
"We have two hours set aside in case they’re doing great and want to go to 4 o’clock," Craig Carton said.
Carton said he had the idea to pair Sonny, who is considering a career in broadcasting and has appeared on the show, with Colin after the younger Russo’s recent call into his father’s SiriusXM show went viral. Colin’s rant on then-Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’s all-out blitz against the Raiders reminded plenty of listeners of vintage "Mad Dog" and sent Carton into action.
"And here's the best part: So I called Chris up, he's down with it, Colin said yes, I asked my son, he said yes, and I go, 'Chris, how about we do it this way, because they're gonna do the show from WFAN studios, why don't you and I kind of open it up for them, introduce them to the audience, and then at the end of the show, we'll come back in and we'll kind of critique them as their dads and guys who've done it for 30 years?’ And Chris goes, 'No. If they want to do this for a living, they got to figure it out, by themselves, and sometimes you got to work with someone you don't know, throw them in the deep end, let's see what they got.’"
Both Russo and Carton acknowledged the optics of using their positions to give their sons a chance in a notoriously competitive industry, but Russo cited other examples of father-son broadcast duos and said any parent would do the same for their own child.
"A lot of people are going to tweet, ‘What a joke these two guys, their two kids would never be on the air without their fathers involved, Russo was at FAN, so wouldn't it be cute to put his kid back on FAN,’" Russo said. "I mean there is something to that, but any father would do this for his kid if something like this was offered. And it's only two hours, it's during the holidays and if Colin and Sonny fall on their faces, which is quite possible — I told Colin to look up everything he knew about Marv Throneberry and the '62 Mets — if they fall on their face, they're gonna get pounded, and I'm not gonna be there to bail him out. So live with it, you go back to Wisconsin, go back to Miami, because people are gonna hear this and they're gonna get laughed at because you did not know that the Mets beat the Orioles in five games in 1969."