Before starting this piece, it’s worth noting that Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News has long had a contentious relationship with Mike Francesa. When a caller inevitably brings this story up on Monday, Francesa will dismiss it with utmost condescension, as he’s done with Raissman in the past (“he’s wrong 90% of the time”).
Francesa has been talking on-air about his retirement recently. While he hasn’t named an exact date, he’s said he knows what it is and it’s sooner than we may think. MYSTERIOUS. Anyways, Raissman is now intimating that this is a ruse, and that Francesa wants out of WFAN, where he’s off speaking terms with his higher-ups, and apparently not getting treated with the respect he believes he deserves:
Francesa’s contract runs until 2017, and CBS/WFAN wouldn’t just let him out of it while he’s still a ratings behemoth. Hence the posturing. However, it’s not clear whether Raissman is reporting anything in here. He uses language like “It sure looks like the pontiff badly wants out of his WFAN contract” and “Would anyone be surprised if Francesa has already approached CBS lawyers and asked out of his contract?”
So, while the theory makes some sense, it is, for now, just that: A theory. Francesa won’t make it an hour through his show tomorrow before he sets about debunking it. As far as where he’d go if he did leave his home of nearly 30 years, there’d certainly be suitors. Hopefully a simulcast agreement could be worked out.
PS – If someone intimately connected with the media business wants to drop me a line and explain to me how in the world Boomer and Carton drive more revenue than Francesa, it’d be greatly appreciated.