WFAN is expected to offer a lucrative olive branch to formerly disgraced radio host Craig Carton by week's end, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. It would be a fast-tracked return for Carton, who served a year in federal prison after being convicted of felony fraud — the victims of which were largely the everyday sports fans who would presumably be welcoming him back with their dials and downloads.
But that's not all. Carton is apparently also weighing an offer to do mornings in Philadelphia. Decisions, decisions. It must be nice to have options.
Here's the big, bold disclaimer. Carton was punished for his misdeeds and has paid his debt to society. He should be afforded opportunities despite his missteps. Throwing people away and writing them off is not an enlightened way to live.
Yet who can look at these offers — one in the biggest market in the country and one in the fourth — and believe that the industry is in a healthy and equitable place? How does one not understand the frustrations of women and voices of color who have struggled to be consider for such high-profile roles when the unbalanced playing field is laid bare? How can these stations look anyone in the straight face and suggest that this isn't a desperate stunt trying to capitalize on controversy?
It's simultaneously a bit maddening and wholly expected. Actually, what would be truly expected is for a third offer to materialize, driving up the price for the other two so Carton actually returns to a more lucrative salary then he forfeited with legal proceedings previously.
So why not. A third party needs to step up and throw its hat in the ring. Maybe a fourth while we're at it.
I could be wrong and there is no existing talent out there who could fill these positions and create equal ratings without the controversy. Or maybe the buzz of past scandal is the draw here. Not to be cynical or anything.