After Mike Francesa (r.) split with Chris Russo (l.), former NY governor Eliot Spitzer came calling.
Mike and the Luv Gov?
Longtime WFAN host Mike Francesa confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that former New York governor Eliot Spitzer approached him to be his co-host after he and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo split in 2007.
“I was like, ‘are you serious?’” Francesa tells the magazine.
Spitzer, of course, was forced to resign as governor due to a prostitution scandal in 2008.
Meanwhile, Francesa has remained atop the ratings as a solo act and will leave WFAN at the end of 2017 when his contract expires.
The Hollywood Reporter, which profiled the 62-year-old radio host, also explored what the future holds for Francesa.
“It’s becoming a content-driven, multiplatform business,” he tells the magazine. “Soon you won’t be able to tell the difference between where a station starts and a podcast ends.
“Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon — they’re all gonna be huge content players. They’re all gonna be in sports,” Francesa adds.
He also adds that money won’t be a driving force behind his decision, using former Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly’s move to ESPN as an example of what could go wrong.
Spitzer is caught in the middle of a prostitution scandal in 2008.
“He wrote that back page better than anybody’s written anything in this country,” Francesa says. “And then he went off and became a fool at ESPN.”
Friends and colleagues also shared their thoughts with the magazine on what they believe will happen.
Former WFAN host Don Imus says Francesa leaving the station “sounds like bulls–t,” while HBO’s Bill Simmons–the only other person Francesa considered to be his co-host–said that a reunion with “Mad Dog” would be a fitting ending.
“My prediction is that Mike and Dog will end up on Sirius or some other streaming service together again for a ridiculous amount of money,” says Simmons. “They are destined to grow old together like an old married couple. That’s what America wants.”
Though Francesa continues to deny that as a possiblity.
“I don’t see that as being feasible,” he tells the magazine. “The kind of money it would take to put us on the same show on a full-time basis? That would be an incredibly expensive show.”