Chubby and Chummy
Waking up for work is one of the least favorite parts of most people’s day, right next to traveling to work, and working. Radio serves as the refuge for many to survive the anguish. For all the hoopla about Imus’ April departure leaving WFAN without a viable morning option, I respectively disagree and feel quite the contrary, the I-Man’s departure was a blessing in disguise. In recent years, as his already immense arrogance grew to unchartered heights, or lows, the Imus Morning Show turned more into a grouchy old man bickering about the world, and acting as a forum for select politicians and political activists. Imus, already disliked by many, become that old grandfather figure that nobody liked, with a personality, and mentality, better suited for the Midwest or South, on a non-sports station.
The past few months WFAN trotted in everything but the kitchen sink to buy time, while searching for a replacement, or some believe, waiting for CBS to relent and bring Imus back. While Mike and the Mad Dog are the golden carafe of sports talk, they lost some edge when trying to take on political and non-sports current event topics. It is simply not their forte. The past two weeks Chris Carlin showed how a talk show could entertain, remain sports centric, while still finding time to make light of Hollywood news and tackle political issues, appealing to a multitude of listeners.
I highly doubt the FAN dubs Carlin the new morning man, in fact, sources report Boomer Esiason is on the verge of inking a contract to take the helm, but Carlin clearly has a future in this realm. Carlin’s personality really shines through, which is both good and bad. The Big Guy is genuinely funny and personable, making for good, light-hearted radio, and great sidekick banter. However, he still seems reluctant to insight controversy by taking a hard stance on a tough issue. That’s what made Imus, and Stern, so successful. WFAN needs to decide if they want to continue playing in that genre, or shift gears, going to back their roots, with a sports-oriented morning show, ala ESPN’s Mike and Mike.
It appears WFAN will remain in the general, big name, morning show realm, for now at least, but Carlin would make the perfect host if they go sports. His banter with Ian Eagle created enough laughing to swerve me out of my lane on the Garden State. They took the conversation away from sports, into reality television, movies, and real life, keeping the atmosphere light and fun. For a second I enjoyed the ride to work, until I remembered I still had to work. More importantly, the Continent is knowledgeable in sports, a relative insider for most NY teams having covered the Giants and Rutgers, while making numerous contacts with other teams in the past decade.
In recent years, critics have accused WFAN of becoming bland and uninteresting, monotone radio. Here is the perfect chance to spurn that sentiment. Insert Carlin, mornings, middays, wherever. He needs to be on everyday.