The Week That Was: Can Craig Carton Make A Comeback?

     One of the more shocking radio stories in recent years was the 2017 arrest and conviction of WFAN morning air personality Craig Carton for being an integral part of a sports/concert ticket selling Ponzi scheme. 

     Carton was the on-air wise guy half of ‘Boomer & Carton”with former NFL QB Norman “Boomer” Esiason playing his straight-man. The pair got their WFAN timeslot in 2007 in the aftermath of the firing radio legend Don Imus for making tasteless remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

      “Boomer & Carton” was an immediate hit (their ratings actually exceeded those of Imus) and it stayed that way until Carton resigned a decade later days after his arrest. He was replaced by Gregg “Gio” Gianotti who smartly didn’t try to replicate Cartons’ class clown shtick.. The morning show’s ratings remain high and it’s one of the few bright spots at the FAN these days.

     In June 2019 Carton began serving a 42-month sentence in minimum security federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania but was released last week after serving a year. He was considered a model prisoner and the spread of COVID-19 in correctional facilities must have played a role in springing him early as well.

    With his old radio home floundering it was understandable there was immediate speculation about Craig Carton making a return to it. WFAN vice-president Chris Oliviero promoted that notion by saying he’d be very amenable to his return. As part of its 33rd anniversary celebration WFAN played an hour of “Boomer & Carton” highlights last Sunday night.

    I have no problem with any radio outlet giving Carton a second chance since he is a talented broadcaster. He shouldn’t be put in the uncomfortable position of having gambling commercials on his show since he has blamed his gambling addiction for getting him into financial trouble. He should also try to make some restitution to those he defrauded.

    Major League Eating did a fine job reconfiguring the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest for these socially distant times. The brought the contest indoors at Nathan’s Coney Island flagship restaurant and limited it to five each on the men’s and women’s side.

    Joey Chestnut, who’s the Michael Jordan of frankfurter consumption, won his 13th yellow mustard belt and set a record in the process by devouring 75 hot dogs in ten minutes. Miki Sudo captured her seventh straight women’s title by putting away 48 ½ wieners.

       It marked the first live sports event to be held in NYC since the pandemic began in mid-March.

     “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s documentary about Michael Jordan’s last championship season with the Chicago Bulls, won the 2020 Critics Choice Real TV Award for best in sports. The show was hosted by the star of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” NeNe Leakes, and can be viewed on YouTube.                

     Satellite radio’s Sirius XM always seems to rise to the occasion during the holiday weekends.

     Its 1970s music channel, 70s on 7, replayed the first-ever show of “American Top 40″ hosted by the late Casey Kasem in honor of its 50th anniversary. The station also played the top 700 hits from the “Me Decade” as voted by its listeners.

     On its 1960s pop channel, 60s on 6, listeners were asked to select the top 200 musical artists of that decade who were born in the USA.

     The Beach Boys were the top choice with the Four Seasons in the runner-up position. In somewhat of a shocking upset, the pride of Forest Hills High School, Simon & Garfunkel, came in third place ahead of Elvis Presley.

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