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Regardless of what you think of notorious radio personalities Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, this is a sad day for New York sports fans and fans of talk radio in general. Like it or not, Mike and Chris were the best in the biz for 18 years, and now, just two weeks shy of its 19th anniversary, their enormously popular and influential “Mike and the Mad Dog” show is at its end.

Newsday’s Neil Best reported earlier this summer that a personal feud between the co-hosts might spell the end of their partnership, however the news became official this evening when WFAN announced that Russo would be leaving the company with Francesa receiving a contract extension and serving as sole host of the show.

According to Best, Russo is expected to move to Sirius Satellite Radio.

Meanwhile, the YES Network’s simulcast of the show tomorrow becomes must-see-TV for yours truly. I wonder, will they waste any time in dumping the ubiquitous Mike & the Mad Dog jingle? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

There are currently 9 responses to “WFAN Loses Its Bark, Bite | The End of Mike & the Mad Dog”

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  1. 1 On August 15th, 2008, Kwame Flaherty said:

    Wow. They spent all summer saying how Best was grasping for something that isn’t there and that even though they were fighting, that the show was going on.

  2. 2 On August 15th, 2008, Andrew said:

    Russo better get someone to pair with him on Sirius

  3. 3 On August 15th, 2008, gozer said:

    You know what? Russo was the one downplaying Best’s article all summer. Francesa was suspiciously quiet and even ominous in some of his comments. Francesa’s contract was also up at the end of the year. I get the sense that Francesa flexed his muscles here and used the threat of his expiring deal to push Russo out. I watch/listen to waaaaay to much of these guys, and that’s the way I read the situation. Francesa’s a big bully anyway, so it should surprise no one.

    In my opinion, they’re both gonna need new partners, but each are too egotistical to admit it, and their shows will probably suffer as a result. Francesa’s the more cerebral host, but Dog doesn’t get enough credit for his sports acumen – they both know their stuff, even if they rub a lot of people the wrong way. Dog is charismatic and happy-go-lucky while Francesa can be an utter snoozefest when he’s on the air solo.

    The whole thing pretty much sucks.

  4. 4 On August 15th, 2008, kwame said:

    I could see Mike throwing his weight around and Chris finally feeling enough is enough. Mike for 5 and half hours talking about only the Yankees and all things Bill Parcells is going to rub people the wrong way eventually. He needs Chris to balance things out. I agree, Chris is viewed as just a “personality” but he has a good bredth of knowledge. I think he would succeed nationally on Sirus.

  5. 5 On August 15th, 2008, FACE said:

    Here is how I see the two…

    Let’s say you know nothing about sports. And I mean you somehow did not know that sports existed, not that you didn’t know who Babe Ruth was. You tune in to the M&MD show on days when Russo and Francesa are both flying solo.

    On one day, you pick up that Russo is extremely passionate, amusing, and knowledgeable about a topic that even he feels is utterly trivial. He loves tennis, Bruce Springsteen, and a guy named Lincecum.

    On another day, you pick up that Francesa is talking about something more important than national security. Furthermore, for some reason, despite his obvious supreme level of intelligence, he is cooped up in this crappy studio where his superior knowledge is dispensed on the lower-class. He enjoys horses, talking about professionalism, walking in late after commercial breaks and, perhaps curiously, diet coke.

  6. 6 On August 15th, 2008, B.A. Baracus said:

    FACE – You hit the nail on the head…fool.

  7. 7 On August 15th, 2008, gozer said:

    I give Mike a bit more credit than most Met fans. I think he gives the Mets a fair shake, and treats us a lot kinder than we would the Yankees if the shoe was on the other foot. Mets fans have a complex where they think everyone is out to get them, but it’s not M&MD’s fault that the majority of their listeners want to talk about the Yankees. If they were getting more Mets calls, things would be reversed. The Mets need to take back the city and bring back the 80s before fans can start complaining that they’re getting a raw deal. It is what it is.

  8. 8 On August 15th, 2008, gozer said:

    Hmmm, after listening to them this afternoon, I’ll have to change my theory on Mike forcing him out. Sounds like it was just time for a new challenge for two middle-aged men. I can handle that, I think. Sad sad first hour to the show.

  9. 9 On August 15th, 2008, Kwame said:

    Yea Chris was truly broken up. Great move by Mike to have him call in. Should be intersting to see what kind of new show Mike develops.

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