CHRIS “MAD DOG” RUSSO
The pioneering “Mike and the Mad Dog” sports talk radio show is finished.
Radio station WFAN in New York announced late Thursday that Chris “Mad Dog” Russo was leaving the station. Mike Francesa will continue to host the show’s time slot solo.
WFAN first paired Francesa and Russo together for “Mike and the Mad Dog” in 1989. The show was two weeks short of its 19th anniversary.
“Mike and the Mad Dog” was the best known and most successful talk show in sports talk history. The duo won a Marconi award in 2000 as “Personality of the Year” for a major market. They were the first sports talk hosts ever to win the award.
They were also a hit financially. WFAN is almost always the top billing radio station in the country. Ironically, money was probably the reason FAN let the 48-year-old Russo go. He made $1.3 million dollars a year and under inept management the station was drowning in red ink. WFAN’s parent company reportedly ran up $150 million in debt. That wasn’t Russo’s fault. “Mike and the Mad Dog” took in a reported $15-17 million dollars every year in ad revenue. Even in a soft advertising economy this year.
Rumors have Russo joining Sirius satellite radio.