imus.jpg carton.jpg

Things never change in this business. Radio management types change their tune hour-by-hour. Completely spineless.

We had to endure a month-long firestorm over Don Imus and his comments. Four months later, the next chapter has Imus really learning a valuable lesson, right?

CBS Radio is now going to pay Imus a boatload of cash in a breach of contract settlement AND he’ll soon get a job competing against CBS Radio.

Who are the geniuses who orchestrated this one back in April? Do they still have their jobs?  

This from the N.Y. Daily News:

Don Imus has reached a settlement with CBS over his multimillion-dollar contract and is in negotiations with WABC radio to resume his broadcasting career there, according to CBS and a person familiar with the negotiations.

Imus and CBS Radio “have mutually agreed to settle claims that each had against the other regarding the Imus radio program on CBS,” that network and Imus attorney Martin Garbus said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The terms of the settlement will not be disclosed, according to the statement.

The settlement pre-empts the dismissed DJ’s threatened $120 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.

CBS and Garbus confirmed only that the settlement had been reached. The person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press that Imus is taking steps to make a comeback with WABC. That person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details had not been announced, also said the deal with CBS calls for a “non-disparaging” agreement that forbids the parties from speaking negatively about each other.

As if that weren’t funny enough, now WFAN/CBS has filled Imus’ chair with a younger more offensive version, Craig Carton.

It’s actually a brilliant choice. Unlike ESPNRadio, who will likely fill the Dan Patrick slot, with TV guys, CBS is bringing in a true radio guy.

Carton, 38, has hosted all over the country, mostly sports-talk radio. He had local stops in Denver (KKFN), Cleveland (WWWE), New York (WNEW) and Philadelphia (WIP).

His Philly experience ended early after he made a false on-air claim on February 28, 1997, that Flyer Eric Lindros missed a game because he was hungover from a drinking binge the previous night. Carton then alleged that the Flyers had lied to cover up Lindros’ behavior by claiming that he had been unable to play due to a sore back. Days later, on March 5, 1997, the Flyers filed a libel suit against WIP-AM and its parent corporation. He was fired and WIP/Infinity chose not to fight the Flyers’ libel claim. They agreed to an on-air apology and paid an undisclosed amount of money as compensation. He also left Denver on bad terms. His morning show attempt flopped but he explained why in a recent Mile High City interview with KHOW:

“Tim Spence is the worst program director in the world”, referring to his awful experience at KKFN.

A Denver radio mole said, “Spencer hires Carton to do what he does. Carton does it, pisses some people off. Spence then realizes there are consequences and runs Carton out of town.”

Carton also did national sports-talk for CBSSportsline/SportsFan Radio Network in the late 90’s. He filled morning, mid-morning block along with Scott Kaplan (XX Radio San Diego), Sid Rosenberg (The Ticket in Miami) and C.J. Silas (formerly of FoxSportsRadio).

That block of shows failed in roughly 18 months because of poor management with SFRN affiliate relations.

“The (affiliate relations department) guys were so stupid,” said The Sports Pig (Mike Responts), a Las Vegas-based sports talk host. Responts worked for SFRN in the late 90’s. “They constantly said the SportsLine guys couldn’t be sold. We all thoughtit was ridiculous. We all knew those guys were good. It’s funny all three (Carton, Rosenberg & Kaplan) have all had all stints in New York since then. And now Carton is the lead guy in Imus’ old slot.”  

“These affiliate guys were so inept. The west coast affiliate guy, I think it was Chuck Pershing, based out of the NYC office. He made a deal to leave early each day because his daughter went to a private school in Connecticut. He went in at 6a ET and was off at Noon ET. There wasn’t a day of the year that SOB was in after 9a PT!! That was our west coast affiliate guy! And he had no voicemail!!” 

I worked for SFRN as well at that time. I was actually in the NYC office. I’ll never forget an affiliate dipshit Vin, telling me, “The guys (Kaplan, Carton and Rosenberg) just aren’t that good.”

I remember that conversation every time I see one of those three guys take another big step in their career. Maybe Vin was right, they just weren’t that good back then!!

I always wonder when I hear sales and affiliate relations people badmouth the talent they’re trying to pitch, are they losers or stupid? Why would you sell a product you don’t believe in?

Unfortunately, in this biz there’s one common thread on the administrative side, everyone is a Program Director in waiting.

Congrats to the SFRN affiliate department folks and KKFN PD Tim Spence on their keen eye for talent.    

Explore posts in the same categories: Media musings


  1. Sammy Says:

    I recall many great predictions and expectations made by the Winstar-led Sports Fan Radio Network Executive Brass:

    1: Rocco Pendola was on the cusp of being a major star.
    2: Fabulous Sports Babe will increase our affiliate base, ten-fold.
    3: Tim Spence has our backs in Denver, we need Avalanche phone calls!
    4: Rudy Martzke has our back and will always be there.
    5: Ed Berliner’s charisma warms up our weekend mornings.

    If I’m missing other Sports Fan Radio Network “Moments Of Excellence”, please add.

  2. Bruce Says:

    I give Esiason and Carton 18 months and they will be history. CBS and WFAN will be ringing their hands and saying, “What have we done”. “We use to get $1500.00 per minute for a commercial spot, and now we almost have to beg people to advertise”.

    Well that about sums up what is going to happen at the CBS Flagship Radio station WFAN. Moonves should be sent to Siberia with Katie Couric, and bring MSNBC’s Steve Capus with them to eat (Cannibal style).

    Whoa is me who made a bad management decision… Too bad dog breath…You made your bed and now your going to sleep in it.

  3. RU Hobo Says:

    Bruce, they won’t even last 18 months. Carton worked perfectly at NJ101.5 because the discussion centers on trashy callers calling a trash host to bash undocumented Mexicans and such. The station is garbage. I suspect WFAN is going for a younger demographic with this new team; but I imagine they’ll lose the wealthier older-age listener that Imus provided and who bought the items Imus pitched. Carton and Boomer (a total a**clown, IMO, as evidenced by his Friday football show with Mad Dog Russo a few years back) will only do a good job of bolstering Mike & Mike in the Morning’s ratings and embarassing themselves.

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