OK, now to my favorite question in this week’s mailbag, or any mailbag I’ve ever done for that matter (sorry guys and gals).
The best way to replace an irreplaceable legend like Francesa is to do something drastically different and exciting that disrupts the paradigm. Hiring Nolan – and defeating ESPN to do so – would be the biggest splash hire WFAN could make. She is a dynamic personality with a unique perspective, a connection to Francesa and a national following. The show would have an edge to it, and dominate all the key demographics the business side is aiming for. The Boston-New York thing would be fascinating. She’d change WFAN from a multimedia standpoint, especially since her show would undoubtedly be simulcast on television from Day 1.
Bottom line: If Nolan replaced Mike Francesa, she would be No. 1, and by a wide margin. WFAN would be smart to pursue her.
All that said, my guess is WFAN will replace Francesa with Evan Roberts and a partner. Unless someone comes in and sets the world on fire with an audition – and I don’t feel anyone has yet – Joe Benigno should stay with Roberts. Let the new voice or voices build their own thing from the ground up in the midday. It’s going to be extremely hard as it is for a new show to fill Francesa’s shoes, so don’t overcomplicate things and break up a pair that is proven.
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