Fans of sports radio were dealt a harsh blow this morning when they learned that the “little hiatus” that Mike and the Mad Dog were on had turned into a full-blown permanent breakup. Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has left the WFAN building.
(The pair, during happier times)
The pair, only weeks from their 19th anniversary on the air together, have broken up for good.
After months of speculation that the famous New York radio team would split, Russo finally decided to pull the plug yesterday and head for greener pastures, in this case a presumed deal with Sirius. Mike Francesa meanwhile will become the “sole host of the popular afternoon drive time show”.
NEWSDAY has the story:
The announcement of Russo’s departure coincided with the announcement of a new contract for Francesa, whose deal was believed to be expiring around the end of the year.
For now, he will be the sole host of the show, including Friday. But over time new elements will be added.
Their relationship had become strained last spring for a variety of reasons, most of them probably due to the fact that you get sick of anyone after working together for 20 years.
On June 22nd, the first rumblings of the breakup were heard followed by Russo doing the show solo for a bit while Francesa was “on vacation”. The pair never did a show together until July 11th, three more sporadic shows followed until ultimately the Final One Ever aired on August 5th at the Giants’ training facility. After that: no more.
However, easily the strangest fact we uncovered during our research on this story is the following odd tidbit: Mad Dog is only 5 years younger than Mike! Who’da thunk?