After running off many of its veteran voices, WFAN is bringing one back.
Joe Benigno is returning to the station in a part-time (and somewhat wide-ranging) capacity. He made the announcement during a call-in with Craig Carton and Evan Roberts on Friday afternoon.
The details: Benigno is going to do a weekly Saturday show at 10 am Some of the shows with Roberts, his old midday and afternoon drive partner. Others will be solo. Benigno will also have a standing Monday segment with midday hosts Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney and do some fill-in work (including some shifts next week for Carton).
“I think it was time to do something, and the opportunity arose to be back with my guy here who I worked all those years,” Benigno said. “I’m not looking to be back every day. But one day a week, a couple of days a week filling in, whatever it is. I’m ready to go. … I couldn’t pass it up.”
It’s a double-edged sword type of move. On one hand, it makes all the sense in the world. If Benigno wants to do the work, you let him do the work. He’s a WFAN icon, listeners love him and he’s great with Roberts. Slam dunk. Especially with the Mets in the pennant race and the Jets expected to be interesting.
But on the other hand: Shouldn’t WFAN be developing fresh voices with its weekend shifts? Right now their weekend morning stalwarts are their afternoon drive guys (although Carton’s Saturday responsible gambling show is a unique case), a semi-retired legend and Marc Malusis, whom they unceremoniously booted out of middays not too long ago. It feels like the same old, same old that WFAN did for years, just with a few different characters.
Last note from us: There was no mention of Benigno’s side podcast during his hit with Carton and Roberts. He will presumably still do it. Which begs the question: Why can’t another former WFAN legend with a podcast hop back behind the mic for, say, a few hours every Sunday morning from mid-September to mid-February? Just saying.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]