How Mike Francesa’s replacements are handling his return

Mike Francesa’s replacements are better at one thing than the WFAN legend.

On a day of turmoil on the sports station, Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott took the high road in complimenting Francesa even as he’s poised to take back some of his airtime from them.

“All I could tell you is this: We are not going anywhere, we are going to be a big part of this radio station for a long time and this is a business,” Carlin said as the show opened at 2 p.m. “You are talking about someone in Mike who was wildly successful for 30 years, so it only makes business sense to welcome someone like that back into the fold. Is it awkward? Of course it is.

“There’s room for all of us here and we’re all going to be here. We’re going to continue to grow and I guarantee you one thing: We are going to have a ton of fun doing it. If Mike’s back in the afternoon, and it certainly looks like that’s going to be the case, it only makes the radio station stronger.”

Tuesday morning started with Francesa telling Newsday it was “time to return to WFAN.” Morning host and longtime Francesa rival Boomer Esiason spoke of a station-wide embargo on discussing Francesa’s move.

“It’s such a Mike thing to announce something before anybody else announces something. It’s so pompous,” Esiason said.

But if the afternoon hosts shared that opinion, they kept it off the air. The new schedule will likely mean the trio will only be on the air for two to two and a half hours a day, with Francesa taking over at 3 or 3:30 pm.

“All of our voices can be heard. … We are going to continue to be different, that’s why they hired us in the first place,” Gray said. “Fresh perspective, a little something different. You’ve gotten a taste for what Carlin is like, what Bart is like, what I’m like. And we are going to continue on that path and grow as a show. … We are going to continue rolling, we know it’s all about you guys and not about us.”

The show was only given a brief window to grow, and it appears WFAN panicked after it lost its first three-month ratings book to ESPN Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show.” Scott was the most vocal in responding to Francesa and former “Mike and the Mad Dog” co-host Chris Russo when the pair recently mocked them for their ratings on Russo’s MLB Network show. But the former Ravens and Jets linebacker spoke cautiously Monday.

“I am just trying to get out of the house,” Scott said to laughter. “I am the only one who has retired before and retirement isn’t fun. I am happy to get to share this piece of real estate with you guys, let the New York fan base get a glimpse of what I am like, our unique perspectives. I am going to enjoy the ride. Criticism, arrows don’t bother me at all. When it’s not fun, I won’t do it.”

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