WFAN, Come Back Home to Astoria! • Latino Sports

Lifestyle & Entertainment

WFAN, Come Back Home to Astoria!


New York, NY – Longtime WFAN programming director Mark Chernoff must be thinking to himself that things were a lot simpler and better back when that sports talk radio station made its home in the Kaufman Studios in Astoria.

Kaufman was home to “The FAN” from its inception in 1987 until 2009, when its corporate overseer at the time, CBS Radio, moved all of their radio properties to Hudson Square in SoHo.

When it was located in Astoria, WFAN executives liked to brag that it was the top ad-billing station in the world. Of course, the media landscape was quite different as no one heard of the Internet until the 1990s and social media, such as Facebook, was just getting started in earnest just as the FAN was leaving Queens.

The past year has been a nightmare for Chernoff. It started with the long farewell tour of afternoon drivetime legend Mike Francesa who then changed his mind about leaving and was back on the air three months later.

That wouldn’t have been so terrible if the station didn’t make a big deal of his replacement, the trio of Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott, who then had to quickly be shuffled to the less scrutinized 1-3 PM timeslot.

Last fall, Craig Carton, who was one half of the very successful morning drive team of “Boomer & Carton” (the Boomer being former NFL QB Boomer Esiason), was arrested by federal officials on charged of aiding and abetting a Ponzi scheme that involved consumers buying tickets to sporting and other entertainment events. Carton resigned from the FAN but it’s safe to say that it wasn’t voluntary.

Last week the tabloids had a field day reporting that a former WFAN sales executive, Lauren Lockwood, is suing the station for $5 million on charges of sexual harassment and longtime midday host, Joe Benigno, was named as a defendant in the suit. Benigno’s agent, Marc Lepselter, has denied any wrongdoing on the part of his client.

Making matters worse for Mark Chernoff is that CBS sold its storied radio division last year to Entercom, a no-nonsense, trim-the-fat, buttoned- down media company whose headquarters are in the Mainline suburbs of Philadelphia. I can’t imagine Entercom CEO David Field being happy about all this public upheaval.

Chernoff did have to deal with one major crisis when the FAN was located in Astoria. Morning jock Don Imus made a dumb and insensitive joke about the very successful 2007 Rutgers women’s basketball team in 2007 and was fired by CBS CEO Les Moonves for it.

Imus, who cared little about sports, was replaced by the aforementioned “Boomer & Carton” show and WFAN wound up getting higher ratings in the morning than it had ever gotten previously. Astoria was always a good luck charm for WFAN. Come back home guys!

About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

Recommended for you