Breaking News: Chris Russo has left WFAN
Two weeks shy of its 19th anniversary, the "Mike and the Mad Dog'' show is no more.
WFAN announced early Thursday evening that Chris Russo is leaving the company, making Mike Francesa the sole host of the popular afternoon drive time show.
"Mike and Chris pioneered the genre more than 18 years ago and have shaped the sports talk format into what it is today," WFAN operations director Mark Chernoff said in a statement.
"As we embark on this next step in WFAN's history, we wish Chris nothing but the best and look forward to all that Mike will do in a role in which he has excelled at for years.''
Chernoff said he did not know where Russo was headed, but he is expected to land at Sirius Satellite Radio.
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.
Newsday first reported June 22 that the partners likely would part this summer.
Russo was under contract through April, but the station opted to let him out of the deal now so it could launch its new sports year Sept. 2 with a fresh start and Francesa's new show.
Francesa said he would address the matter at length during his solo show Friday, answering as many questions on the subject as listeners want to ask.
Here is my news story that will appear in the Friday newspaper.
Here is a Jim Baumbach column that will appear in the Friday newspaper.
Here is a look back at the show that will appear in the Friday newspaper.
Here is some fan reaction.
Here is a column about Olympics ratings that will appear in the Friday newspaper.