Neil Best: ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’ radio show could be history

“Mike and the Mad Dog,” the most successful, influential show in sports talk radio history, could soon be history itself.

Barring a change of heart, the partnership between Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not expected to survive to see its 19th anniversary Sept. 5, industry sources with knowledge of the situation said.

They may have already done their final show together; their next scheduled broadcast is not until July 11.

It is not clear which host would remain on WFAN, only that it would not be both of them. One factor appears to be a fraying of their personal relationship in recent months

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Is it the end of an era? I’ve been listening to the show on a regular basis since 2003 and on and off for the 3 years prior to that. Like them or hate them it is really good radio. Is it the most in depth analysis around? Definitely no. But somehow they’ve carved out their niche over the years and have set the standard by which other sports talk shows are graded.

From time to time (don’t ask me why) I check in on this message board. Its filled with the most crazed lunatics in the world. It is pretty much a critique site of WFAN….created by a fan. What you’ll find there is a minute by minute critique of most WFAN shows….but a definite daily Mike and the Maddog thread. The site has been mentioned on air. These crazy people do everything from knocking Mike’s weight, to laughing at Russo stumbling through the English language to how these two are reacting to each other. A couple of months ago several members started to feel some tension between the two. Do any regular human being…..it’d sound crazy. But these people apparently were right. It all started from Chris’ last appearance on Letterman. For whatever reason Letterman doesn’t like Francesa….and always has a joke or to about Mike. Ever since Russo’s last appearance people have been speculating that something was up.

If they go through with this it’ll be a huge blow for WFAN having already lost Don Imus last year. Only if WFAN had sensed this coming…..they could have tried to push Mike Francesa to take the morning show at that time.

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