Back afta dis no more.
Mike Francesa bid farewell on Friday with a heartfelt goodbye as he closed out his show for the final time after 28 years as the afternoon drive-time host on WFAN and it was clear his audience had as much of an impact on him as he had on them.
“More than anything else, going out, I want to thank you guys, the listeners, the audience,” he said. “Without you we don’t last a week, we don’t last a month. So what I like to say to you is that I’ll miss you, I thank you and from the bottom of my heart, I love you. Goodbye.”
Francesa spent the final 20 minutes of his show expressing his gratitude to the audience, his family and everyone who has played a role in his career and reflected on how much WFAN has been a part of his life.
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Yet the day seemed to be all about the audience, and Francesa made sure to hammer that point home.
“I could never thank you for loyalty, allegiance, and how attentive you have been to us,” he said. “It is something I can’t even really start to tell you how thankful I am for what we’re allowed to do and how consistent this audience has been.”
Francesa said he had up to 85 guests on his penultimate show from the Paley Center for Media on Thursday, but for his final act he opened the lines for five hours to have listeners call in and reminisce about their favorite moments over the years.
The final caller was a special one, too, with his wife Roe joining the show for the first time in Francesa’s career, which took him by surprise.
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Francesa is not gone for good, though, and said he will continue to work in sports media but has not revealed what his next endeavor will be, though teased about doing some sort of event “pretty soon.”
His departure from WFAN is still impactful because of the fixture he has been in the city for so many years and the role he played in paving the way for sports radio with his former partner Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo, who he also acknowledged in his farewell.
“I was blessed to have Dog as a partner especially for this reason: Number one, he was a good radio guy,” Francesa said. “Number two, because he never gave anything other than his absolute best effort every day. That’s what I try to bring here every day, that’s what I believe in. I try to always come in here prepared and try to come in here and give you the best effort. I never mailed in a show. I never mailed in an hour.”
Earlier in the show, Francesa also pointed out that his time ending at WFAN also marks the end to any connection the station has to “Mike and the Mad Dog.”
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“It’s the last link to what Dog and I created back in 1989,” Francesa said. “I’m proud of what I was able to do in decade after Dog left but equally proud of what we created together from 1989 and 20 years together. With what ‘Mike and the Mad Dog’ stood for and what it meant to the industry, it’s not just a goodbye for me, it’s a goodbye for us.”
Whatever happens next for Francesa, he still considers himself part of the WFAN family.
“It’s something I helped create and something that will always be a part of,” he said. “Can’t spell Francesa without F-A-N.”
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