Chris Russo takes hat out of ring to potentially replace Michael Kay on ESPN NY
Chris Russo does not envision a return to the local terrestrial radio scene.
The Post’s Andrew Marchand first reported that Michael Kay is considering retiring from his ESPN New York show in afternoon drive when his contract expires later this year — he would remain the voice of the Yankees — and cited Russo as a potential long-shot to step into the role.
Russo explained to Neil Best of Newsday he won’t leave SiriusXM by choice.
“I’m not going to leave Sirius, let’s put it that way,” Russo said. “I love Sirius so much. They’ve been good to me. “I’m not ruling out the idea somebody takes an hour of Sirius and puts it on terrestrial radio. That would be different . . . But Sirius in the afternoon, I’m going to do that as long as they’ll have me, to make a long story short.”
On SiriusXM, Russo hosts a national show and has the creative freedom to talk about whatever he wants, whether that’s his rantings and ravings on sports topics or hour-long conversations with an author of a Donald Trump book. Even if he were wooed by ESPN New York, the switch from satellite radio (a business that is a mix of subscription and ad revenue) to terrestrial radio (all ad revenue) would inherently make him lose some of that latitude.
“I would never sit there and say, ‘You know what, I’ve had enough Sirius, I’ll go back to terrestrial,’ ” Russo said. “I would not do that.”
Russo’s contract does not expire until next year.
Russo previously worked in afternoon drive at WFAN with Mike Francesa on the fabled “Mike and the Mad Dog” program from 1989 through 2007. The pair is reuniting on ESPN’s “First Take,” where Russo is a weekly contributor, on Wednesday, Feb. 1.