Longtime WFAN host Mike Francesa announced he will step away from hosting the station's afternoon drive in December
Francesa, 65, revealed that he's agreed to a deal with Radio.com — ending his tenure as WFAN's afternoon drive host. He reiterated that he's "not leaving the Entercom family" as he expects to still be involved with WFAN, as well. Francesa doesn't know what that will entail, but says his new role won't have anything to do with the afternoon drive.
Francesa says spending time with his family played a crucial factor in his decision.
"As they go through high school years, I want to be able to get to their games and be a father - and be able to be there for all of their events before they take off for college," Francesa said. "I have two that are freshman and one that will be in high school next year. They grow up very quick. Before you know it, they'll all be in college so these are very important years as a father. That's important to me. It's like my No. 1 job.
Don't consider this Francesa's retirement speech. He just wants to take a step back and feels it's an ideal time for a successor.
"I just think, as I told you in the past, I think I've been there and had this wonderful position for a very long time but it's time for somebody else to have it," Francesa said. "I hope to be involved in some different ways, but I'm not leaving. I'm not retiring. I'll still be involved, I just won't be involved as I've been in the past."
"Mike Francesa will continue to be part of WFAN, and will soon also have an expanded role on RADIO.COM," said Entercom Regional President Susan Larkin. While we are still finalizing details, this is an exciting move to bring more of Mike’s iconic sports talk content to fans across broadcast and digital in new, engaging ways wherever and however loyal sports fans want it. Stay tuned as we will be sharing more details in the weeks to come."
Francesa didn't want to go in-depth with his announcement. The New York native, however, reflected on his time as the afternoon drive-time host.
"I've been there since 1989, it's a very long time," Francesa said. When I left, I didn't expect to come back. When I did, I came back for a lot of reasons. The company has been very good to me ... I don't want to retire. I still want to do some commentary. I don't want to be scheduled and be locked into it every day. I'm not going to dwell on it because we went through this once before and we did a retirement thing so we're not going to do that again. I just wanted everyone to know about it.
"I think the place is ready for it now," Francesa said. "I'm ready to make that transition. I'm looking forward for whoever sits in here. I hope they do very well. I think the station will do just fine. There is a lot of new faces and new people involved. That's the way it should be. It's time for the next generation. Best job there is in this town and I've held it for over 30 years ... It's been my honor and joy to do it every day.
Click the audio player above to hear Francesa's comments in its entirety.