Mike Francesa has gone against his nature and largely held off from commenting on Craig Carton’s legal issues in the past week.
Francesa broke that trend Thursday when a caller asked him to address the situation now that Carton has resigned from WFAN, where he had worked as Boomer Esiason’s co-host since 2007. Carton’s departure came after his arrest last week on charges that he orchestrated a $5.6 million Ponzi scheme to repay his gambling debts.
“I don’t have anything to add to the situation, except that I feel very badly for his wife and kids,” Francesa told the caller. “I know what it’s like to go through a childhood that can be turned upside down.”
Putting aside his petty feud with Carton, who was known to criticize Francesa often on his show, the WFAN icon expressed empathy for Carton’s family members as they deal with the public scrutiny surrounding his gambling addiction and legal battle. Francesa’s own father left his family in Long Island when Francesa was 8 years old.
“I feel very badly and I have great empathy for his family and I really feel very, very badly for them and I hope things work out,” he added. “That’s the bottom line. Other than that, as far as the situation, I have nothing to add — absolutely nothing.”
When the caller asked about his own future with WFAN, Francesa reiterated what he told The Post about his willingness to stay on the air if the station needed him in the wake of the Carton scandal. Francesa, 63, has planned to host his last show on Dec. 15 after 30 years with WFAN.
“Only thing I told the station when I met with the staff was that I would not turn my back on the station if I thought it was in trouble and I will assess that over a period of time, but there’s no plan for anything right now,” he said Friday. “Nothing’s been discussed. …
“Other than that, I have made no decisions other than the one I originally made. I have not backed off that yet. All I said was I would talk to the station if they felt they needed to talk to me, that’s all.”
Carton, 48, announced he was leaving WFAN in a statement released Wednesday night with the hope the station could move on more freely without him.
“Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build,” the statement read. “I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my…