What is Mike Francesa’s Net Worth and Salary?
Mike Francesa is an American radio talk show host and television commentator who has a net worth of $16 million. Mike’e annual salary is $3 million.
Mike Francesa is known for co-hosting the New York City WFAN sports-talk program “Mike and the Mad Dog” with Chris Russo which ran from 1989 until 2008. Following that, he hosted “Mike’s On: Francesa on the FAN” and created content for the Radio.com platform. Francesa has retired from broadcasting multiple times over the years, with his third retirement announced in the summer of 2020.
His career started at College and Pro Football Newsweekly. Mike was hired by CBS Sports in 1982 as a researcher. He became a studio analyst for college football and basketball and was nicknamed “Brent Musburger’s brain”. Francesa turned down an offer to work for ESPN in 1991. He quit CBS in 1993. The original run of Mike and the Mad Dog aired from September 1989 until August 2008. It featured Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo talking sports and taking phone calls from listeners. Mike and the Mad Dog was one of the most popular sports radio shows of all time. The show was simulcast on the YES Network and around the country on various syndicated stations. In 2007, the show was the #1 show in the country for men between 25 and 54 years old. The duo won the 2000 Marconi Award for Major Market Personality of the Year. In 2005 they broadcast live for 25 straight hours to raise money for charities. In March 2014 Francesa’s new show started broadcasting nationally on television on Fox Sports 1.
Early Life and Education
Mike Francesa was born on March 20, 1954 in Long Beach, New York as the second of three sons of Michael and Marilyn. His older brother is John, while his younger brother, Marty, killed himself in the early 90s. When Francesa was still a kid, his mother left the family. As a teenager, he went to Maria Regina High School. After graduating, Francesa enrolled at the University of South Florida, where he spent a year before transferring to St. John’s University in Queens. Studying communications and athletic administration, he graduated in 1977.
Career Beginnings at CBS Sports
In 1982, Francesa joined CBS Sports as a researcher and editorial assistant. The network executives were so impressed with his knowledge that they eventually appointed him as a studio analyst for college football and basketball games. After a little over a decade at CBS Sports, Francesa quit in April of 1993.
Mike and the Mad Dog
After the New York City sports radio station WFAN was launched in 1987, Francesa tried eagerly to get a hosting job there. However, due to his lack of experience, he was only offered a job as a producer, which he rejected. Francesa pressed on in his pursuit, eventually landing a weekend job hosting college football and basketball coverage. Additionally, he served as a guest host on a number of other shows. Due to his success, Francesa was partnered with host Ed Coleman for a show during the morning-to-mid-afternoon slot. Later, in 1989, he got his big break when he was chosen as a replacement for Pete Franklin in the afternoon drive-time slot. Along with Chris Russo, Francesa became the co-host of “Mike and the Mad Dog.”
A hugely popular program and a staple of the New York City sports scene, “Mike and the Mad Dog” featured Francesa and Russo discussing sports in their trademark manners. While the former was known for his hard-hitting commentary, the latter broadcaster introduced a lighter and more boisterous tone to conversations. “Mike and the Mad Dog” ran until 2008. There were many memorable moments during the show’s run, including a 25-hour broadcast between June 30 and July 1, 2005 that raised money for various charitable groups. Additionally, Francesa and Russo won the Marconi Award for Major Market Personality of the Year in 2000, making them the first sports-talk hosts to ever claim the honor.
Further Broadcasting Career
Among his other broadcasting endeavors, Francesa hosted the weekly radio show “The NFL Now” and contributed commentary to the CBS Radio Network and Westwood One. After the end of “Mike and the Mad Dog” in 2008, Francesa became the solo host of his own new WFAN sports radio program, “Mike’s On: Francesa on the FAN.” The show was simulcast on the YES Network from 2008 to 2014, and was subsequently broadcast on Fox Sports 1. However, due to a turbulent relationship with the network, Francesa’s contract ended in September of 2015. He continued to work at WFAN after this until he announced his retirement in late 2017.
Just four months after announcing his retirement from WFAN, Francesa reported his intention to return to the station. Later, in August of 2018, he launched a subscription-based mobile application called Mike’s On that included a live video stream of his WFAN show in addition to various archived materials. Francesa’s return to radio was ultimately a success, as he won the ratings book in the fall of 2018. However, he soon became embroiled in controversy when he got into a dispute with Michael Kay of “The Michael Kay Show,” his ratings rival. Francesa attracted more backlash when he shamed the New York Giants on air in 2019, and got into frequently aggressive discussions with callers. In November of 2019, he announced his second retirement from WFAN. Despite this, he came back again to host a new show in early 2020. That summer, Francesa announced his retirement for the third time.
Francesa married his first wife, Kate, in 1983. The couple eventually divorced in 1994. Later, in 2000, Francesa wed his wife Rose. Together, they have a son named Harrison and fraternal twins named Jack and Emily. Francesa has residences in Manhasset, New York and South Florida.
Through his JEH Racing Stable, Francesa owns a number of horses with which he has had racing success. In 2021, his horse High Oak claimed victory at the Grade II Saratoga Special Stakes. The year after that, Francesa partnered with Lee Einsidler to win the Grade I Fourstardave Handicap with their horse Casa Creed.