On Monday, Oct. 30, “Pizza With The Pros” welcomed Craig Carton. Well-known around the New York area for his work on the air, Carton is the current host of “The Carton Show” on FS1 and a former talk show host at WFAN.
Carton spent the first half of the afternoon talking about how he got to the peak of his career and spent the second half talking about how gambling took him down the wrong path.
Carton graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1991 and did play-by-play for the women’s basketball team. He would spend a lot of time moving around the country before he got settled in New York.
Carton’s first job in radio was in Buffalo at WGR. At the time, he had no money to his name and needed to find a place to live. He made a deal with a man who ran a retirement home to help out around the place in exchange for a place to stay.
After working in Buffalo for a short time, in 1992 Carton got a call to work for WWWE in Cleveland. Carton signed a three-year deal with them, making him the youngest full-time sports talker in the country. He spent most of his time talking about the Cleveland Cavaliers games.
After only spending a year in Cleveland, Carton got the opportunity to work at WIP in Philadelphia. Carton talked a little bit about his night show in Philadelphia. He mentioned how the person he worked with used to fall asleep while they were on the air. One show cost him the opportunity to land a better job, as someone who might have offered him a better position was watching.
“Everytime you talk in front of a microphone, you have to assume someone really important is listening,” Carton said.
Carton would end up leaving the East Coast and traveling all the way to Denver. There he worked on two different sports shows, with the KKFN morning show being the most notable. He ended up going back to the East Coast when he had his first child.
Carton finally got a chance to work in the place he grew up in, New York City, working at WNEW. After working there for a good amount of time, Carton was informed that he was going to be fired. His last scheduled show happened to be on Sept. 11, 2001. Instead of taking his regular sports calls, Carton was answering the phone and talking to people about the incident that just occurred.
“It was at that moment that I recognized the power that we have as broadcasters,” Carton said.
After being fired from WNEW, Carton co-hosted The Jersey Guys on WKXW from 2002-2007. Carton was presented with the opportunity to replace Howard Stern on WFAN. WKXW didn’t let him leave, but he kept his composure and kept working. The door opened again for Carton. This time, for WFAN. Since Carton stated after the last incident that he wouldn’t sign an extension with them, the company let him leave. Carton worked with WFAN from 2007-2017, co-hosting the show “Boomer and Carton.” Even with the great history that WFAN has, the show became the most listened-to show in radio’s history.
Carton transitioned to talking about the downfall of his career for the rest of the afternoon. Carton ended up having a gambling problem that led him to serve time in jail for fraud. It caused him to not only lose money but also lose his job and almost ruined his family. Carton shared an emotional story about his mental health struggles as well.
After going through these struggles, Carton has been clean for five years, now saying he feels the best he’s ever felt. He’s moving in the right direction of making things better between him and his wife, he’s getting better financially, and he can see his kids again.
After showing he’s a changed man and correcting himself, he was rewarded with another chance. He is now the current host of “The Carton Show” on FS1. Carton’s story inspired a lot of people in the classroom to do the right things because doing the wrong things will catch up to you eventually.
Next Monday, “Pizza With The Pros” will be welcoming Regional Outreach Coordinator Angeline Kamara.