Chris Christie is going back on the air.
The former governor will be a “regular contributor” to friend and WFAN drivetime voice Craig Carton’s new weekend show focused on gambling addiction and responsible gaming, according to a press release. Christie famously moonlighted as a guest host on the sports talk station and was briefly considered a potential replacement for Mike Francesa prior to his first retirement.
Carton will host the 30-minute “Hello, My Name is Craig” program on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. ET. In addition to Christie, it will feature “various guests to share stories of indulgence, falls from grace and the fight to overcome gambling addiction. Guests will include medical and therapy experts, members of the 1-800-GAMBLER team, founders of rehabilitation treatment centers, and more.” The show is sponsored by The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey.
“Each week, we will tackle different aspects of what for some is a fun recreation but for others is an addiction that forever alters and sometimes ends lives,” Carton said in a release. “The show will be a raw and revealing look into the fastest-growing vice in the country and I look forward to providing my first-hand perspective for both those dealing with the grip of their gambling compulsions as well as the loved ones in their lives.”
Carton, 51, was arrested in Sept. 2017 for his role in a ticket brokering scheme that was called Ponzi-like. He was convicted in November 2018 for misappropriating investment funds in order to cover losses tied to his out-of-control blackjack addiction. Carton was then sentenced that following April, ultimately serving a little over a year in prison.
When WFAN finalized his return to the station and paired him with Evan Roberts to form a new afternoon duo, it said it would give Carton a platform to to warn listeners of the dangers of compulsive gambling and how his disease contributed to his downfall and incarceration. The program is a callback to Carton’s sentencing, when Judge Colleen McMahon questioned whether Carton could make a return to sports talk radio work in a world where legalized sports betting has taken hold and only gotten bigger since, suggesting it may be “magical thinking.” Carton and WFAN have a chance now to prove that is not the case.
Christie has been friends with Carton dating back to the yakker’s days at New Jersey 101.5. The former governor said in an interview for HBO’s 2020 documentary on Carton that he pressed him repeatedly on whether he had a gambling issue given how much Carton talked about gambling on air and off. But Christie said Carton adamantly shook him off each time. That was the farthest any person close to Carton went in saying they suspected a problem prior to his arrest.
Please subscribe now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust.
James Kratch may be reached at [email protected]. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.