Russo leaves WFAN, breaking up 'Mike and the Mad Dog'

NEW YORK -- Chris Russo has left WFAN-AM, breaking up the sports talk giant's "Mike and the Mad Dog" show two weeks short
of its 19th anniversary.

Mike Francesa will become the solo host of the afternoon drive program, and WFAN announced Thursday night that it had signed him
to a multiyear contract. Terms were not released.

"Mike and Chris pioneered the genre more than 18 years ago and have shaped the sports talk format into what it is today," WFAN
operations director Mark Chernoff said in a statement. "We wish
Chris nothing but the best and look forward to all that Mike will
do in a role in which he has excelled at for years."

"Mike and the Mad Dog" started broadcasting in September 1989. According to winter 2008 data from Arbitron, the show had more than
659,000 cumulative listeners over the course of a week.

Francesa has been with WFAN since 1987.