Carton (right) with his long-time radio partner Boomer Esiason (left)
Craig Harris Carton
January 31, 1969
New Rochelle, New York, U.S.
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The Jersey Guys
Craig Harris Carton (born January 31, 1969) is an American former radio personality best known as the co-host of the Boomer and Carton sports radio program on WFAN (AM) in New York City from 2007 to 2017. His tenure at the radio station ended after he was arrested in September 2017 on charges of securities fraud and wire fraud for operating a concert ticket Ponzi scheme.
On March 29, 2018, amid his legal battles, Carton launched his new program, "Carton and Friends" with Michelle Serpico on the FNTSY Sports Network, an online broadcaster. In November 2018, Carton was convicted of all charges. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and three years' probation, and was ordered to pay $5 million in restitution.
Craig Harris Carton was born on January 31, 1969 in New Rochelle, New York. In March 2019, Carton revealed that he was raped several times as a child. While in his teens, he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. He graduated from New Rochelle High School and the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1991. He was also a member of the Pi chapter of the Psi Upsilon fraternity during his time at Syracuse.
While in school, he worked on the cable television show Views From the Bridge.
On June 4, 2013, his first book, Loudmouth: Tales (and Fantasies) of Sports, Sex, and Salvation from Behind the Microphone, was released.
Carton and his wife, Kim, have four children. The couple separated after his 2017 arrest.
Carton began his broadcasting career in 1991 at WGR Radio in Buffalo, New York. He moved from Buffalo to WWWE in Cleveland, Ohio in 1992, and later to 610-WIP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in April 1993. He was a brash weekend host and nicknamed "The Kid." He filled in on WIP's Morning Show and was familiar with the Sports Talk/Guy Talk format. He was the first person to break the news story that the Philadelphia Eagles had been sold to Hollywood producer Jeffrey Lurie.
Carton left the East Coast for Denver, Colorado, working mostly at KKFN 950 AM, "The Fan". His morning show took off immediately despite his never getting along with the program director, Tim Spence. He was the highest-rated host in the station's history, which resulted in his being offered the morning slot on KBPI Radio. He quickly became the top-rated local morning show in Denver radio. Eventually he resigned and left Denver to care for his wife, Kim, who was pregnant with their first child, Mickey.
In late 2000, Carton became Scott Kaplan's replacement on WNEW-FM's "Sports Guys" morning radio program in New York City. He was a "Sports Guy" for one year. He worked with Sid Rosenberg and Blain Ensley (and briefly with Eddie Ifft) and then just Ensley when Rosenberg left. Carton took the show in a new direction, adding stunts as an on-the-air cockfight and "Pastapalooza". Carton was also broadcasting live with Ensley on WNEW during the September 11 attacks in 2001.
He left WKXW in August 2007 for a morning opening at WFAN (AM) as Boomer Esiason's co-host when Esiason was hired as the permanent replacement for Imus in the Morning. The program, called Boomer and Carton, reached number one (men 25–54) in the Arbitron Ratings within a year, a ranking that Imus had not achieved since 1993. The show was simulcast on MSG Network from September 14, 2010 until September 11, 2013. Starting in January 2014, the show has been simulcast on the CBS Sports Network.
On March 29, 2018, Carton returned to radio as host of Carton & Friends on FNTSY Sports Network, a Canadian specialty television and streaming service. In May 2018, Sports Byline USA acquired rights to syndicate the program on terrestrial radio.
Arrest and conviction for Ponzi scheme
On September 6, 2017, Carton was arrested by federal agents at his home in New York City on criminal charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit those offenses. Carton, Michael Wright, and Joseph Meli are alleged to have run a Ponzi scheme that defrauded $5.6 million from investors by falsely claiming they had access to millions of dollars of concert tickets at face value through non-existent agreements with concert promoters. Carton allegedly used the funds from new investors to cover millions of dollars' worth of gambling debts and to repay earlier investors, according to a parallel civil complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. After receiving an indefinite suspension from WFAN, Carton resigned from the station on September 13, ending his ten-year stint as co-host of Boomer and Carton, leaving Esiason as the sole host. Carton said he made the decision to give his former show "the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption". He was convicted November 7, 2018, in Manhattan federal court after a week long trial. Sentencing was scheduled for February 27, 2019, before being delayed until March 15. Ultimately, Carton was sentenced on April 5 to three and a half years in prison and ordered to make restitution of $5 million. He reported to the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg minimum-security satellite camp on June 17, 2019, to begin serving a minimum 36 months of a maximum 42-month sentence.
Controversy and stunts
- On February 28, 1997, Carton reported Philadelphia Flyers captain Eric Lindros had missed a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 15 due to being hung over, claiming the excuse the Flyers gave (a sore back) for Lindros missing the game was a cover-up. The Flyers immediately sued WIP, resulting in an out-of-court settlement.
New Jersey 101.5
- In 2005, Carton became embroiled with an on-the-air feud with the then Governor of New Jersey, Richard Codey. Carton made comments about Codey's wife Mary-Jo's battle with postpartum depression, prompting Codey himself to confront Carton in the studio. Carton would say "What Governor Codey ought to do is approve the use of medical marijuana so women can have a joint and relax instead of putting their babies in a microwave. Then all they want to do is cook Doritos. Women who claim they suffer from this postpartum depression ... they must be crazy in the first place." Codey would go back to respond: "I wish I weren't governor, I'd take you out", but did not say he would challenge Carton to a fight. This was all done in the presence of his state trooper security staff.
- Also in 2005, Carton and his co-host Ray Rossi allegedly made numerous hostile and racist remarks directed towards then Edison mayoral candidate Jun Choi, as well as the Korean, Chinese and Indian populations of the Edison area.
- In 2007 he was confronted by a Polish Holocaust survivor Paweł Zenon Woś, for propagating anti-Polish stereotypes.
- On January 18, 2008, Carton walked the Brooklyn Bridge holding a sign reading "Any Given Sunday." and wearing only a Speedo and New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey jersey after betting the New York Giants would lose to the Dallas Cowboys in the 2008 NFL playoffs. He duplicated the stunt on January 8, 2010, after betting the New York Jets would miss the playoffs.
- On May 28, 2013, the prologue to his book Loudmouth leaked. It begins with the second Brooklyn Bridge walk and it is rough on his "petty" co-workers Mike Francesa and Joe Benigno: "Joe [Benigno] had gone out of his way to be an asshole to us (Boomer and Carton) when we first started. Joe attacked because he thought he would ingratiate himself to Mike Francesa, the longtime afternoon show host who also, by his own admission, went out of his way to try to prevent us from being successful. In reality, Mike didn't give a shit what Joe thought, but he certainly cared about how the station was reacting to us..."
- Talkers Magazine has named him the second-most important and influential Sports Talk Show Host in America every year they have released their "Heavy Hundred Sports Talk Show List". Carton has also been listed as one of the top 40 Most Important and Influential Talk Show hosts in the country for ten straight years.
- PoliticsNJ.com named him the ninth-most politically influential personality in New Jersey (2007).
- Riley, John (March 22, 2019). "Carton, seeking leniency, cites gambling addiction". Newsday. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
- "WFAN Radio personality Craig Carton joins NJCTS leadership as honorary board member ", www.nj.com, February 27, 2013.
- WFAN.com Archived November 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine wfan.com
- "Craig Carton wrote a book and they're publishing it". Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "Support Craig Carton's 1st Annual Strike Out Tourettes Bowling Event". September 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- Paumgarten, Nick (April 5, 2019). "The Rise and Fall of a New York Shock Jock". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- News story CBSNews.com
- Merrill Reese: It's Gooooood! books.google.com
- "Craig Carton". CBSLocal.com. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
He was later hired by cross-town rival KBPI and within one ratings period had the highest rated local morning show in Denver.
- Mallozzi, Vincent M. (September 12, 2010). "WFAN's Craig Carton Gets Ready for MSG Network". The New York Times.
- "Boomer & Carton 'Joining' CBS Sports Network in Simulcast Form". BobsBlitz.com. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- "Net Worth: Boomer And Carton Shine Working Brooklyn Nets Radio Broadcast On WFAN - Diamond Joe's Media Rantz". SportsRantz.com. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- Curtis, Bryan The Pariah Podcast The Ringer. December 6, 2017
- "Exclusive: Craig Carton returns with 'Hello my Name is Craig' podcast December 4th". BobsBlitz.com. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- "Focus 360, Sports Byline USA To Syndicate Craig Carton". All Access. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- Grossman, Evan. "Craig Carton set for radio return with launch of 'Carton and Friends'". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- "SEC.gov - Radio Host Charged With Concert Ticket Investment Scam". www.SEC.gov. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "SEC.gov Complaint USDC-SDNY 07Cv06746 Filed 09/06/2017" (PDF). SEC.gov. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- Bekiempis, Victoria (September 6, 2017). "Craig Carton, 'Boomer & Carton' co-host, arrested by FBI over alleged $5.6M ticket scam to pay his gambling debts". NY Daily News. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
- Greene, Leonard (September 13, 2017). "Craig Carton resigns from WFAN show amid Ponzi scheme charges". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- Associated Press (November 7, 2017). "Former WFAN Radio Host Craig Carton Convicted of Fraud". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "Ex-WFAN host Craig Carton convicted in Ponzi scheme". Newsday. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- "CRAIG CARTON TO BE SENTENCED MARCH 15 FOR PONZI SCHEME".
- Kratch, James (April 5, 2019). "Ex-WFAN host Craig Carton sentenced for ticket brokering scam | How much prison time did he get?". NJ.com. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "Craig Carton reports to USP Lewisburg federal prison today". BobsBlitz.com. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Yannis, Alex (March 6, 1997). "Devils Keep Zooming Ahead, Hoping to Pass Flyers". Retrieved September 12, 2017 – via query.nytimes.com.
- "Article". NorthJersey.com. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- Can’t Stop The Bleeding » NJ Governor Defends Wife’s Microwave Contemplation cantstopthebleeding.com
- "Case Studies: What Happens When Shock Jocks Go Too Far?". www.pbs.org.
- "Protest przeciwko zniesławianiu", (retrieved February 19, 2013)
- Vacchiano, Ralph (January 16, 2008). "The whole world's going nuts over Giants-Packers". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Boyle, Christina (January 19, 2008). "WFAN host Craig Carton's long march after losing bet with Boomer Esiason". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- "Radio Host Baring All for Jets". NBCNewYork.com. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
- "Exclusive: Here's the Entire Explosive Prologue to Craig Carton's book 'Loudmouth'". BobsBlitz.com. May 28, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton to Host Morning Drive on WFAN-AM in New York Archived July 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine All American Patriots
- "PoliticsNJ.com Power List 2007". PolitickerNJ.com. June 20, 2007. Retrieved September 12, 2017.