After a two-day sports radio audition in which he labeled a caller both “a communist” and “a bum,” Gov. Christie said Sunday that he is “no longer” interested in a job as a WFAN host when he leaves office in January.
Christie said in a statement that he was weighing “other options that I have been presented with” and has decided to withdraw his name from a list of WFAN 660-AM contenders who have lined up to replace award-winning sports commentator Mike Francesa, who will retire in December.
But the Daily News in New York reported that it was WFAN that had notified Christie that his services “will not be needed.” It cited anonymous sources who told the publication Saturday that Christie was out.
Christie said that story is “completely incorrect.”
During his audition in New York last month, Christie lost his temper when a caller from Montclair asked why he had closed all of New Jersey’s beaches on the Fourth of July weekend, yet managed to relax with his family on a secluded beach off limits to everyone else.
Christie retaliated by questioning the caller’s patriotism and work ethic, using dripping sarcasm. The news video of him and his family on Island Beach State Park, shot from a helicopter, had been an embarrassment.
His approval rating, according to a Monmouth University Institute poll, was 15 percent last month, the lowest in state history.
WFAN representatives could not be reached for comment Sunday. But spokesperson Jaime Saberito told NJ.com on Saturday that the station “has not yet made a decision regarding a new afternoon host, so we cannot confirm the accuracy of the Daily News report.”
There has been endless discussion over what Christie might do after his term ends, especially because he had aligned himself with President Trump during the campaign and had expected a job in Trump’s administration. Each time another Trump appointee departs — five in the last month alone — Christie’s name comes up as a possible replacement.
Brian Murray, Christie’s spokesman, declined to say what other employment possibilities Christie is considering when his term ends and whether he still is a contender for a role in the Trump administration. “Not for now,” Murray said in an email after he was asked whether he could provide more details about Christie’s future.
Christie’s statement did provide some nitty-gritty, however, on his decision-making process. His statement said: “Three weeks ago, I was approached by WFAN management to do additional shows with other potential co-hosts. After considering the other options that I have been presented with for post-gubernatorial employment, I declined. … I made station executives aware that while I would be happy to continue to fill in for Boomer [Esiason] when asked and when available, that they should no longer consider me as a candidate interested in any job at WFAN when I leave the governorship.”
He said he considered working for the station as Francesa’s replacement. He also has said that after years in the public sector, he wants a job in which he can make money.