Mike French knows very well there will be some lingering "hurt feelings" when he returns to WFAN on Tuesday, but said his main focus will be the task at hand.
"My job is to go there and be No. 1," he said in a wide-ranging interview on Friday shortly after Entercom, owner of WFAN, announced that it would return after 4 1/2 months of the air.
"That's my job, go there and do what I & # 39;" I've always done, which is to try to take my program to n. ° 1. The other things that come with that, if I have to take a leadership role, I've never been afraid to take that. "
That's why he was referring to meeting with colleagues to clear the air, presumably including Chris Carlin , a former producer of "Mike and the Mad Dog" whose relationship with French has been tense, and Carlin's colleagues Bart Scott and Maggie Gray.
Those three are expected to go from 1 to 3 pm Monday through Friday. his current schedule from 2 to 6:30 to give way to French from 3 to 6:30 pm
French said that the management had already asked him to "assume a leadership role in terms of certain things", but that he would follow his example when navigating a situation that Carlin acknowledged would be "uncomfortable."
"If they ask me to meet someone, I will meet them," said Frances. "If they ask me not to meet with them, I would not. I will meet with them. "I will do what they ask me to do, I will follow their example."
The French insisted that her return is more than a mere radio show; It is part of a larger project built around a new application that is being developed in partnership with CAA Sports and Entercom.
But he admitted that he is eager to reconnect with his old audience.
"The opportunity to come back and get in front of the fans for a couple of hours a day is a joy for me, because I've missed them," he said. "I've missed them so much." I've lost myself for not acting.
"After all this, I can not wait to get in front of my audience, who I love being in front of and I can not wait to connect again."
While Carlin, Gray and Scott have resisted shooting at Frances or the station, Frances has been shot from multiple directions, including morning co-host Boomer Esiason, who on the air called his return "pathetic."
French spent more than a year preparing publicly for his departure on December 15, complete with special events and tributes. Many have criticized and / or mocked him for his quick response.
"I do not worry about that," he said. "Listen, let other people worry about that, I do not have time to worry about that, I'm waiting, I live my life like this: at that moment everything was real, everything was real."
"If you had told me January that would return to FAN, I never would have believed it. If you had told me in February that I was going back to FAN, I would never have believed it. I would not have believed it even three weeks ago that I was still coming back. "
But Frances said she has been talking to Entercom CEO David Field since December about trying to acquire the rights to" Mike and the Mad "Dog" files and name to use in your application.
French said he was prepared to make a deal with Entercom for those rights and then go to another platform every day but that in recent months Field had pushed him to return in some form to WFAN.
"I made it very clear to everyone on the Entercom side and on the side of FAN that if someone in the administration or anyone had a problem with me when they returned, I would like to go to another station in New York," He said.
"But this is what was going to happen: there was going to be a third sports station in the afternoon, that's what was going to happen, they did not want any of that."
French did not say what station he was referring to. WOR has rights to the Mets games, but has a powerful evening alignment of political conversations.
In the end, said Francesa, it made sense in commercial terms that Entercom would bring him back. Carlin, Gray and Scott lost very little in the ratings race for ESPN New York's "The Michael Kay Show" between January 25-54 from January to March.
"None of you [reporters] has talked about business," he said. "You never bring business in everything you do, you talk about this guy said this, this guy does not want that." You know what: this is a business deal! It's all business.  "Why do you think the owner wants me there? Because it's better for your company. Is it better the day I show up there at 3 o'clock? They are much better. We all know that. I would have to be foolish to say otherwise. "
The French rebooted program will be called" Mike on, "as will the application, which will be launched in late summer, the plan is to have a video broadcast of the program. radio in the application, which will also include archived material.
The application will broadcast a new version of the old French NFL Sunday morning show, which for now will not be on the radio, but could find a television. he also wants to develop new sports conversation voices through the application.
His association with CAA Sports and Entercom also includes live events.
French said the radio show will come from "multiple sites", presumably including both the lowest studies of the Manhattan station and one in his house in Manhasset.
What will be the breakdown?
"I will not give you the schedule for you, I'm sorry, "he said.
He said he would not take nearly as much time off this summer as he has in the past.
French, whose new contract extends until 2020, would not discuss his salary beyond saying that he will be paid "extremely well" and at the "same level as I was paid in the past".
But he noticed that his show will be two hours shorter than it was in the past, presumably an indication that his salary will be similar per hour but less than it was for 5 and a half hours of work.
"The idea that they would not pay me very well does not make any sense to me," he said.
On Tuesday, French told Newsday that she planned to return to the WFAN but cryptically mentioned it as a reason:
"This is for those who started this campaign in recent days." I did not decide to return to WFAN until I They said it was better not to return, for those behind, that was the moment I decided to return. "
On Friday, he said he was reacting to anonymous quotes in the news in which WFAN employees said "it would be terrible for the station and nobody wanted me". back. That was basically expecting me to say that I do not need this and that I'm leaving. "
He added:" The only reason I even went public was because there were written stories and unpleasant comments in the stories. Now, unless the comments, which were FAN sources and the FAN hosts making unpleasant comments, unless they were invented comments, they were pretty unpleasant comments about how nobody wanted me back, which does not make sense.
"If you're a host, are you happy to come back? Probably not, because it makes it look like I have to come back to save the season, which is not what I'm trying to do here, but if the station came to the park every They probably would not try to bring me back right now. "
He added," Someone said he was not welcome, he was not going to go, to keep him from returning was my point. "
However, those stories appeared on Monday. By then, the return of the French to the WFAN was no longer under way? When he pressed on the moment, Frances became impatient.
"I had not completely decided, but my point was that they were not going to keep me away," he said. "That was written to try to stay away and say:" Do not come here, you're not wanted. "But you're doing too much of this.
"The owner of the company wanted me to come to FAN in the worst way, management wanted me to come back in the worst way, those are facts."
French rejected a report according to which WFAN's vice president of programming, Mark Chernoff, was against his return.
"If Mark Chernoff did not want me at FAN, I would not set foot in the building, ever," he said. "Do you think I would go to a place where the director of the program did not want me?" Not in a thousand years If someone had done something else that I had not exhorted, and can emphasize that it has prompted me to return, I would never have returned.
French added: "What has been written is absolute fiction … The idea that someone in the management did not want me in FAN is so ridiculous that it's laughable, absolutely laughable." They did everything they could to get me back to FAN, that's a fact. "
French said the application has been the driving force behind its post-WFAN plans from the beginning, and that it was decided that a traditional radio output would be the best "conduit" for the application.  He said that when Entercom suggested WFAN in itself, he said: "That's going to be tricky." They said: & # 39; It can be done &. We started to move forward with that. The first time it was introduced was about six weeks ago.
"We started to find out if that would work, we knew there would be hurt feelings, we discussed that, they told me no one would lose a job, nobody would lose money, we knew there would be a reentry that would be delicate.
"But, there are two reasons why you ended up at FAN. One, my loyalty to the station, which is very strong for me. I do not care if someone believes it or not. I could care less. It is strong for me. I spent 30 years there. That is my team.
"Number two, they had things I wanted, badly I wanted to and I tried to get the library & Mike and the Mad Dog & # 39; Mike & the Mad Dog & # 39; 10 years … I wanted it to be part of the application Now it is Now it will be Now I have the name & # 39; Mike and the Mad Dog & # 39; under my control, which is something I've wanted for a long time . "
The use of WFAN as the" conduit "facilitated the commercial transition, he said.  "It meant going home, which I like on many levels, when I stand in front of the audience, it's going to be great, I love that part, the other part, obviously there are some things that you have to work on and pave , no doubts. "
Ever since the news of French's return on Tuesday was known, it has landed on the last pages of Newsday and Daily News and boosted mass traffic on digital platforms of local media, including against the NFL Draft.
"I've become used to getting a lot of attention, I mean, I just had," he said. "Was it extreme this week? Yes. I was surprised that there was so much anger and negativity about my return from the point of view that you can not ask a company to be a public company that does not try to improve itself. 19659003] "Would not you do it if you had a baseball team or you had an alignment? Would not you do everything possible to improve the alignment every day? Is not that your job? I think that's what they're trying to do. "
Frances was upset by the appointments suggesting she had returned to work to avoid spending too much time with her wife and three children.
" I've heard people do totally stupid and ridiculous comments like & # 39; Oh, he discovered how hard it is to be home & # 39; "he said." You know what? I have the best family in the world. I love being at home. I could stay at home every day. I like what I'm doing. But I always wanted to go back and have some adventures. I like to build things. I really have this passion to build this application. "