Meet Maggie Gray: The unexpected host replacing Mike Francesa
You already know Bart Scott, the former Jets linebacker, as one part of the trio set to replace Mike Francesa on WFAN. You probably know Chris Carlin, too, who spent several years at WFAN and SNY.
You probably aren’t as familiar with Maggie Gray — the third member of the group set to take over for the most famous voice in New York sports radio, when Francesa departs on Dec. 15 — but she’s been following New York sports since she was a Knicks and Rangers fan growing up in Binghamton.
Currently, Gray is the lead anchor for all of Sports Illustrated’s digital video productions, while also hosting SI Now, a daily live talk show on SI.com. She also has been working in radio, co-hosting the “Moose and Maggie Show” — alongside Marc Malusis — on CBS Sports Radio Network.
After attending George Washington University, Gray took a job as a production assistant for NBA Entertainment, and also worked at WFAN, giving updates on the station — 20 minutes past the hour — during her shift from midnight to 6 a.m.
Gray went on to cover the inaugural season of the Washington Nationals for the Associated Press, worked as a producer at Westwood One during two Olympic Games, covered the NBA and MLB for Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports and also worked as a host, reporter and play-by-play announcer for ESPNU, MSG Network and MLB.com.
Of the numerous roles she’s held in sports journalism, Gray finds conducting interviews the most interesting part of her job.
“I am so lucky that I have been able to interview the type of people that I have,” Gray said in a May interview with reporter Steve Rudden. “I mean it’s been one of the great honestly pleasures of my life. I mean when you get to sit down across from someone who and really pick their brain, to question them, and find out what makes them tick, to hopefully get some type of genuine moments. Something you know that makes them think or something that they reveal. It doesn’t have to be salacious, just something personal. It really brings an incredible joy just because you feel like you connected with somebody and on top of that it’s usually people that have credible athletic achievements.
“I am thinking obviously of my audience, so sitting down talking, I’m trying to put myself in the viewer’s shoes that if I was a viewer and I was watching this interview, what am I hoping to ask, what am I hoping to get asked? And it’s a constant challenge like, it’s something that can never get old because it’s always new and always different and listen. Some interviews go better than others, some people you connect with, some people you absolutely do not and it just seems like a press obligation and they come in and they leave. But, when you get those real moments and you feel like just giving something to the viewer and you’ve got something rewarding for yourself, it really doesn’t get any better than that.”
Gray is also known for her candor. Following the Ray Rice scandal, Gray earned national attention after voicing her disgust with the NFL, openly wondering whether it was right for her to continue covering the league. In her new role, she’ll be taking the seat of a man who loves football and will be sitting beside a former player in Scott.
“I’ve never questioned my career path more than I have this week. Is it right to cover this league, promote it, glorify their players?” Gray said of the domestic violence incident in 2014. “For so many years, I’ve wondered if I’m worthy of covering the NFL, a job that so many people would love to have. Now, after this week, I’m wondering if the NFL is worthy of me.”