TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie says he has three criteria for his next job after his final term in New Jersey runs out next January: to have fun, spend more time with his family, and make money.
Well, succeeding Mike Francesa as a sport-talks radio host on WFAN would definitely accomplish the last one, experts say.
A report surfaced this week that Christie is at least being talked about as a possible replacement when Francesa, the iconic afternoon-drive host on the New York City station, leaves at the end of the year.
Mark Chernoff, the station's program director, told NJ Advance Media on Thursday that the governor is "among many names being considered," and Christie -- a die-hard sports fan -- has at least expressed interest in a job in broadcasting over the last few months.
But how much would he make in such a position? Radio industry experts say it's difficult to predict.
What Christie said about WFAN job rumors
"It's really hard to say," said Rick Scott, chief executive of RSA Sports International, a sports radio marketing and programming firm. "It depends on what he's looking for and what the station wants to do."
Francesa, one of the most famous sports-talk hosts in the nation -- on arguably the most revered sports-talk station in U.S. radio -- reportedly makes $4 million a year. But experts say Christie is unlikely to make nearly that much, even with his celebrity.
Still, they note, he'd certainly make more than he earns now as governor -- $175,000 -- and more than he would make working in President Donald Trump's administration, another possible post-gubernatorial career path for Christie.
Even a top position in former President Barack Obama's administration earned about the same salary as Christie's stipend as governor, according to a list released by the White House last year.
Christie and his wife have made more than $900,000 in each of the last two years. But Mary Pat Christie, the family's top earner, left her job at a Wall Street firm last year as the governor ran for president.
Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers Magazine, a radio industry trade Casinomaxi publication, said WFAN would likely pay Christie a very good salary compared to what the average person makes.
"I do not think it'd be anywhere in the realm of what Mike Francesa is commanding," Harrison said. "But I'm quite sure that if Christie is able to land the job and succeed in it, he'll make a lot more money that he would make in a government job."
By comparison, Craig Carton, co-host of WFAN's morning show, "Boomer & Carton" -- on which Christie is a frequent guest host -- reportedly makes $250,000 a year.
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate, reportedly made about $500,000 a year as host of his own television talk show on Fox News, which ran from 2008 to 2015.
Of course, Christie could also make six figures as a partner at a law firm or a lobbyist when his term is up.
But Scott added that a high-profile radio gig could also land him money from endorsements and companies he promotes on air.
"A successful sports radio personality can generate a significant amount of money through endorsements and live reads," Scott said. "That's a whole other area he can get from this."
Plus, Christie will have a few hours every day on a beloved radio station. And political experts say staying in the public eye -- or, in this case, ear -- could benefit Christie if he ever plans to return to politics, maybe even launching another presidential bid in the future.
"I think he might take a chance at it because it would provide a way for him to be loud and opinionated and liked," said Matthew Hale, a political science professor at Seton Hall University. "That hasn't happened much since his first term."
Brent Johnson may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.
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