TRENTON -- A day after a report surfaced saying he was among "plenty of candidates" being considered to succeed sport-talk radio legend Mike Francesa on WFAN, Gov. Chris Christie called in to the station's morning show Thursday and downplayed the scenario.
But he also didn't dismiss it during the phone call to the "Boomer & Carton" program.
"Ladies and gentleman, the new afternoon guy," co-host Craig Carton said as he introduced Christie. "Or I should say, 'the official candidate.''"
"To be the official candidate, don't you have to declare yourself one?" the New Jersey governor asked.
In a report published by The Record on Wednesday, Mark Chernoff, WFAN's program director, said Christie is in the mix of possible replacements when Francesa leaves his show at the end of the year.
Chernoff confirmed to NJ Advance Media on Thursday that the governor -- a frequent guest host on "Boomer & Carton" -- was "among many names being considered." He declined to comment further.
Christie's final term as governor is up next January.
WFAN: Christie 'among many names' in consideration for Francesa job
When Christie phoned in Thursday morning, Carton asked the governor if he's "officially" thrown his hat into the ring for the afternoon slot on the station.
"No," Christie said. "Apparently, Mark Chernoff stole a hat of mine and threw it into the ring for me. I didn't know he was my agent."
"You are not opposed to maybe doing it, but you haven't officially said you want legitimate consideration for the job," Carton said.
"When my term concludes, at the end of 2017, I will be considering all different kinds of options about what to do next with my career," Christie responded. "I feel like a bit of a baseball player. I'll be a free agent for the first time in 16 years. So, we'll see what happens."
A source close to Christie told NJ Advance Media that talk about the governor replacing Francesa is "hypothetical" but added that WFAN has been "very impressed" with his guest appearances on the station and is "now taking it seriously." The source requested anonymity to speak candidly about the situation.
Christie did completely shoot down another recent report: a New York Post story that said he was telling his staff members that he accepted a job in President Donald Trump's administration.
"The New York Post report was blatantly false," he said on Thursday's show. "I have accepted no job at the White House."
Talk of Christie landing a job in Trump's administration have persisted for months. Christie, a fellow Republican and longtime Trump friend and adviser, was passed over for vice president and attorney general. But the governor said he turned down multiple other positions because they were not worth ending his term in New Jersey to take.
Trump has said he may find a place for Christie in the future.
A source with knowledge of the situation also confirmed to NJ Advance Media a Politico report this week that said Trump recently asked Christie if he wanted to become U.S. labor secretary -- and that Christie declined.
Brent Johnson may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.
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