Our former colleague Craig Carton on HBO: Must-see TV (Opinion)
Friday, HBO released the trailer for its latest documentary, "Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth." It should be a ratings blockbuster, especially here in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia area.
Craig Carton worked in all three markets and was known around the country as an over-the-top, controversial, entertaining radio host. I worked with him for several years here at New Jersey 101.5 and even had a couple of outside business dealings with him. Nothing big. We'd go in on real estate transactions and sell when the market went up. He was a pretty savvy investor and an aggressive business person. I liked him and still do. He could be a great friend, but could also be a ruthless foe and very hard to deal with if he didn't like or respect you.
I'm glad he paid his debt to society — after being convicted of swindling investors — and hope he learned his lesson in prison. I'm pretty confident he did. He will definitely be back on the airwaves in our area as soon as he can be.
He was often described around our radio station as the PT Barnum of radio. He knew how to get attention. I can recall on his first day auditioning on the air at New Jersey 101.5, he told a story about a woman who left her kids unattended in the car. He claimed he stood by the car and confronted the woman when she returned to her vehicle. As a few minutes passed, a woman called claiming to be the mom in question. A heated argument ensued and it was great radio. It was staged. There was no woman, no car and no kids. The woman who called was someone he knew and put up to it. No big deal, and it got him the job. He didn't break any laws. He just brilliantly set up at situation that made him sound like the most interesting guy on the radio.
I remember during an office holiday party and gift swap, a usually calm and polite person threw a glass of water in his face over something he did or said. He had a knack for rubbing people the wrong way sometimes. When he did that with a lot of other peoples' money, that's when he got into big trouble. Hopefully, he gets back on his feet, stays out of trouble and puts his family life and career back together again. One thing's for sure: we'll all be watching HBO on Oct. 7 at 9 p.m.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.