ESPN Radio Sets New Lineup For 2018

Stephen A. Smith ESPN Radio 710 KSPN Los Angeles 98.7 WEPN-FM New YorkESPN Radio is revamping its on-air and podcast lineup starting on January 2, 2018.

The first half of the lineup remains the same as Wingo & Golic, who debut on November 27 with Trey Wingo replacing Mike Greenberg, will air from 6-10am eastern. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz stays from 10am to 1pm.

The big move is the return of Stephen A. Smith to the national lineup from 1-3pm eastern. His show currently airs on 710 KSPN Los Angeles, 98.7 WEPN-FM New York, and on SiriusXM but now goes back on the national radio lineup. Ryen Russillo will move from 1-4pm to 3-6pm with Will Cain joining him as co-host. Cain currently serves as a contributor to ESPN Radio and First Take.

Sarah Spain, who currently co-hosts 9pm-11pm with Israel Gutierrez will move to 6-9pm with new co-host Jason Fitz. Fitz serves as a commentator on SEC Network, co-hosts a weekend show on ESPN Radio, and previously was a member of Country band The Band Perry. Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons move up from 11pm-2am to 9pm-1am, with SportsCenter All Night airing from 1-4am and First and Last with Mike Golic Jr. from 4-6am.

Departing the lineup is “The Right Time” with Bomani Jones which currently fills the 4-7pm slot and Jalen & Jacoby who air from 7-9pm. Jones will launch a new podcast for the network airing 2-3 times per week. He will also co-host a new television show for ESPN with Pablo Torre. Jalen Rose and David Jacoby will move to a daily podcast with new episodes coming 4-5 times per week focusing on sports and pop culture.

Recent ESPN hire Katie Nolan will also launch a weekly podcast on January 10.

ESPN Radio’s enhanced lineup will debut January 2, 2018 and will feature a national broadcast of The Stephen A. Smith Show on terrestrial radio stations across the country. The program, which airs from 1 – 3 p.m. ET, returned to ESPN Radio in January 2017, and is currently broadcast terrestrially on ESPN Radio in New York and Los Angeles, as well as on SiriusXM.

The new ESPN Radio weekday lineup will deliver sports fans news, analysis and commentary from a variety of unique and provocative voices. The lineup will include three new programs:

The previously announced Golic and Wingo (debuts November 27, 6 – 10 a.m., simulcast on ESPN2), hosted by Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, will deliver the most important sport stories, news and opinion. Mike Golic Jr. will join the show each day from 6 – 7 a.m.
Russillo and Cain (3 – 6 p.m., simulcast on ESPNEWS) will pair longtime ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo with frequent ESPN Radio and First Take contributor Will Cain.
Spain and Fitz (6 – 9 p.m.) will pair espnW voice Sarah Spain with SEC Network commentator Jason Fitz – who has also hosted a weekend ESPN Radio show with Jordan Rodgers.

The lineup will continue to feature existing programs:

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (10 a.m.- 1 p.m., simulcast on ESPNU) remains in its current slot.

Freddie and Fitzsimmons (9 p.m. – 1 a.m.), becomes four hours. The show is currently heard from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.

SportsCenter All Night (1 – 4 a.m.) remains in its current slot.

First and Last (4 – 6a.m.), hosted by Mike Golic Jr., remains in its current slot.

All ESPN Radio shows will be available live and as podcasts via ESPNRadio.com and the ESPN app, as well as on SiriusXM Channel 80 (live only), Apple Music, TuneIn and Slacker Radio.

“Top to bottom, ESPN Radio will have the strongest, most experienced and most thought-provoking lineup in sports talk radio,” said Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Audio. “Diverse voices with a variety of perspectives will provide listeners with compelling content all day long.”

New Podcasts to Strengthen Audio on Demand Lineup

ESPN will launch a new podcast hosted by Bomani Jones, strengthening an already powerful lineup of on-demand content. New episodes will be available 2-3 times per week. Each episode will generally run between 45-60 minutes and will offer his singular point of view on sports and the world around it, while introducing new elements specifically formatted for the new medium. Timely guests will appear on a regular basis. Jones’s current ESPN Radio show will conclude in December.

“Podcasting is changing how audio is consumed, since the listener is more in charge than ever, and offering dynamic content is a smart way to grow our business and serve our listeners,” said Keller. “Bomani, whose trajectory continues to rise, brings a distinct voice to an audience looking for compelling discourse. He asked to move his show from radio to a podcast and we readily agreed. His thought-provoking and entertaining opinions will translate perfectly to our on-demand platform.”

Jones stated, “I couldn’t be more excited about moving exclusively to a podcast. As someone whose career began in the digital space, I can’t wait to fully explore what can be done there with an audio program. This podcast will be insightful, and I hope it will be as much fun to listen to as we’ll have putting it together.

The Right Time with Bomani Jones debuted on ESPN Radio in September 2015. Jones will also appear on a new ESPN television show with Pablo Torre, launching in the spring of 2018.

Jalen Rose and David Jacoby will premiere their original Jalen & Jacoby podcast on January 2. The podcast will be produced 4-5 times per week with a focus on sports and pop culture. Katie Nolan will launch a weekly podcast beginning on January 10.

“Adding original podcasts with Bomani, David, Jalen and Katie is a key component of the overall strategy to grow our Audio on Demand business,” Keller added. “These talented voices resonate across platforms and especially with consumers in the digital space.”

Audio on Demand is the fastest-growing area of ESPN’s Audio business as sports fans’ listening habits continue to evolve. ESPN launched its first podcast in 2005 and currently offers close to 80 original and radio/TV show podcasts which span the spectrum of topics throughout the sports world. Listeners spend nearly three hours per week listening to ESPN Podcasts.

ESPN is the number one sports podcast publisher as measured by Podtrac. ESPN currently generates almost five million unique listeners per month, more than double its closest sports competitor. In October, Jones’s podcast had more than 1.1 million downloads, up 38% compared to October 2016 (rawvoice) Jalen & Jacoby’s podcast saw more than 1.5 million downloads in October, up 56% year over year.

ESPN Radio lineup as of January 2, 2018:

Time ET Show / Host(s)
4 – 6 a.m. First and Last – Mike Golic Jr.
6 – 10 a.m. Golic and Wingo – Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, Mike Golic Jr.
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz – Dan Le Batard, Jon “Stugotz” Weiner
1 – 3 p.m. The Stephen A. Smith Show – Stephen A. Smith
3 – 6 p.m. Russillo and Cain – Ryen Russillo, Will Cain
6 – 9 p.m. Spain and Fitz – Sarah Spain, Jason Fitz
9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Freddie and Fitzsimmons – Freddie Coleman, Ian Fitzsimmons
1 a.m. – 4 a.m. SportsCenter AllNight

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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