Update 11/2: Clear Channel confirms that WBGG will flip to ESPN Radio on January 1. The station will carry ESPN’s Mike & Mike from 6 to 10am, Scott Van Pelt from 2pm to 4pm, as well as ESPN’s night and weekend programming. Remaining on the schedule are local hosts Tunch & Wolf from 10am to 2pm, Joe Bendel from 4pm to 7pm, and Premiere Radio Networks’ Jim Rome from 12pm to 2pm.
Original Report 11/1: It hasn’t completely left, as 1250 WEAE continues with the national ESPN Radio feed until it flips to Radio Disney on January 1, however the network has found a new home in the market. Clear Channel will replace its Fox Sports Radio programming on 970 WBGG with ESPN. 970ESPN.com was registered by Clear Channel last week and the adjacent logo appeared on Clear Channel’s server today labeled as “DEV_WBGG-AM”.
INSTANT INSIGHT: Why would Clear Channel drop its in-house Fox Sports Radio programming for ESPN Radio? ESPN has more national recognition, which could lead to better brand awareness. ESPN would also like to have national coverage for its programming, so it could be paying Clear Channel a discounted licensing fee to ensure its programming remains on in Pittsburgh in some form.