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ESPN Radio Revamps Weekends

Jason Barrett

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ESPN Radio is unveiling a revamped national weekend lineup, featuring varied voices and fresh perspectives from around the country, throughout the month of January. Eight new shows are being added, including the two-hour espnW Presents: Spain & Prim on ESPN Radio, co-hosted by espnW’s and ESPN Chicago 1000 Radio’s Sarah Spain and ESPN anchor and analyst Prim Siripipat, premiering on Saturday, Jan. 24, at noon ET.

Additional shows debuting in the new lineup are: Marty & McGee, Dave Rothenberg Show, Dickerson & Hood, Robin Lundberg, Coachman & Bretos, Ian Fitzsimmons and NBA Lockdown: Insiders. The ESPN Audio weekend schedule is headlined by hosts from across the country including Baltimore, Bristol, Conn., Charlotte, N.C., Dallas and New York.

Marty & McGee is hosted from Charlotte by ESPN bureau reporter Marty Smith and ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee and is broadcast Saturdays from 2 – 4 p.m. The show began as a NASCAR- and motorsports-centric podcast that has expanded into a full two-hour program covering all sports.

The NBA Lockdown programs – the pregame NBA Lockdown and postgame NBA Lockdown: Insiders – showcase some of ESPN’s leading NBA reporters and analysts and offers in-depth coverage of the games of the day. NBA Lockdown returns, hosted by NBA reporter Israel Gutierrez.  ESPN basketball analyst Kara Lawson joins the show this year, bringing the perspective of a former WNBA All-Star. Insiders is an extension of Lockdown and will feature ESPN Insider and Cleveland reporter Brian Windhorst, Dallas-based analyst Marc Stein and Phoenix-based analyst Amin Elhassan.

“ESPN Radio has long featured unparalleled weekday talk and must-listen-to event coverage,” said Mo Davenport, senior vice president, ESPN Radio. “Our new weekend lineup expands our impressive array of content, with many engaging, new national voices that will soon be household names.”

Dave Roberts, vice president, network audio content, added, “This lineup gives ESPN Radio listeners access to shows based throughout the country, all hosted by passionate sports fans who will draw upon their experiences and backgrounds to provide entertaining programming.  The roster is also indicative of the popularity of digital audio content, with shows like Marty & McGee and NBA Lockdown: Insiders moving to network radio after podcast success.”

espnW Presents: Spain & Prim is a collaboration between espnW and ESPN Radio featuring a distinct perspective on sports that only espnW can provide. Spain — with her deep sports knowledge that comes from growing up, playing and reporting in one of the country’s biggest sports towns – and Siripipat, whose background as a reporter and elite athlete helps frame her take, examine the top stories in the sports world with a “Prim and Not-so-Proper” view.

The show will weave in espnW’s writers and contributors and include a “That’s What She Said” segment, based on Spain’s column for espnW.com, as well as the show-ending “P.S.” segment in which each host will give her thoughts on three timely topics.  ESPN.com senior writer and espnW contributor Ramona Shelburne will also join the debut.

Spain & Prim is yet another extension of espnW’s increasingly successful cross-platform expansion, and one we began fostering with ESPN Radio last year with our first show focused on domestic violence and the NFL’s reaction,” said Alison Overholt, espnW editor-in-chief. “Sarah and Prim will be an engaging and knowledgeable pair that, like espnW, won’t be afraid to push the envelope every now and then.”

Shows:

  • Dari & Mel (existing show) – an NFL- and college football-centric show, hosted by SEC Network anchor Dari Nowkhah (Charlotte-based) and ESPN NFL expert analyst Mel Kiper Jr. (Baltimore-based);
  • espnW Presents: Spain & Prim on ESPN Radio (launching January 24) – hosted by espnW columnist Sarah Spain and ESPN anchor and analyst Prim Siripipat, the show is a collaboration between espnW and ESPN Radio featuring a distinct perspective on sports that only espnW can provide;
  • Marty & McGee (launched January 10) – previously a podcast, a sports talk show infused with humor and storytelling, hosted by ESPN bureau reporter Marty Smith and ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee. The show is broadcast out of Charlotte, N.C.;
  • Dave Rothenberg Show (launching January 24) – hosted by longtime New York radio personality Dave Rothenberg, the show incorporates listener reactions to the latest sports headlines;
  • Dickerson & Hood (launched January 10) hosted by ESPN Chicago voices Jeff Dickerson and Jonathan Hood, the show brings together listener interactions and previews and reaction to the day’s sporting events;
  • Robin Lundberg (launched January 3) – ESPN New York’s Robin Lundberg shares his perspective on the biggest stories in the sports world;
  • The Ian O’Connor Show (existing show)– hosted by ESPNNewYork.com columnist Ian O’Connor with reaction to the day’s top stories and a look ahead to the week’s biggest games;
  • Lupica (existing show) — Mike Lupica (New York and Bristol) offers his insight and expertise on everything from the Yankees to Mets, Knicks to Rangers, Jets to Giants and everything in between;
  • NBA Lockdown (launches January 25) — covers all of the latest NBA news with ESPN’s team of experts, hosted by reporter Israel Gutierrez (Miami-based) and basketball analyst Kara Lawson (Bristol-based);
  • Coachman & Bretos (launches February 15)– an opinionated, high-energy talk show hosted by ESPN studio hosts Jonathan Coachman and Max Bretos, based in Bristol;
  • Ian Fitzsimmons (launched January 11) – hosted by ESPN Radio sideline reporter Ian Fitzsimmons (Dallas-based) featuring his takes on the news of the day;
  • NBA Lockdown: Insiders (launches January 25) – an extension of NBA Lockdown showcasing ESPN reporters and analysts Marc Stein (Dallas-based), Brian Windhorst (Cleveland-based) and Amin Elhassan (Phoenix-based);
  • V Show with Bob Valvano (existing show) – longtime ESPN Radio host Bob Valvano (Louisville-based) discusses the hottest topics in basketball.

Sports Radio News

105.3 The Fan’s Shan & RJ Do Battle With 95.7 The Game’s The Morning Roast Ahead of 49ers vs Cowboys

“Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.”

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Sports radio content has fueled the hate between Dallas and San Francisco this week as the Cowboys get set to visit the Bay Area. A joke made by 105.3 The Fan’s GBag Nation made some 49ers fans angry. Gavin Dawson and Bryan Broaddus said the Cowboys “could use an injury” to 49ers running back Christian McCaffery.

Other hosts at 105.3 The Fan took to Twitter after a 49ers fan spread the clip on social media calling the joke “pathetic.” Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy were among them. They argued that it is crazy for anyone to think Dawson and Broaddus were serious.

The vitriol between the two towns played out Friday morning on two Audacy stations, the aforementioned Fan in Dallas and 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. Shan & RJ connected with Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky of The Morning Roast for a quarter-hour of smack talk.

“We’d like to congratulate you guys on still being there,” Shariff said. “We know the rotating door there normally. We didn’t think you’d still be there from last year.”

He then gave credit to Sahsky for contributing his winnings from their last bet to the families and community in Uvalde affected by the Robb Elementary shootings.

From there, the niceties were over. Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.

All five hosts explained their pick for the game. Only Shariff went against his home team, predicting the 49ers to win by double digits. Belt and Choppy didn’t give a second thought to supporting the Cowboys.

Joe Shasky wasn’t buying the confidence.

“It’s gonna be Rangers and Bocci talk Monday when they lose,” he said as the two shows signed off.

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Sports Radio News

Sweeny Murti Departing WFAN

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here.”

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WFAN New York Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti has announced today is his final day with the radio station.

In a tweet announcing the move, Murti said “I tried to bring the right amounts of confidence and humility on the air. I strived to hold my own with the great hosts on our station and just tried to make good radio with every appearance.”

Sweeny started as a producer at WFAN in 1993, before eventually ascending to the role of the station’s Yankees reporter in 2001. He was grateful to his colleagues and friends for his time at the New York station.

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here. Thanks to so many wonderful friends and colleagues who made going to work fun. And thanks to every one of you for listening and taking this ride with me. It has truly been my honor, and I hope you will join me on the next adventure.

Sweeny Murti did not disclose what his next move would entail.

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Sports Radio News

Westwood One Releases Study of NFL Fans Following Playoffs on Radio

“The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL will be one step closer to determining who will play in this year’s Super Bowl after this weekend, and one thing is for certain, football fans will follow the games any way they can. That includes listening to games on the radio.

Westwood One, which is the official network radio partner of the NFL, revealed just how strong listenership of the NFL on the radio is thanks to a recent study.

According to Westwood One’s Audio Active Group, which unveiled the data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough USA+ and MRI Simmons USA, NFL playoff listeners on AM/FM radio are more likely to work full-time and have higher disposable income compared to TV viewers.

Additionally, MRI Simmons found that radio listeners are keener to attend sporting events, look up sports information on their phones more frequently and be more active in fantasy sports than their TV watching counterparts.

The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.

The average age of radio listeners is younger than the average TV watcher. The study found that the average age of people who listen to the playoffs/Super Bowl on the radio is 46, while the average age of folks who watch on TV is 53.

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