ESPN Radio are set to roll out a new fall weekend lineup with a heavy focus on the 2016 college football and NFL seasons. The network has announced the addition of two new programs, including a three-hour program titled “McNabb & Custer”, featuring former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb and veteran Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Brian Custer. The new show will debut Sunday, September 11th at 10pm ET, or immediately following Sunday Night Baseball. The new weekend lineup will be in place until the end of the football season.
“Without question, the biggest names in sports talking football will be on ESPN Radio all weekend,” said David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Audio network content. “Fans can expect the most comprehensive information, from an array of diverse voices who will always be willing to provide a provocative, informed point of view on America’s number sport. We are looking forward to serving the sports fans anytime and anywhere across the audio platforms this fall.”
Louise Cornetta, ESPN Radio program director II, added: “The Fall means football. The goal is to give our fans the most comprehensive and entertaining coverage for College Football on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays. The new weekend lineup will provide our listeners with something for everyone to enjoy.”
During the football season, espnW presents: The Trifecta with Spain, Jane & Kate will take a break, however each host – Sarah Spain, Jane McManus and Kate Fagan — will remain involved. A new program Weekend Observations with Stu & Spain, will feature Jon “Stugotz” Weiner and Spain, and will focus on the day’s NFL headlines while injecting playful banter between the two hosts who frequently appear together on The Dan Le Batard Show. McManus will co-host Sunday’s Operation Football alongside Randy Scott and Field Yates, and Fagan will continue hosting Will & Kate with Will Cain.
On Sundays, Domonique Foxworth, a former NFL cornerback and new contributor to The Undefeated, will team up with ESPN Chicago 1000’s Jonathan Hood on NFL Nation, wrapping up the day’s NFL action and featuring ESPN NFL Nation writers who were at the biggest games.
ESPN Radio’s Saturday schedule will focus on college football beginning with:
- Dari & Mel, a year-round program hosted by SEC Network anchor Dari Nowkhah and ESPN NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr., kicking off the mornings at 7 a.m. for three hours.
- Following that, a three-hour simulcast of television’s ESPN’s College GameDay (10 a.m. – Noon) and ESPN Radio’s College GameDay (Noon – 7 p.m.) will provide listeners with previews, news and analysis from around college football and lead into the College Football Game of the Week on most Saturdays. ESPN Radio’s College GameDay returns hosts Doug Kezirian, Brad Edwards and Trevor Matich, with Maria Taylor, Joey Galloway, Andrea Adelson and Heather Dinich as weekly contributors.
- Capping off the day, Will & Kate – hosted by Will Cain and Kate Fagan – will air 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.
- Robin Lundberg will continue to host The Robin Lundberg Show on select Saturdays (11 p.m. – 1 a.m.) this fall.
Sundays on ESPN Radio will be NFL-centric, kicking off the day with Weekend Observations with Stu & Spain (7 – 9 a.m.) Additional highlights:
- Fantasy Focus (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) returns, hosted by ESPN New York 98.7FM’s Dave Rothenberg, Mike Golic Jr. and Fantasy expert Eric Karabell, with weekly contributor Stephania Bell. Focus will offer listeners last-minute lineup suggestions, injury updates and analysis of who is having the best season at each position.
- Max & The Coach, with Tom Waddle (1 – 4 p.m.), hosted by ESPN studio hosts Max Bretos and Jonathan Coachman with ESPN Chicago 1000 voice and ESPN NFL analyst Tom Waddle will keep listeners up-to-date on all of the early NFL games.
- Operation Football (4 – 7 p.m.) – returns for its second year, hosted by ESPN anchor Randy Scott, Jane McManus and Field Yates, and will recap the earlier NFL games with live player and coach post-game interviews, updating the current ones and keeping tabs on the fantasy front.
The New Weekend Schedule:
|Saturdays||6 a.m.||The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap|
|7 a.m.||Dari & Mel|
|10 a.m.||ESPN College GameDay (TV Simulcast)|
|Noon||ESPN Radio’s College GameDay|
|7 p .m.||College Football Game of the Week|
|11 p.m.||Will & Kate (or The Robin Lundberg Show on select Saturdays)|
|Sundays||6 a.m.||The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap|
|7 a.m.||Weekend Observations with Stu & Spain|
|9 a.m.||Fantasy Focus|
|1 p.m.||Max & The Coach with Tom Waddle|
|4 p.m.||Operation Football|
|7 p.m.||NFL Nation with Domonique Foxworth & Jonathan Hood|
|10 p.m.||McNabb & Custer|
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Fescoe in the Morning: ESPN Has a History of Ignoring Non-Partner Leagues
“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.
ESPN is out of the running for the Big Ten football and basketball media rights. Those will be awarded to a combination of other networks and likely a streaming service. ESPN appears to be focusing on NCAA Championships next.
Josh Klingler, co-host of Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, took time on their show on Tuesday to break down what that might mean for the Big Ten in terms of coverage.
“You’re (Big Ten) going to network television, which is better; more eyeballs and what have you,” noted Klingler. “But also, let’s not forget ESPN has a history of ignoring you when you’re not on their air. That’s the risk they are going to run.”
Klingler would add, “They are going to take the money. They are going to get network viewers, which is good. I guess the highlight and the hype and all those things that we are accustomed to doing that ESPN provides. We’ve already seen they ignore you if you’re not on their network.”
Bob Fescoe chimed in a reminder about another prominent league that chose not to partner with ESPN.
“Ask the National Hockey League what happened when they took the money from NBC and ran,” said Fescoe.
“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.
“Right, but I think they are willing to do that for a billion dollars per year,” Fescoe responded.
Fescoe then said that the Big Ten might make up for the perceived shortcomings of not being on ESPN by being on network television.
“If you’re going to be on network TV in all three windows, Josh, quite honestly all your marquee games are going to be free,” said Fescoe.
“That’s exposure,” said Klingler.
NESN’s Dave O’Brien Says National Networks “Blew It” By Not Hiring Dennis Eckersley
“I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”
On Monday, Dennis Eckersley decided to make it known that this season would be his last with NESN in the booth. He mentioned that after 50 years in baseball, it was time to go be with the grandchildren in San Diego.
His broadcast partner for a lot of those years in the NESN booth was Dave O’Brien. On the latest Sports Media Mayhem podcast, O’Brien joined show host Alex Reimer to talk about the retirement of Eckersley. Reimer pointed out that it took awhile before Eckersley became the main color analyst for the team. O’Brien remembered the time well.
“When he started, he was pre- and post- and he did that most of his career at NESN,” said O’Brien. “It was really, only the last six or seven years that he really started to get on as a game analyst.”
O’Brien was named the lead play-by-play announcer for NESN’s Red Sox coverage in 2016 which is about the same time Eckersley slid into the role of game analyst. In the time since, O’Brien has seen the work of Eckersley up close and is floored that he was working for a regional sports network and not somewhere more nationally prominent.
“I think the national people totally blew it on Dennis Eckersley,” blurted O’Brien. “And that includes Turner. They had an opportunity, I can say that because a lot of those people there now didn’t make the decision. He should have been the lead analyst doing national games. He should have been on ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball or FOX. I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”
Sal Paolantonio Not Interested In Trying Ayahuasca To Better Understand Aaron Rodgers
“Halucinagenics have been at the center of a lot of conversations about Aaron Rodgers lately.”
Dan Patrick is a very good interviewer. He asks the questions he knows his audience wants answered. He also makes a habit out of throwing out questions to his guests that they never see coming. That was the case on Tuesday for ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.
Paolantonio joined the Dan Patrick Show to discuss Pro Football Hall of Fame voting and the new NFL season. That is not what the host hit him with out of the gate.
The first question from Patrick to Paolantonio was “Just to relate to Aaron Rodgers, would you be willing to try ayahuasca?”.
Paolantonio was left speechless. All he could do was laugh and say “you got me on that one, Dan.”
Halucinagenics have been at the center of a lot of conversations about Aaron Rodgers lately. The Green Bay quarterback recently said on a podcast that experimenting with ayahuasca opened him up to be ready to succeed both on the field and as a leader. He credits the experience with laying the foundation for his 2021 MVP season.
Patrick pushed the issue challenging Paolantonio to beat Andrea Kremer to the experience.
“My money is on the fearless Andrea Kremer,” Paolantonio shot back.
For the record, Kremer responded to the challenge on Twitter.