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Olbermann, Bruno & Wilson To Reunite For ESPN Radio Special

Jason Barrett

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ESPN Radio may be focused on the future, but as the network prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2017, it’s first taking a moment to remember and celebrate the past. The network has revealed that it will kick off the new year with a 25th Anniversary Special hosted by Keith Olbermann, and featuring guests Tony Bruno and Chuck Wilson. All three men were part of the very first ESPN Radio broadcast. The special broadcast will air live on Wednesday, January 4th from 7p-9p ET. It will also be rebroadcasted periodically on ESPN Radio throughout 2017.

“ESPN Radio has been around for 25 years serving sports fans on the go wherever and whenever. We have evolved over time, adapting as sports fans have adapted, to new ways of listening while all along maintaining strong relationships with our over 500 affiliates across the country,” said Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Audio. “From compelling talk programming to the strongest package of play-by-play content in the industry, ESPN Radio has consistently been the leader among sports broadcasters. We’re incredibly grateful to all the hard-working individuals who have contributed so much to the network over the years — both behind and in front of the mic. Bringing back Keith, Tony and Chuck was a way for us to tip our hats to the folks who got us started.”

The network has also divulged that it will revisit pivotal moments in sports from the past 25 years. From January 9 through December 11, a special bi-weekly podcast series, 25 Stories in Sports from the Last 25 Years, will be available on the ESPN app and ESPNRadio.com. The series will be hosted by various ESPN Radio voices and focus on a number of the landmark sporting events since 1992.

Also starting in January, ESPN Radio will explore the Top 25 of the last 25 years – Best Coaches, Best Fights, Most Underrated Athletes and more, with one list debuting each month through 2017 on ESPNRadio.com.

The ESPN Radio network was launched on January 1, 1992, and featured 16 hours per week of sports news and information. It’s since grown to deliver over 9,000 hours of talk and event content per year, and is available to 20 million listeners per week on 500 stations nationwide.

Notable Moments in ESPN Radio History:

Date Moment
January 1, 1992 ESPN Radio Network is launched, featuring 16 hours a week of sports news and information.
July 4, 1994 ESPN Radio begins its first weekday “long‑form” programming and its first show with listener calls with The Fabulous Sports Babe, weekdays from 10 a.m. ‑ 2 p.m.
November 14, 1995 ESPN Radio Network acquires national radio broadcast rights to the NBA, the network’s first agreement for an event series.
September 18, 1997 ESPN Radio and Major League Baseball announce a deal for game coverage (beginning in 1998) and a variety of other programming through the 2002 season.
October 12, 1998 ESPN Radio becomes a 24-hour service utilizing ABC Radio’s recently purchased WMVP in Chicago, its flagship station: “ESPN Radio 1000.”
January 3, 2000 Mike & Mike in the Morning makes its debut.
March 7, 2000 ESPN Radio signs its 100th full-time station – WTMT-AM in Louisville, Ky.
September 1, 2001 ESPN Radio 1050 in New York debuts as a 50,000-watt 24-hour ESPN affiliate.
January 1, 2002 ESPN Radio celebrates its 10th anniversary.  In 2002, the network adds stations giving it 700 total – including coverage in the top 50 markets – and 210 fulltime.
January 1, 2003 Los Angeles station 710AM becomes an ESPN Radio affiliate.
April 26, 2004 Mike & Mike makes its TV debut on ESPNEWS.
October 5, 2005 ESPN Deportes Radio launches, the first fulltime national U.S. Spanish-language sports network, with sports talk and events, highlighted by MLB and Mexican soccer.
April 10, 2006 ESPN.com launches PodCenter, a library of digital audio and video content from ESPN’s TV, radio and online outlets to download or play on computer.
September 2009 The ESPN Radio app debuts, and was listed among the “Top 25 Apps for 2009” on iTunes.
April 30, 2012 ESPN Radio in New York moves from 1050 AM to 98.7 FM.  In September, the 1050 signal becomes a 24/7 ESPN Deportes Radio affiliate.
September 30, 2013 The Dan Le Batard Show, hosted by longtime Miami journalist Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, makes its national debut, airing weekdays, 4 – 7 p.m. and later moves to its current 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. timeslot.
January 23, 2014 On February 3, the YES Network begins its live simulcast of ESPN New York 98.7FM’s The Michael Kay Show.
June 10, 2014 ESPN Radio becomes the first sports content available on iTunes Radio.
January 24, 2015 ESPN Radio debuts Spain & Prim, its first all-female hosted and produced sports talk show, presented by espnW and hosted by Sarah Spain and Prim Siripipat. It was the precursor to the current The Trifecta with Spain, Jane and Kate, hosted by Spain, Jane McManus and Kate Fagan.
March 6, 2015 ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike celebrates its 15th anniversary with a live show from Walt Disney World in Orlando.
April 5, 2016 Dunkumentaries, ESPN Audio’s first long-form podcast, debuts as a five episode series.
June 20, 2016 ESPNLA 710AM becomes the flagship station for the Los Angeles Rams

Sports Radio News

Paul Finebaum: ESPN, FOX Have Power To Tank EA Sports College Football Video Game

“Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football.”

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Paul Finebaum

The power brokers in college football now are the media. In particular, it is ESPN, who is set to take over the SEC’s media rights and FOX, who controls the Big Ten’s media rights. Paul Finebaum said recently on the Dynasty Mode podcast that those relationships give the two networks major control over college football.

Dynasty Mode is a podcast about EA Sports’ popular college football video game series hosted by BSM writers Arky Shea and Demetri Ravanos. Finebaum told the pair that if either ESPN and FOX or the Big Ten and the SEC don’t want to work together, the video game, which will return to store shelves in 2023 after a ten-year absence from the market, could be doomed.

“We’re a year removed from an absolute certainty, that was a 12 school playoff for the CFP, getting shot down for the very same reason,” he said. “So if they can shoot down the most important entity in college sports, I think they can shoot down this.”

Paul Finebaum had high praise for what the video game has meant to college football. He told Shea and Ravanos that he hopes power brokers at schools and networks realize that.

“I think it’s been very important and I don’t know how many people that are in those power five seats think about stuff like that.”

In the early 2000s, Tony Bruno brought a fictionalized version of his radio show to EA Sports’ Madden NFL series. Finebaum said he had not been approached yet by EA to do something similar for the new college football video game.

“I’m really surprised they haven’t because it would be a big money-making operation, at least for me. I don’t know about for them, but I am happy to participate,” Finebaum joked.

He added that the real value to EA Sports would be his audience. They could give the game a level of authenticity that many fans have missed as college football becomes a more corporate entity.

“You can replace me, but you can’t replace the callers. They are the most unique, and I think it takes a lot of work to nurture callers like that. I’m not campaigning for EA because I have people to do that for me,” he said. “Point being, what makes college sports what it is? It’s the fans. It’s not the fat cats that buy the one million or two million dollar suites. It’s not the people sitting with the president. It’s the rank and file that probably never get to campus.”

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Sports Radio News

Matt Chernoff: WFAN’s Sal Licata ‘Doesn’t Have The Guts’ to Appear On 680 The Fan Again

“He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that?”

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Would WFAN’s Sal Licata join Chuck and Chernoff on 680 The Fan in Atlanta again? According to Matt Chernoff, no.

During a May appearance on SNY, Licata declared the National League East race over, saying the New York Mets had wrapped up the division. The Atlanta Braves then proceeded to win 14 consecutive games. The Mets currently hold a seven game lead over the Braves in the division.

After the 14 game winning streak, Chuck and Chernoff had Licata on their show to confront him about the opinion, and things got slightly heated, with Chernoff and Licata eventually yelling at each other, before cooler heads prevailed.

The two hosts rekindled their disdain for one another after the Mets won four of five games against the Braves over the weekend, with the two trading barbs on Twitter. Licata joked Chernoff should hope the New York host doesn’t move to Atlanta to win a ratings battle, and called Chernoff a clown before deleting the tweet. He later tweeted “Funny. No invites from Atlanta sports talk radio today,” accompanied by a should shrug emoji. That caught the attention of Chernoff, who addressed it to open his show Monday.

“He (Licata) won’t come on,” Chernoff said. “He doesn’t have the guts to come on again. After what happened last time? You think he wants that again? Why the hell would he want that? He made a fool of himself and then lied about it to his own fans. There’s a reason he didn’t play the audio on his dumb little show. And next time when he’s an hour late, they have that to play instead. I mean, honestly, if he wants to come on, come on. He has no interest. He does not want this smoke.”

@680thefan

Chernoff has had enough of loud mouth Sal Licata of #wfan #braves #mets

♬ original sound – 680 The Fan

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Sports Radio News

790 The Score Debuts In Providence

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

Jordan Bondurant

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After reporting last week that Kevin McNamara would be the station’s only local host in the programming lineup, 790 The Score in Providence, Rhode Island is officially on the air.

The station, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, has been revived and will serve as the market’s first sports and sports betting station.

“The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage,” said Holly Paras, VP and market manager of Cumulus Providence. “We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love 790 THE SCORE!”

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch some of the top national talent on the airwaves throughout the day and night. This includes hosts like Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

McNamara will host his show Kevin Mac Sports Hour daily from 5-7 p.m.

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