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Entercom Introduces New Sports Digital Network

“The network launch calls for over 65 hours of daily, live programming available exclusively on the Radio.com platform in both audio and video.”

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Entercom is making waves in the sports digital space. The company announced today the creation of the Radio.com Sports Digital Network – an all-digital, daily, live, subscription-free sports network that will feature over 75 hours of original podcast content weekly.

The launch plans call for over 65 hours of daily, live programming available exclusively on the Radio.com platform in both audio and video. Short-form and on-demand versions of the platform’s shows will also be distributed in real time through leading podcast distribution services. The podcast offerings will include four weekly podcasts, with more to be announced soon. 

“We are very excited to be rolling out the new Radio.com Sports Digital Network with an outstanding lineup of native digital content,” said David Field, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Entercom. “It is the perfect complement to our unrivaled platform in local sports which includes most of the nation’s leading sports talk stations and personalities along with the most desirable play-by-play relationships.”

The new network’s daily and weekly original programming will include the following shows:

  • Home and Home hosted by Ross Tucker and Dave Briggs (Monday – Friday Live 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET)
  • Scal & Pals featuring Brian Scalabrine & Others (Monday – Friday Live 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET, effective September 23)
  • Swing & Mrs. hosted by Jennifer and Cody Decker (Monday – Friday Live 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET)
  • You Better You Bet featuring Nick Kostos & Others (Live 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. ET)
  • Prevent Defense with Brian Baldinger & Eliot Shorr-Parks (Weekly Tuesdays)

“We are thrilled with the extraordinary lineup of talent we have assembled to launch this new venture,” added Mike Dee, President of Sports, Entercom. “The introduction of OTT video distribution from the outset, as well as the commitment to create and distribute 25 hours of dedicated sports betting audio and video weekly to super serve that growing audience, are both examples of how the network will utilize technology and adapt quickly to the new trends that are shaping both consumer and advertiser interest. We look forward to the onboarding of more great content to the network in the coming months.”

Among the contributors expected to appear on the network’s programs include Michael Lombardi, Ric Bucher, Joe Girardi, Jason La Canfora, Channing Crowder, Danny Parkins, Eli Hershkovich, Joe Ostrowski, Ken Barkley, and Armando Salguero.

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Stephen A. Smith: ‘Shannon Sharpe is on Another Level’ on ESPN ‘First Take’

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Shannon Sharpe
Courtesy: Elizabeth Weinberg, GQ

Earlier in the week, ESPN announced that it signed Shannon Sharpe to a multiyear contract extension in which he will continue his appearances on First Take and also contribute to other ESPN programming. The announcement was made on Tuesday’s edition of First Take, during which Sharpe expressed his gratitude for his colleagues at ESPN and Stephen A. Smith for believing in him after his exit from Undisputed on FS1. Smith and First Take host Molly Qerim conveyed their appreciation for Sharpe on the air and congratulated him on the new contract before beginning the first debate of the program.

On the latest edition of his independent podcast, The Stephen A. Smith Show, Smith took time to recognize Sharpe and exhibit plaudits for his contribution to First Take. Since the departure of co-host Max Kellerman from the morning television show in September 2021, the program has utilized a rotation of panelists that debate Smith on a variety of topics throughout the show. The program recently attained its 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year growth and garnered record-setting viewership in the month of May.

“You know, none of us win alone. We win together,” Smith said. “I don’t give a damn who you see in front of the camera or who you see in front of the microphone. There’s producers and writers and everybody else in-between behind the scenes that make things happen for me that I always owe a debt of gratitude towards as well, and the same is applicable to [Shannon Sharpe]. But clearly with me being the face of First Take and what have you, I’m never shy about spreading the wealth and sharing it because it’s well deserved.”

Smith mentioned several of the commentators who appear across episodes of First Take, including Ryan Clark, Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, Mina Kimes, Jay Williams and Andraya Carter, along with show host Molly Qerim. Throughout the year, the program features additional members of ESPN as well to provide their insights and expertise pertaining to a variety of different topics within the world of sports.

“…[T]here’s so many people that do such great work for the show, but Shannon Sharpe is on another level,” Smith explained. “What he’s done for the show, what he’s done for me, I can’t say enough about.”

Sharpe began appearing on ESPN’s First Take last August while also signing a partnership with The Volume to bring his podcast, Club Shay Shay, to the digital media outlet. During his time with ESPN and First Take, he has frequently appeared on Monday and Tuesday editions of the show, along with several special on-site broadcasts. Within the deal with The Volume, the company implemented Sharpe’s media venture, Shay Shay Media in content and formulating new programming, such as the Nightcap podcast featuring Sharpe and co-hosts Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Gilbert Arenas.

“I don’t deserve a whole bunch of props for bringing Shannon Sharpe on board,” Smith said. “Shannon Sharpe came on board because Shannon Sharpe was an asset that I knew would work tremendously well for First Take. His gifts, his skillset, his hard work, his dedication and all of the stuff that came with it is what earned that opportunity.”

Smith articulated that Sharpe has never appeared on the program with any shortage of energy, passion, knowledge or commitment. Earlier in the segment, he addressed people who questioned why Smith mentioned that Sharpe was pushed out of FS1, replying by asking if it had occurred to them that he wanted him to discuss the topic. Sharpe worked with Skip Bayless from the start of Undisputed in 2016 until his departure last June, and the program has since relaunched featuring a rotation of commentators including Keyshawn Johnson, Michael Irvin and Richard Sherman.

Smith delineated that Sharpe has been an exemplary colleague throughout his time on First Take and has had to overcome several obstacles to reach this point, some of which include a speech impediment, being a Black man and having issues with public speaking. A recent profile of Sharpe by The Hollywood Reporter mentioned difficulties that Sharpe has had to combat throughout his life and how he has found ways to thrive in sports media following a successful professional football career. Smith read the article and asked the audience to think about what he had to go through before divulging what it is that Sharpe wants to receive from those in the business.

“I’ve told everybody that has asked me about my relationship with Shannon Sharpe, ‘Respect the man,’” Smith said. “All he cares about is that you respect him. Don’t disrespect him. Respect him for what he does. That’s it.”

Smith said that Sharpe knows he has respect for him, attributing it to part of the reason why their friendship has grown. Additionally, he communicated that Sharpe has never bothered anyone and is not asking people for friendship or to be a family member, but rather to simply demonstrate respect towards him. The segment then concluded with Smith offering his congratulations for Sharpe receiving the contract extension and continuing to work with him on the show.

“He deserves every penny and every nugget of investment that ESPN has agreed to place in him, so I just wanted to say that and I’m just happy for him and happy he’s going to be a part of the team for years to come,” Smith said. “He deserves it – he really, really does. My man, Club Shay Shay in the house. Congrats big boy, well deserved.”

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Sports Media Remembers Jerry West, NBA Champion and Executive, Who Passed Away at the Age of 86

“Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86. His wife, Karen, was by his side.”

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Jerry West
Courtesy: Tim Nwachukwu, Getty Images

Jerry West, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and executive who won a collective eight championships, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 86, the LA Clippers announced. West, whose silhouette encompasses part of the National Basketball Association logo, was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and played in nine NBA Finals.

“Jerry West, the personification of basketball excellence and a friend to all who knew him, passed away peacefully this morning at the age of 86,” the LA Clippers organization said in a statement. “His wife, Karen, was by his side.”

Throughout his 14-year playing career, West was named an All-Star every season and is the only player to be named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals as a member of the losing team. West had been serving as a consultant for the LA Clippers since 2017 and previously worked in the front offices of the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors. He will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for a third time as a contributor later this year.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years,” Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, said in a statement. “He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments.  He was the league’s first Finals MVP and made rising to the occasion his signature quality, earning him the nickname ‘Mr. Clutch’.

“Jerry’s four decades with the Lakers also included a successful stint as a head coach and a remarkable run in the front office that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in sports history.  He helped build eight championship teams during his tenure in the NBA – a legacy of achievement that mirrors his on-court excellence.  And he will be enshrined this October into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor, becoming the first person ever inducted as both a player and a contributor.

“I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life.  On behalf of the NBA, we send our deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife, Karen, his family and his many friends in the NBA community.”

Members of the sports media industry reacted to the news throughout the day on Wednesday, reflecting on West’s life and impact in basketball and sports as a whole:

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Stephen and Dell Curry to Co-Host ‘Heat Check’ Podcast

Stephen Curry joins a growing list of active NBA players who have launched their own podcasts, some of whom include his teammate Draymond Green, LeBron James and Paul George.

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Heat Check
Courtesy: Audible, Unanimous Media

Unanimous Media is launching a new Audible podcast on Thursday, June 13 featuring Golden State Warriors guard and four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry and his father Dell Curry, who is a former Charlotte Hornets forward and current color commentator for the team’s television broadcasts. This new 10-part Audible Original, titled Heat Check, will “pull back the curtain on their family’s journey, told through the lens of a father and a son, while talking about the biggest names throughout NBA history.” News of the podcast was first reported by Marc J. Spears, senior writer for ESPN-owned Andscape.

Stephen and Dell Curry will reflect on the path to the NBA and several moments throughout their lives. The show will feature special guests, including Stephen’s mother Sonya, former NBA point guard Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, and Stephen and Dell’s agent Jeff Austin. Throughout the Audible Original series, the father-son duo will talk about how Dell established the groundwork for Stephen to excel playing professional basketball.

Curry joins a growing list of active NBA players who have launched their own podcasts, some of whom include his teammate Draymond Green, LeBron James and Paul George. Unanimous Media, which Stephen Curry co-founded with Erick Peyton in 2018, is also in the process of producing an animated sports comedy, titled GOAT, for Sony Pictures Animation. The film will be released theatrically on Feb. 13, 2026, aligning with the NBA All-Star Weekend taking place that year in Los Angeles, Calif.

The company also released the Stephen Curry: Underrated documentary last year and an animated version of the Good Times sitcom for Netflix. Other ventures in which the company has taken part include The Queen of Basketball award-winning documentary, the “I Have a Superpower” children’s book and Holey Moley on ABC. Unanimous Media has previously worked with Audible for its series, The Greatest Sports Stories Never Told, which was narrated by ESPN commentator Joe Tessitore.

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