On Monday morning, ESPN Radio’s new national lineup officially began as Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Zubin Mehenti began their run as the 6 AM-10 AM ET host of Keyshawn, Jay-Will, and Zubin.
While their show is different than Mike & Mike or Golic & Wingo, the three hosts made sure to acknowledge those who came before them at the beginning of the show.
“The loyalty that they engendered from the audience, you out there, has allowed us to come in and hopefully have you enjoy the show as much as we do bringing you the show every day,“ said Mehenti.
Jay Williams further added to that tribute by talking about how much Golic and Greeny have meant to him as he starts this new show. You can read more from Williams in our interview with him courtesy of Demetri Ravanos:
“First and foremost, Mike Golic Sr., an incredible individual and one of the first times I was ever on TV 13 years ago, I remember seeing him and he was himself. It was incredible. You can be self-deprecating, you can have fun and that put me on a journey saying I have to find out who I want to be naturally on TV.
“Mike Greenberg gave me the opportunity to get on Get Up and actually allow me to be more of myself and that’s ultimately led to this point. To those guys and Mike Golic Jr. who kills the game, he’s one of the best we have in the game, thank you for allowing me the opportunity.”
Johnson looked at it as more of a big picture thing for ESPN with a little Tonight Show comparison thrown in.
“For me, I look at it like Johnny Carson, like we are taking over a Carson-like Leno deal and we are going to run with it and turn it into something even more special so 20 years from now, somebody comes in and takes over for us.”
There were many notable guests on the first edition of this new show, which included New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, ESPN MLB analyst Alex Rodriguez, Stephen A. Smith, and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
The Fields interview was the center of the show and it aired around 8:10 a.m ET. As Mehenti pointed out towards the end of the program in the Before I Let You Go segment, he said if there is a breaking news story, we will do our best to get them on the air.
“That’s what you can expect each and every morning on this program. If something is happening, if someone is saying something, we are going to do our darndest to get them on the program.”
Adding into the Fields conversation about the petition the Ohio State QB started for them to bring Big Ten football back, Johnson made his point known that college football should not be played this fall. Here is what Johnson had to say earlier on the show:
“I can’t wrap my hands around why they keep trying to get on the damn field. It makes no sense. Just play next September. Let this thing carry itself out till we get what we need to cure things up. Stop trying to get on the field and play. Football is not going anywhere.”
The other notable story of the day was the breaking news that the Washington football club hiring Jason Wright as Wright becomes the first black president in the NFL.
“My question in this, if the organization did not go through everything they have gone through over the last several months, would they have hired that dude?” said Johnson. “Would you have hired him or would you have kept everything the same if word never got out?
After the show, ESPN correspondent Ryan Smith chimed in with his thoughts on how the debut episode went via Twitter.
While some might criticize the trio for only plugging Mike Greenberg’s new show Greeny at noon and not the other shows in the daily lineup, it was a good way for ESPN Radio to kick off their new programming lineup.
Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP
“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”
Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.
One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”
More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”
Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”
An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.
“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.
“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.
Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”