Mike Golic will wrap up 22 years of hosting mornings on ESPN Radio on July 31, but will continue as an ESPN employee. The former NFL defensive tackle will serve as a college football analyst for ESPN, a role he had during his first ten years with the sports network, the New York Post reports.
ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter tweeted the news Monday morning (July 13), writing, “After leaving ESPN radio later this month, @espngolic will do work as a college football analyst for ESPN. He will now do what he did during his first 10 years at ESPN.”
As earlier reported by Inside Radio, “Golic & Wingo” is being replaced on the national ESPN Radio on-air lineup by “Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin,” effective Aug. 17. Golic previously co-hosted the long-running “Mike & Mike” morning show. He is the longest-tenured personality on the radio network, co-hosting the short-lived “The Bruno-Golic Morning Show” with Tony Bruno, prior to the launch of “Mike & Mike.” Golic’s former co-host Mike Greenberg is returning to radio as part of the new lineup.
That new lineup, which also includes a new show featuring “First Take” commentator Max Kellerman (2-4pm) and a new afternoon show co-hosted by Mike Golic, Jr and Chiney Ogwumike, has programmers at affiliate stations “optimistic,” according to Barrett Sports Media.
Assistant Content Director Demetri Ravanos posed the question “how do you feel about the new lineup” to programmers of stations that carry ESPN Radio programming.
“We were nervous with the Golic-Wingo change – it worked out great,” Capitol Broadcasting VP of Radio Brian Maloney said. “They ended up dominating our core audience.” Maloney had previous success with “Mike & Mike” on “99.9 The Fan” WCMC-FM Raleigh. “So, I’m very optimistic about the launch of the new morning show with the new cast members.”
Ravanos says most programmers responded anonymously, with a PD at a station in the Southeast saying a new morning show is a better option that trying to find another partner for Golic. It’s been widely reported that Trey Wingo did not want to continue in morning radio once his current contract expired at the end of the year. “I always thought it was a tough ask to try and re-create what he and Mike Greenberg had before with a whole new crew,” the programmer said. “How could the network ask him to do it again so quickly?”
But a PD in the Midwest voiced concern about the lack of experience in mornings most of the new hosts have. “Two of the three hosts have never really done the daily morning radio grind,” they said. Keyshawn Johnson is the currently lead of “Keyshawn, LZ and Travis” on “ESPN LA 710” KSPN. He’s joined on the new show by basketball analyst Jay Williams, a former NBA player; and “SportsCenter” host Zubin Mehenti.
Weighing in on the new morning show during his own program on SiriusXM last week was Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo. “I don’t know what they’re thinking,” he said, according to the New York Post. “I know they want to incorporate the TV with the radio. You’re going to have trouble convincing me that a three-man morning show, which is a grind – you have to be funny and nutty and stupid and glib … to be successful. I find it very, very difficult to think those guys are going to move the needle around America.”
Most who participated in the Barrett piece are excited about the middle of the day lineup.
“The remaining schedule that runs in ‘prime’ is loaded with heavyweights and it is particularly nice to see the return of Greeny,” Joe O’Neill of “ESPN Albuquerque – 101.7 the Team” KQTM says. And a host who does afternoons on an East coast affiliate agrees, saying, “I actually think the Greenberg and Kellerman additions help the middle of the day. They’re both experienced, and good to really good radio guys.”
Those involved in the article also approve of breaking middays into three, two-hour programs. “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” show will now air 10am-Nooon, followed by Greenberg (12-2pm) and Kellerman (2-4pm).
“I think it’s an interesting approach actually, and I’m very interested to see how it does,” one programmer said. “That is an idea that has piqued my curiosity for some time, just given how the audience behaves now.”