98.7 ESPN NY and Mad Dog Sports Radio are on the verge of making major changes to their weekday lineups. According to The Big Lead, Stephen A. Smith is exiting Sirius XM and returning to the New York City airwaves where he’s expected to take over from 1p-3p on the NY radio station.
The report says Smith’s final show on satellite radio is expected to be Friday. No word yet on how SiriusXM will fill Smith’s spot on the Mad Dog channel.
One big additional change is also planned for 98.7 ESPN NY. With Smith taking over the midday slot, Hahn & Humpty are rumored to be moving earlier in the day. A shift to mornings would signal the end of “Mike and Mike” airing on the NY station.
However, sources tell BSM that Hahn & Humpty are more likely to be moved to middays and serve as a lead into Stephen A. If that change occurs instead they’ll compete head to head against WFAN’s Joe & Evan.
Additionally, Smith’s show will air live on ESPN LA 710 from 10a-12p PT. Current morning midday hosts Mike Trudell and Mychael Thompson are expected to remain with the station in another capacity.
Insiders say ESPN wants to compete stronger in major markets with local programming. With Mike Francesca leaving WFAN at the end of 2017, ESPN NY is hoping that strengthening its local offerings helps them pull audience share away from The Fan in NYC. Smith’s national profile is also thought to be a positive association for ESPN LA 710.