ESPN Radio has announced upcoming lineup changes which will go into effect January 2, 2018. The news confirms the departure of Bomani Jones and Jalen & Jacoby from terrestrial radio to create exclusive digital content. Israel Gutierrez is also replaced alongside Sarah Spain by Jason Fitz.
The biggest news though involves an expanded presence for Stephen A. Smith who takes over weekdays from 1p-3p ET. The move results in Ryen Russillo shifting to afternoons where he’ll now team with up with Will Cain. Smith’s program had been airing locally during those hours in New York and Los Angeles. Industry insiders expected Smith to be a featured attraction on the network last January when he departed from SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio but network officials decided to wait on making the move.
All ESPN Radio shows will be available live and as podcasts via ESPNRadio.com and the ESPN app, as well as on SiriusXM Channel 80 (live only), Apple Music, TuneIn and Slacker Radio.
“Top to bottom, ESPN Radio will have the strongest, most experienced and most thought-provoking lineup in sports talk radio,” said Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN Audio. “Diverse voices with a variety of perspectives will provide listeners with compelling content all day long.”
Additionally, ESPN will launch a new podcast with Bomani Jones. New episodes will be available 2-3 times per week with each episode expected to run between 45-60 minutes. Jalen Rose and David Jacoby will also provide their original Jalen & Jacoby podcast starting January 2nd. The podcast will be produced 4-5 times per week with a focus on sports and pop culture. Katie Nolan has also been summoned to create a weekly digital program with a start date set for January 10th.
“Podcasting is changing how audio is consumed, since the listener is more in charge than ever, and offering dynamic content is a smart way to grow our business and serve our listeners,” said Keller. “Adding original podcasts with Bomani, David, Jalen and Katie is a key component of the overall strategy to grow our Audio on Demand business,” Keller added. “These talented voices resonate across platforms and especially with consumers in the digital space.”