We waited 2+ months for this?

After filling the old Patrick slot (1-4p ET) with every SportsCenter anchor and “insider” they have, ESPNRadio rolls out their blockbuster replacement on Thursday.  

Amazingly, ESPN didn’t bring in one successful radio host/show for a tryout. Cleary the logic is that anyone can do a radio show.

The big show will be….Mike Tirico and Stephen A. Smith. But not together. Tirico will do the first two hours and Stephen A will do the last hour. Huh?

Tirico has little chance of doing a “must-listen” radio show. Realistically, it’s not the goal anyway. ESPNRadio is simply part of the family and is there to promote the TV side. Tirico doesn’t have daily talk-show experience. And he’s without sports-talk show host’s personality. It’s a loser from the beginning. He’ll be devoting at best 50% of his time to the show. Part-time talk show hosts fail to impress in almost every case.

I’m not even getting into Stephen A’s credentials as a lead host on radio. His show in New York stinks and he’s consistently been destroyed in the ratings. And if ESPNRadio is so high on him, why not give him the entire three hours?

Program Directors around the country must be livid. What programmer can sell the continuity of two hour to one hour to xx hour shows?  It’s simply awful radio. What P.D. wants to face his sales staff with this news?

Don’t believe me? Go to Chicago’s ESPN1000, an ESPN owned and operated station. It’s already sent a response to the split show. Former ESPNRadio producer Justin Craig, now ESPN1000’s P.D., will be covering up Stephen A. He moved the highly successful Mac, Jurko and Harry Show back an hour to 2-6p CT. ESPN1000 will then run a best of MJH hour from 6-7p CT. No Stephen A. in Chicago!

How many more ESPN affiliates will make the same adjustments? From a sales standpoint, who can sell Mike Tirico? How can you even make a promo from Tirico’s “rants/takes?” There won’t be any.

More importantly, how much respect will listeners have when Tirico comments on athlete and coach indiscretions? The same goes for Smith’s sidekick Mike Missanelli?

Tirico, as mention recently in a C.W. Nevius story in the San Fran Chronicle, has a rep in the biz after a suspension for sexual harassment back in 1992.

Nevius spoke of the Mike Freeman book chronicling Tirico’s past:

In his book “ESPN: The Uncensored History,” published in 2000, New York Times reporter Michael Freeman reported on rampant sexual harassment at ESPN. Included is the news that Tirico, supposedly a devoted family guy at the time, was suspended in 1992 for unwelcome advances.That seems almost incomprehensible when you meet the diminutive Tirico. If anything, he comes across as the smartest kid in the class, the guy who was color coding his homework at night, instead of out prowling for action.

How can Missanelli debate the issue of second chances or penalties for sports world indiscretions? He was fired from WIP in Philadelphia for a physical altercation with his producer.

This from Philly Inquirer: 

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that Missanelli was fired for “violating company policy.” Insiders pointed to a fight with a producer during a broadcast last Friday which the Daily News reports included physical contact. All of this followed Missanelli’s on-air confrontation with Eagles kicker David Akers last fall and a subsequent altercation with WIP Morning Show host Angelo Cataldi.


Sources say Missanelli, 50, hit part-time WIP producer Brian Robbins after the two men argued during a live remote broadcast Friday at Brownie’s 23 East (23 E. Lancaster Ave.) in Ardmore. 

Hypocrisy reigns in sports radio. Missanelli is fired and 18 months later is doing radio in market No.1 and nationally.


I wasn’t the biggest fan of Patrick but he comes out of this looking golden. The last 12 months Patrick often sounded unprepared and uninspired unless he had a guest each segment. The loss of the enigmatic Rob Dibble hurt the show. That said, Patrick’s interviews are as good as anyone in the business.

Patrick is supposed to debut his new show in October. Rumors leaked that he will be run tape delayed on XX Radio in San Diego. It looks like he’s in the 9a-Noon ET slot with the live show. You can check out his website at He’s got blog entries and some funny videos posted.  

Papa Joe Chevalier 

Where is good ole Papa Joe? Put him in that ESPNRadio slot!

Explore posts in the same categories: Media musings


  1. There is at least one Stephen A. Smith fan out there.

  2. Josh Says:

    I agree that this doesn’t seem like the best direction for this time slot. I don’t have a huge problem with Tirico, but Stephen A Smith is a joke. When Dan was on, I made sure to turn on the radio at 1. Now…I won’t feel any such urgency.

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