Monday, March 31, 2008

Sports Radio 950 is now 950 ESPN

Sports Radio 950 is becoming 950 ESPN tomorrow. Really. No April Fool's. Their ads have been bragging "never heard in Philadelphia before," which if you used to listen to ESPN 920, you'd know is pretty much true. The lineup includes:

Mike & Mike, 6 AM - 9 AM (replacing the fired Glenn Foley and status-to be-determined Michael Bradley and Meredith Marakovits - chances are the station will keep Meredith around).

Jody McDonald, 9 AM - 1 PM (Jody Mac moves from the anti-Eskin afternoon drivetime back to the midday spot he previously did on WIP).

Mike Tirico, 1 PM - 3 PM (snore)

Mike Missanelli, 3 PM - 7 PM (back from ESPN 1050 in NYC, formerly as Screamin' A. Smith's sidekick)

The Locker Room, 7 PM - 11 PM (Harry Mayes, fresh off the Fanatics midday show, is back in his old evening slot with Dan Schwartzman, sole survivor of the ESPN 920 wreck)

Misc (Dan Patrick, who was previously in at 9 AM - 12 PM for Tony Bruno's old slot, is now syndicated from 11 PM - 2 AM; Jason Smith is on the ESPN graveyard shift from 2 AM - 5 AM, whoever he is; and a one-hour rehash of Sports Center)

WIP got into the reshuffling act, too, moving Glen Macnow from evenings back to his former 10 AM - 2 PM shift with the Cuz. That spot opened when Steve Martorano left (no idea if voluntarily this time around). The 700 reports that Ike Reese will take over Glen's evening slot. Hmm. Not sure if Ike is entertaining enough for a solid 4 hours with no co-host.

Our thoughts?
X: I'll miss Glen on the drive home. Putting him with the Cuz is good for them, but essentially 950 and 610 are putting their most likable hosts in combat, or Mac vs. Mac. The former co-hosts Howard and Mike will try to verbally assault each other, though Mike doesn't seem to favor verbal assaults so much as physical ones.

P: Eskin vs. Missanelli is like a no-win scenario. As for mornings, I try to listen to Delaware's 1290 AM since they still have the First Team on Fox with Steve Czaban, which was the startup morning show on 950 until Henson and Foley got going. The only downsides to Czaban's show are the obligatory NASCAR interviews with Michel Rahal and oodles of talk about hi-fi systems, none of which I can afford. On the plus side, anyone who has a clip from Johnny Bravo when discussing the night's TV picks is OK in my book.

X: And Mike and Mike don't really do anything for me - I used to listen to them on 920, but that was mostly for Peter Gammons during baseball season. I thought Golic's blasting of ESPN hiring Tony Kornheiser for MNF was pretty funny - Golic, a football guy, was hired to be everyman, while Kornheiser, an everyman, was hired to be the everyman on a football show. Personally, I find Kornheiser more entertaining on PTI than Golic is on Mike & Mike. Greeny is inoffensive. Pairing him with Sue Bird a few years ago on a chaotic ESPN commercial was awesome (two ladies talking).

P: Al Morganti, Keith Jones and Hugh Douglas should have their own morning show. I'd certainly listen. I still remember when Al was reading the update one morning when Rhea was unavailable, and Al just said "there were some games in the NBA last night," and quickly moved on to the NHL scores. On Keith's first show, he said "Al, why don't you introduce yourself?" And Hugh is, well, Hugh.