ESPN Radio, which is alternately platform-agnostically branded as ESPN Audio, is an American sports radio network and extension of the ESPN television network. It was launched on January 1, 1992, under the original banner of "SportsRadio ESPN".The network is based out of the ESPN campus in Bristol, Connecticut, with multiple studio facilities nationwide, along with home studios. The network airs a regular schedule of daily and weekly programming as well as live radio play-by-play of sporting events.
|Launch date||January 1, 1992|
ESPN Radio is broadcast to hundreds of affiliate stations, along with national and Canadian carriage on Sirius XM. The network's content is also available online through its affiliates via Audacy, iHeartRadio and TuneIn, and the network also makes its programming available via podcast feeds and providers, with some additional content audio and video available through an ESPN+ subscription. Several of its programs are also featured as fully live or "best-of" video simulcasts on the ESPN family of television networks.
ESPN Radio Network was formed in September 1991 by both ESPN Inc. and Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.'s ABC Radio Networks. Twenty-five stations had already signed on as affiliates as of its announcement on September 5, 1991, with an expected total of 200 at the January launch. Shelby Whitfield, executive producer of ABC Radio Sports, and John A. Walsh, executive editor of ESPN, were placed in charge of the venture. The network launched as Sports Radio ESPN on January 1, 1992. At first, ESPN Radio broadcast only on weekends. The network debut with 16 hours running on 147 affiliates in 43 states. Its initial programming consisted of news shows, update segments, and occasional features.
By 1996, ESPN Radio had expanded to weekdays with a show hosted by The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nancy Donnellan. One hour of that show was simulcast on ESPN2 (1-2 p.m. Eastern time). Two years later, Tony Bruno and Mike Golic were brought together for a new morning show, the Bruno & Golic Morning Show which aired until Bruno left the network in 2000. Mike Greenberg was named as Bruno's replacement, and the morning show became Mike & Mike, which aired until 2017 (and was also simulcast on ESPN2). In January, 2010, Mike & Mike celebrated their 10-year anniversary on ESPN Radio. Dan Patrick was a mainstay in the afternoons until his departure from ESPN in 2007.
Gradually, ESPN added more dayparts and became a 24-hour service. In 1995, ESPN Radio gained national radio rights to the NBA. In 1997, it gained the national radio rights to MLB. Disney purchased WEVD from the Forward Association in September 2002 to become WEPN, ESPN Radio's flagship station. On June 12, 2007, Disney spun off and merged its ABC Radio Networks with Citadel Broadcasting into Citadel Communications while retaining its ESPN Radio and Radio Disney networks and stations.
- NBA on ESPN Radio (1996–present)
- College Football on ESPN Radio, including the Bowl Championship Series, then the current College Football Playoff (2000–present)
- Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio (1998–present)
- Caribbean Series (2015–present)
- ESPN FC Presents: EFL Championship on ESPN Radio (2016–present)
- ESPN FC Presents: La Liga, on ESPN Radio (2016–present)
- ESPN FC Presents: UEFA Euro on ESPN Radio (2012, 2016, 2020, along with Champions League, Europa Leage and Super Cup)
- FIFA World Cup on ESPN Radio (2010, 2014)
- FIFA Women's World Cup on ESPN Radio (2011)
- MLS Soccer Sunday on ESPN Radio (2015–present)
- MLS Cup on ESPN Radio (2007-2014)
- NIT on ESPN Radio (2002–2011)
- The Open Championship on ESPN Radio (2010–2015)
- U.S. Open on ESPN Radio (2010–2014)
- Live @ Wimbledon on ESPN Radio (2012–2013)
- World Baseball Classic (2013, 2017)
ESPN Radio stationsEdit
Prior to 2022, ESPN Radio had four company-owned and/or operated stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas, with the Chicago station managed by Good Karma Brands, which owns and operates a number of other ESPN Radio stations in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. The Dallas station was operated by Cumulus Media until October 2020, when ESPN took back operational control. Before the conversion of the sites to general blog presences requiring an ESPN+ subscription to access, each station was partnered with an ESPN local website named for the city and featuring a completely separate staff of sportswriters and reporters for each market who gave their local viewpoints of local sports (for example, espnnewyork.com for New York); some stations remain hosted on ESPN.com, including audio and FCC disclosures. Most other markets have ESPN Radio affiliates, whether they be part-time or have their entire format dedicated to ESPN Radio.
WEPN converted back to ESPN Radio after the demise of ESPN Deportes Radio in 2019, while KRDC is currently in the process of being sold by Disney after the wind-down of the Radio Disney network, carrying a KSPN simulcast and overflow programming during the sale process. All the other owned or operated stations are also in the sale process; WEPN, KSPN, WMVP, and WEPN-FM's local marketing agreement are being sold to Good Karma Brands, while KESN is being sold to the religious VCY America network. The sales to Good Karma Brands and VCY America closed in 2022, with all but KESN remaining a part of ESPN Radio. As of 2022[update], KRDC is currently the only broadcast radio asset owned by Disney.
Former owned and/or operated stationsEdit
|New York||WEPN-FM¹||98.7 FM|
|Los Angeles||KSPN||710 AM|
- Note ¹: WEPN-FM 98.7 is currently owned by Emmis Communications, but was operated by ESPN under a local marketing agreement.
- Note ²: WMVP was operated and managed by Good Karma Brands under a local marketing agreement.
- "ESPN, ABC Planning to Form Sports Radio Network in 1992". Lso Angeles Times. Associated Press. September 5, 1991. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Zumoff, Marc; Negin, Max (June 20, 2014). Total Sportscasting: Performance, Production, and Career Development. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1317906766. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- Coombs, Danielle Sarver; Batchelor, Bob (2013). American History Through American Sports: From Colonial Lacrosse to Extreme Sports, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 94. ISBN 978-0313379888. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- Battema, Douglas L.; O'Dell, Cary (2010). "Sports on Radio". In Sterling, Christopher H.; O'Dell, Cary (eds.). The Concise Encyclopedia of American Radio. Routledge. ISBN 978-1135176839. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
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- Hoffmann, Frank; Dempsey, Jack M.; Manning, Martin J (December 6, 2012). Sports-Talk Radio in America: Its Context and Culture. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 978-1136428913. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- Rosenthal, Phil (February 7, 2006). "Disney in deal to merge ABC Radio with Citadel". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Disney and Citadel Announce Completion of ABC Radio Merger" (Press release). The Walt Disney Company & Citadel Broadcasting Corporation. Business Wire. June 12, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
- "Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!". FMQB. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
- "Sirius XM and ESPN share Wimbledon rights - Sports Broadcast news - Tennis North America Europe". SportsPro Media. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2015-12-07.
- "More Details On Good Karma's ESPN New York, Los Angeles & Chicago Purchase". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
- "VCY America Acquires ESPN 103.3 Dallas". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
- "VCY America Launches On 103.3 Dallas". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
- "Good Karma Appoints Los Angeles & New York Market Managers". RadioInsight. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
- "ESPN Radio: Affiliate List - ESPN Radio - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-07.