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ESPN Confirms Radio Plans Involving Stephen A. Smith

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ESPN has confirmed The Big Lead’s initial report that Stephen A. Smith will be moving his show from Mad Dog Sports Radio to 98.7FM ESPN NY and ESPN LA 710 in Los Angeles. The show will officially take over the 1p-3p slot on the NY radio station, and the 10a-12p slot on the LA sports talker starting Tuesday January 17th. Additionally, Smith’s show will be available on SiriusXM channel 80, and originate from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol, CT.

The show will also be available digitally on ESPNRadio.com, the ESPN app and TuneIn Radio, and as a daily podcast. The radio program will have no impact on Smith’s daily appearances on First Take, ESPN’s daily debate program which airs M-F 10a-12p ET.

“This is Phase I towards much bigger things on the horizon,” said Smith. “There is no better way to get this party going than by starting in my hometown (Queens) New York, and LA, the City of Angels. But like I said, this is only the beginning. Stay Tuned!”

Traug Keller, senior vice president of ESPN Audio, added, “There is no one like Stephen A. and his show is a must listen. Sports fans will now have more options to listen to his heartfelt commentary on the issues of the day, through our flagship stations in New York and Los Angeles, on our digital platforms and on SiriusXM.”

The network also announced a few other changes taking place on January 17th. The first two hours of Russillo & Kanell will move to ESPN Xtra, SiriusXM Channel 81, while the third hour will remain on ESPN Radio Channel 80.

In New York, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will move from 98.7FM ESPN NY to ESPN Deportes Radio New York 1050AM and air from 12p-2p ET. Le Batard’s show will still be carried nationally, although his New York exposure has been reduced.

In Le Batard’s place on 98.7FM will be Hahn and Humpty. The duo previously had hosted 12p-3p on the station.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the addition of Stephen A. creates some extra adjustments. Mike Trudell and Mychael Thompson will lose their 9a-Noon midday show, and shift to weeknights 6p-8p when Lakers games aren’t on the air. Their move requires Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington’s afternoon show to be trimmed from 3p-7p to 3p-6p.

Also, ESPN LA 710 will extend the morning show with Jorge Sedano, Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson from 6a-9a to 6a-10a, although it’s unclear if all three men will be involved during the final hour.

Sports Radio News

Bobby Valentine Tells Boomer & Gio Donald Trump Photo Sunk Him

“Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the Stamford mayoral race.”

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Courtesy: WFAN

Former MLB manager and ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine joined WFAN’s Boomer and Gio this week to discuss his mayoral campaign in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Valentine ran as an unaffiliated candidate and fell to Democratic State Rep. Caroline Simmons in the race. He claims that a decades-old picture with him and former President Donald Trump sunk his chances.

“We had a photo taken together in 2000 for the World Series and so the last day of the campaign all around the neighborhoods, a picture of Donald and Bobby with the quote ‘only poor people and dumb people pay taxes,’” Valentine told Boomer and Gio about the photo that circulated around the town on Election Day.

“That really helped with the minority vote in my town,” Valentine said sarcastically.

It wasn’t all bad news for Valentine, who was enamored with the campaign-building process, among other things.

“Built it [the campaign] from scratch, which was a wonderful experience” Valentine explained. “Figuring out how to get volunteers together, and money together, and office, and headquarters together. We actually ran a six-month—perfectly clean—campaign. Not one negative word mentioned the entire time. Got 14,000 votes, more than any non-Democrat ever got in our city, and almost won that thing.

“I’m glad that I was the candidate, and I’m also glad that I’m not the mayor because it’s really a tough job. I got four years of my life back when the votes came in.”

Valentine worked at ESPN for a few years in the early part of the 2010s before re-entering the managing circuit with the Boston Red Sox. He famously managed the Mets to one of their two World Series appearances this century in 2000.

“It’s a little bit of the seven-year itch,” Valentine said when asked why he’s always looking for the next obstacle. “I did seven years in Texas; seven years in New York; seven years in Japan; seven months in Boston. Then I did seven years at Sacred Heart. So, yeah, it’s all about the sevens.”

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Sports Radio News

Tony Rizzo To Baker Mayfield Critics: I Hope You’re Happy

“850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.”

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Courtesy: ESPN Cleveland

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked like much of a franchise star so far in 2021, and it has all the attention of sports radio in The Land. 

850 ESPN Cleveland host Tony Rizzo laid it all out on the table during The Really Big Show.

“You happy?” Rizzo said to his co-host, Aaron Goldhammer. “Are you Baker [Mayfield] haters? Are you guys happy? Baker looks bad, and you wanna jump down his throat. I’M A BROWNS FAN! I’M A BROWNS FAN. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE ROOTING AGAINST OUR QUARTERBACK!”

Mayfield has struggled with shoulder and knee injuries throughout this season and ranks 25th out of 33 qualified quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR metric (42.9 out of 100).

“You want him to fail,” Rizzo continued. “To prove what? You were right? Do you realize what happens if this kid isn’t the right guy? WE’RE GONNA SUCK, AGAIN. You don’t find quarterbacks. It took you 20 years to find a guy to win 11 games. Now you don’t think he can take you the rest of the way? Are you happy?”

The Browns went on the road this past weekend and the New England Patriots stomped them 45-7. The loss meant Cleveland still hasn’t won in Foxboro since 1992, when, ironically, now Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held the same role with Cleveland.

“I hope you’re all happy,” Rizzo declared. “I hope you’re happy; so you can draft some quarterback in the 30s and try and pray…Don’t you understand? If Baker fails it’s back to the drawing board for my franchise.

“We know that everything has to be right for Baker to win. Sobering stuff for me. This year has been sobering; however, he’s got a bad shoulder, he’s got a broken bone. Now he’s got a bum knee and bum foot. He’s getting beat up. Maybe he can’t play the position.”

Watch the full clip from ESPN Cleveland above.

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Sports Radio News

Kraig Riley Named Brand Manager Of 93.7 The Fan

“He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010.”

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There’s a new leader in Pittsburgh and Audacy did not have to look too far to find him. Kraig Riley has been promoted to brand manager of 93.7 The Fan.

Riley is a familiar face in the building and voice on the air. He has been with The Fan since its launch in 2010. He has served as producer of the station’s afternoon show The PM Team with Poni & Mueller. He also was the host of the station’s pre and postgame coverage of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The opening was created earlier this year when Jim Graci exited The Fan and sister station KDKA New Radio. Audacy hired industry veteran Dave LaBrozzi, who most recently served as Vice President of Programming for WABC Radio in New York City, to lead the news talk station.

“As both KDKA and The Fan continue to evolve into full multi-platform operations serving our listeners in new ways every day it is clear that both stations need focused leadership,” Michael Spacciapolli, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of Audacy Pittsburgh, said in a press release. “The addition of Dave and promotion of Kraig will help us continue that evolution. There is an expectation of excellence at both stations from the city of Pittsburgh that I have no doubt Dave and Kraig will continue to build on every day.”

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