For the second year, ESPN Radio is making some changes to its weekend lineup, putting some new combinations together to provide new opportunities for many of their personalities. And for the second year, an espnW show will be at the center of the new schedule.
ESPN will bring together three of their most prominent female personalities with the triumvirate of Sarah Spain, Jane McManus, and Kate Fagan hosting a new show from 12-3 PM ET on Saturdays. The Trifecta will debut on Saturday January 9th between the weekend staples of Dari & Mel and Marty & McGee.
The trio have been growing in prominence at ESPN over the last year. Spain co-hosted Spain & Prim with Prim Siripipat and has also been a regular contributor on The Dan Le Batard Show, Olbermann, His & Hers, and other ESPN daytime programming. Fagan has been one of the new faces that has added a fresh jolt of energy to Around the Horn and McManus has been one of the network’s strongest voices covering the NFL. The decision to bring them together at ESPN Radio was one not taken lightly as ESPN Radio Program Director Louise Cornetta called them the faces of espnW.
“Collectively they are the faces of espnW, which brings credibility and personality that have already been established,” Cornetta said. “These women are friends and respect one another, but have no problem disagreeing on topics. They will make you think, but also make you laugh, as the show will balance being informative and entertaining. Fagan is a former college basketball player who is outspoken and passionate on stories and causes she believes in. McManus brings her NFL expertise as the main sport she has covered all Fall. She also is a roller derby player, so she has no fear! Spain brings her radio experience — having worked both nationally and locally in Chicago hosting sports talk shows — her humor, and she was also a former college heptathlete at Cornell. This show reflects the ever-changing sports landscape that realizes our listeners are diverse and want to hear varying points-of-views.”
Fagan will also appear on ESPN Radio on Sundays co-hosting a program with ESPN contributor Will Cain (Will & Kate) from 7-10 AM ET beginning February 14th. Spain will see her presence at the network continue to grow with a new podcast, “That’s What She Said,” beginning January 19th.
Other new additions to the weekend lineup debuting January 9th include Rothenberg, Wallace & Golic Jr. from 5-8 PM ET on Saturdays starring ESPN New York’s Dave Rothenberg, ESPN.com NBA reporter Michael Wallace, and Mike Golic Jr. (who has impressed when filling in on his father’s weekday morning show) and Izzy & Amin with ESPN NBA reporters Israel Gutierrez and Amin Elhassan airing 10 AM-12 PM ET on Sunday mornings. Another new show is Booger & Burns, featuring SEC Network’s Booger McFarland and Peter Burns that moves from podcast to national radio on Sunday night February 14th from 10-12 PM ET.
Over the last year ESPN has seen several of its highest profile personas depart the network, from Bill Simmons to Keith Olbermann to Colin Cowherd. One of the tasks facing ESPN in 2016 is to begin to build for the future by cultivating new stars that can continue to carry the network forward. And to someone who is a regular viewer or listener to ESPN, they may have noticed in the last year a greater push to give women more prominent roles on a variety of platforms from the SportsCenter anchor desk to the analyst’s chair and now to the radio. Laura Gentile, Senior Vice President, espnW and Women’s Initiatives, says that movement is about challenging the status quo.
“Yes, as you can see from the multitude of appearances espnW personalities have made across ESPN shows, 180+ in 2015,” Gentile said. “Sarah, Jane and Kate have been featured prominently, as have growing influential voices in Julie Foudy, Cari Champion, Jemele Hill and Ramona Shelburne. Radio is the ultimate “opinion-driven” platform, and we’re primed to introduce new W voices there and challenge the status quo.”
Cornetta added, “Having three women hosting a national sports radio show about mainstream sports makes the show different to begin with, but each personality brings her own opinion and expertise on what is happening on and off the field. These women aren’t shy to offer their thoughts on any topic, but also are able to laugh at themselves and have fun.”
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