Last month, Ryen Russillo inked a multi-year extension to stay with ESPN following the promotion of long-time radio partner Scott Van Pelt. We were wondering about whether or not Russillo would have a new partner on his radio show or go at it alone, and on Thursday, ESPN announced that Russillo would indeed have a partner – Danny Kanell.
Ryen Russillo, who has spent the last 10 years with ESPN Radio, has signed a multiyear extension and will continue with ESPN Radio as host of Russillo & Kanell, co-hosted by ESPN college football analyst Danny Kanell and broadcast daily from 1 – 4 p.m. ET. The new three-hour show will debut Monday, Aug. 31, and will be televised on ESPNEWS starting at 1 p.m.
Russillo will also have an expanded TV presence across multiple studio shows, with a focus on NBA programming.
Kanell, who recently signed a multi-year agreement with ESPN, will continue to host college football studio programming on ESPN Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
This is actually the second promotion this summer for Kanell, who was named to ESPN’s new pre-game, halftime, and post-game college football shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday alongside Adnan Virk and Joey Galloway.
There’s likely going to be some nasty feedback for ESPN’s choice of Kanell to work alongside Russillo because of his relentless SEC trolling (which has also expanded to the SEC Network itself), but I really don’t think there was anyone ESPN could have moved into the role that could have escaped criticism.
If Kanell doesn’t resort to relentless trolling too much in his new role, it should work out OK for ESPN. However, if Kanell ends up turning into a caricature of a radio host and constantly pokes and prods the SEC bear, the feedback could get worse and worse.