It’s almost hard to believe, but ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike has been on the air for 18 years. It’s morphed into various forms throughout its run, and eventually served as a morning staple of ESPN’s televised content as well. And that partnership is coming to an end, as Mike Greenberg will reportedly take on his own morning show, part of his new $6.5 million-per-year contract.
In an interview with The Sporting News, Greenberg dished on the impending dissolution of his working partnership with Mike Golic, as well as his main regret about the ending of the show.
Perhaps the most surprising portion, though, was the opening answer, wherein Greenberg denies that the plans for his new morning show are as far along as everyone else seems to think they are:
I’ve seen a lot of the stuff that’s been written about it. The truth is, it’s all true. It is all true that that is exactly what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the possibility of breaking Mike and me up after all these years. But as I’ve said to many people, and I know a lot of people don’t believe me, it’s premature. There’s a million decisions that have to be made yet. I have to make a bunch of them, Mike has to make a bunch of them and the company has to make a bunch of them.
Of course, at this point, it seems like a foregone conclusion; too many plugged in and trusted voices have been basically reporting this for too long for it to not happen at some point. But Greenberg’s saying it’s all premature, and it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Greenberg and Golic continue with the status quo.
Greenberg doesn’t sound like a fan of how this news has leaked out, either:
My one regret in all this is if we do break up, and that’s certainly a very real possibility, I’m not denying that all, I would have really liked the first place our audience heard about that is to have been from us. On our show. Because it’s been a really special thing. This thing has been so far beyond anything I ever imagined it would be when we started.
If indeed the sum total of this is we split up “Mike & Mike,” which is a very real possibility, I would like for our loyal listeners, the ones who’ve been with us for a long time, to have first heard about that from us. Obviously, that’s not a possibility any more.
That’s a bit of a quaint notion, especially with so much still up in the air. ESPN’s too big of a place with too many moving parts and key players involved in this particular situation to keep it quiet.
The rest of the interview is also fairly insightful, with Greenberg addressing Bill Simmons, a potential move to New York, and the recent accusations from some circles that ESPN has become a liberal network. It’s a nice glimpse into what drives Greenberg, whose contract shows that ESPN views him as a tentpole talent, and very much the franchise player of the two Mikes.
Whether or not Greenberg can carry a Morning Joe-style show remains to be seen, and we don’t even know when Mike & Mike will air their final episode together, but after 18 years, it’s understandable if both men are ready for something new.