Everyone seems to be clocking Diana Russini and her next career moves, including ESPN’s newest signing Pat McAfee. In a Tuesday edition of The Pat McAfee Show, McAfee called Russini’s move to The Athletic “a shame” and noted his crew was “pumped to be teammates” with Russini when they signed with ESPN.
“Congrats to The Athletic on getting an absolute dog in the insider game,” McAfee said.
Pat McAfee doesn't seem thrilled with ESPN for letting Dianna Russini go to The Athletic pic.twitter.com/Lzv4vrpies
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 12, 2023
Russini was a frequent guest on PMS even before McAfee returned to ESPN officially this past year. She rose quickly up the NFL insider ranks at ESPN and is entertaining and informative no matter the format. It makes sense that McAfee will miss her as he fills three hours of NFL-loaded segments each day.
Russini’s move to The Athetic was followed closely across sports media. At NBC Sports, Peter King reported Russini would be one of the company’s highest-paid reporters ever. Russini said she felt “sideswiped” by the way King reported on her move from ESPN and her compensation.
This season in her new role, Russini has mostly partnered with local Athletic NFL beat reporters to cover contract and injury news. She makes weekly appearances on “The Athletic Football Show” with host Robert Mays. And she reportedly is still eligible to sign with a broadcaster for on-air appearances as part of her Athletic contract.
McAfee and his show will be fine too, of course. Adam Schefter joins frequently, and McAfee’s band of former NFLers including Darius Butler, A.J. Hawk and A.Q. Shipley are still on the weekly schedule.