|Type||Sports radio network|
First air date
|January 1, 1992|
|National, through regional affiliates and satellite radio|
(Disney 80%/Hearst 20%)
ESPN Radio is an American sports radio network. It was launched on January 1, 1992, under the original banner of "SportsRadio ESPN". ESPN Radio is located at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The network airs a regular schedule of daily and weekly programming as well as live coverage of sports events including Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, Army Black Knights football, College Football Playoff, Championship Week, and UEFA Champions League games.
ESPN Radio is broadcast to hundreds of affiliate stations as well as to subscribers of Sirius XM Radio in the United States and Canada. The network's content is also streamed online and via mobile applications and other media devices via TuneIn, and several affiliates and owned stations are also available through the service. In 2014, ESPN partnered with TuneIn to create 24/7 streams of its most popular programming including Mike & Mike and SVP & Russillo. Select iHeartMedia-owned ESPN Radio affiliates are available through iHeartRadio.
ESPN Radio Network was formed in September 1991 by both ESPN Inc. and Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.'s ABC Radio Networks. Twenty-five stations had already signed on as affiliates as of its announcement on September 5, 1991, with an expected total of 200 at the January launch. Shelby Whitfield, executive producer of ABC Radio Sports, and John A. Walsh, executive editor of ESPN, were placed in charge of the venture. The network launched as Sports Radio ESPN on January 1, 1992. At first, ESPN Radio broadcast only on weekends. The network debut with 16 hours running on 147 affiliates in 43 states. Its initial programming consisted of news shows, update segments, and occasional features.
By 1996, ESPN Radio had expanded to weekdays with a show hosted by The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nancy Donnellan. One hour of that show was simulcast on ESPN2 (1-2 p.m. Eastern time). Two years later, Tony Bruno and Mike Golic were brought together for a new morning show, the Bruno & Golic Morning Show which aired until Bruno left the network in 2000. Mike Greenberg was named as Bruno's replacement, and the morning show became Mike & Mike, which aired until 2017 (and was also simulcast on ESPN2). In January, 2010, Mike & Mike celebrated their 10-year anniversary on ESPN Radio. Dan Patrick was a mainstay in the afternoons until his departure from ESPN in 2007.
Gradually, ESPN added more dayparts and became a 24-hour service. In 1995, ESPN Radio gained national radio rights to the NBA. In 1997, it gained the national radio rights to MLB. Disney purchased WEVD from the Forward Association in September 2002 to become WEPN, ESPN Radio's flagship station. On June 12, 2007, Disney spun off and merged its ABC Radio Networks with Citadel Broadcasting into Citadel Communications while retaining its ESPN Radio and Radio Disney networks and stations.
ESPN Radio currently has four company-owned and/or operated stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas, with the Chicago station managed by Good Karma Brands, which owns and operates a number of other ESPN Radio stations in Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. The Dallas station was operated by Cumulus Media until October 2020, when ESPN took back operational control. Each station is partnered with an ESPN local website named for the city and featuring a completely separate staff of sportswriters and reporters for each market who give their local viewpoints of local sports (for example, espnnewyork.com for New York). Most other markets have ESPN Radio affiliates, whether they be part-time or have their entire format dedicated to ESPN Radio.
WEPN converted back to ESPN Radio after the demise of ESPN Deportes Radio in 2019, while KRDC is currently in the process of being sold by Disney after the wind-down of the Radio Disney network, carrying a KSPN simulcast and overflow programming during the sale process.
|New York||WEPN-FM¹||98.7 FM|
|Los Angeles||KSPN||710 AM|