ESPN’s Mike Golic Era is coming to an end. Golic, who debuted at ESPN in 2000, finds himself the odd man out with the Bristol-based sports media empire reportedly moving in a new direction.
A defensive lineman for the Oilers, Eagles and Dolphins throughout his nine-year NFL tenure, Golic rose to fame as the cohost of Mike & Mike alongside veteran broadcaster Mike Greenberg. Mike & Mike was a morning fixture on ESPN, running from 2000 to 2017, finally ending when Greenberg took on a new assignment as the host of Get Up! at the network’s South Street studio in Manhattan.
Golic was subsequently paired with Trey Wingo, best known for leading ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage, on Golic and Wingo, but that experiment lasted less than three years, suffering from poor ratings and a seeming lack of chemistry. Media columnist Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports Golic and Wingo’s anemic 1.4 rating in New York was 20th in its time slot. Marchand notes that Golic and Wingo’s respective futures with the company are “unclear” with both nearing the end of their contracts.
With ESPN retiring its Golic and Wingo brand at the end of the month, a new slot has opened up for ex-NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson, former Duke standout Jay Williams and SportsCenter anchor Zubin Mehenti. That trio will head up ESPN’s morning show (6 AM-10 AM ET) beginning August 17. Among other changes, Greenberg will return to air waves as the host of The Mike Greenberg Show, airing weekdays from 12 PM-2 PM ET.
Stephen A. Smith’s First Take cohost Max Kellerman will also mix into the network’s new radio slate, sliding in from 2PM-4 PM ET. The Max Kellerman Show will be followed by Chiney and Golic Jr., featuring WNBA alum Chiney Ogwumike and rising star Mike Golic Jr., who has made regular appearances on ESPN, particularly alongside his father on Golic and Wingo, since 2016.
This chain of events was set into motion at least partially by Will Cain, who announced his departure for Fox News last month. Cain’s contract with ESPN was up and the two sides couldn’t find a middle ground in negotiations. Stephen A’s decision to leave the radio space earlier this year was also a factor.
The popular, albeit frequently controversial Dan Le Batard Show will be affected by the lineup change as well. Le Batard’s Miami-based show will be reduced from three hours (10 AM-1 PM ET) to two (10-12) beginning next month.
With Golic nearing the end of his two-decade run on ESPN Radio, tributes have been pouring in from all angles with fans and media members collectively lamenting the 57-year-old’s departure. The network’s revamp was bound to include some casualties, but it’s still jarring when an industry titan like Golic, a 2018 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, falls by the wayside.