The WEEI Sports Radio Network and ESPN Radio, the nation’s largest sports radio network, will join forces to bring ESPN’s national programming and personalities to New England’s top-rated sports radio station.
The Boston- and Bristol-based broadcasters announced an affiliation agreement that will bring ESPN weekend and overnight programming to WEEI 850 AM. It also will bring a variety of play-by-play programming, including the Major League Baseball playoffs, the NBA and NBA playoffs, and the college football Bowl Championship Series, highlighted by the 2010 BCS national championship game in January. MLB playoff programming will begin this week.
Staring Nov. 2, 2009, WEEI will syndicate ESPN’s overnight programming, including AllNight with Jason Smith (1-5 a.m. Monday through Friday), as well as select weekend programming in and around its local coverage.
As part of the agreement, Adam Schefter, ESPN’s NFL insider, will join Dennis & Callahan every Friday during the NFL season beginning this week, and Peter Gammons, ESPN’s veteran Major League Baseball insider, will join The Big Show with Glenn Ordway every week during the baseball playoffs and once a week next season. A slew of ESPN personalities also will be joining WEEI shows on a regular basis, throughout the week and the weekend.
"This partnership is a win for everyone, especially our listeners,” said Julie Kahn, Entercom New England vice president and market manager. “As WEEI’s footprint grows across New England on the airwaves and across the nation online, ESPN brings invaluable national content and insight.
Added Traug Keller, ESPN's Sr. VP, production, business divisions: “The recent success of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins make this an exciting time to be entering the Boston market on one of the nation’s premier sports stations. Combining ESPN Radio’s content and personalities with WEEI’s local reputation is a win-win for both parties, as well as for the area’s passionate fans.”
Said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s VP of AM programming: “This newly formed partnership will continue to solidify WEEI as the region’s foremost authority for sports coverage. Adding Peter and Adam, who we’ve enjoyed regular relationships with in the past, in addition to the many incredibly talented hosts and commentators that ESPN has in its stable, creates must-listen radio for our audience."