Confirmed: Erik Kuselias Will Be NBC Sports Radio’s First Morning Drive Host; Donovan McNabb Afternoons With Mark Malone

Confirmed: Erik Kuselias Will Be NBC Sports Radio’s First Morning Drive Host; Donovan McNabb Afternoons With Mark Malone







Starting April 1, Erik Kuselias will assume morning drive on NBC Sports Radio when the network goes 24/7 for the first time. The daypart is familiar territory for Kuselias, having previously hosted "Morning Drive" on The Golf Channel.

Starting April 1, Erik Kuselias will assume morning drive on NBC Sports Radio when the network goes 24/7 for the first time. The daypart is familiar territory for Kuselias, having previously hosted “Morning Drive” on The Golf Channel.

Back on New Year’s Eve, I posted an item focusing on NBC Sports Radio expanding from weeknight and late night programming to the weekends – but I immediately zeroed in on a passage from Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch in his “Media Circus” post about the news. He had written that when the network goes 24/7, which happens weeks from now, nighttime host Erik Kuselias would be given the morning show, while Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer, now heard from 10 PM to 1 AM weeknights, would get a “midday” show.

Alas, Mr. Deitsch would later realize that he had “misreported” the times in his column, and removed what he wrote about the shows’ new times.

Hey, we’re not perfect. But I don’t think he can be ashamed of that error – because the originally erroneous report about Kuselias moving to morning drive on April 1 will be a reality.

And – no foolin’ – I called this one even as Deitsch struck it from the record.

“I’m thrilled to be in the prime spot for NBC Sports Radio’s first daily lineup,” acknowledged Kuselias. “We believe this is the smartest and most fun sports radio program in the nation, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”

He also awaits the task of helping to “rejuvenate mornings for those looking for a fresh approach.”

It won’t be his first rodeo at sunrise: he had previously hosted The Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show up until last spring. Kuselias still makes frequent appearances on NBC Sports Network as he maintains his show for the radio unit.

Taking Kuselias’ primetime vacancy on NBCSR will be Jon Stashower, who had spent nearly two decades with ESPN before joining the neophyte radio network last August.

That leaves but eight hours to be scheduled when NBCSR goes full throttle, full-time in a few weeks. We know Bobby Valentine will be involved somehow. The network has already confirmed that he’ll be part of a weekday show starting in the spring, so that much we know.

Also, they recently added Donovan McNabb to their roster - but would you really just hand him a daily talk show, even in a co-hosting capacity, with the little media experience he has (he’s been seen here and there on NFL Network for the past several months prior)? I’m sure as time passes, he’ll be worthy of his own show soon enough. But not now.

Maybe Richard Deitsch’s other prematurely reported item will indeed come true, and Eytan and Amani will assume middays.

And don’t forget, there’s that Dan Patrick thing that has a very strong possibility of happening, especially after NBC’s cable sports network took over as the home of the video feed of his radio show.

I’ll point out that NBC specifically announced that Kuselias would be live on their sports radio network between the hours of 6 and 9 AM ET. Not 6 to 10, 6 to 9 – or ending right as Patrick’s show begins.

UPDATE: Here’s the first full weekday lineup for NBCSR:

6 AM Erik Kuselias

9 AM Brian Kenny (but don’t be surprised if Dan Patrick eventually ends up in this daypart)

12 Noon Newy Scruggs, joined by a different co-host every weekday, one of whom will be Bobby Valentine

3 PM Mark Malone and Donovan McNabb

7 PM Jon Stashower

10 PM Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer (whom I predicted would move to an earlier time slot)

1 AM Dan Schwartzman

There should be another announcement very, very soon from NBC Sports Radio as to who indeed will fill out the rest of its daily lineup.

And depending on who ends up in middays, NBCSR program director Jack Silver might reach out to Richard Deitsch and ask him for a few lottery numbers.

UPDATE, 3.14.13: Well, it’s very, very soon, and as promised, NBC Sports Radio has announced that Donovan McNabb will indeed be co-hosting afternoon drive with… Mark Malone, a former ESPN analyst. So while ESPN has “Mike & Mike,” and NFL Network has their own “M&M” (Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin), NBC now has an “M&M.” The actual announcement will be made official tomorrow, but USA Today’s Mike Hiestand has the scoop.

Also, I’ve updated the speculative schedule above with the confirmed dayparts. Still a couple more dayparts to be nailed down, and I’m not counting out E&A in middays.

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NBC Sports Radio Moving Erik Kuselias To Morning Drive In April?

NBC Sports Radio Moving Erik Kuselias To Morning Drive In April?

Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer currently host the late night airshift on NBC Sports Radio. But when the network expands to 24-hour, 7-day programming, they could be moved to a midday time slot, while evening drive host Erik Kuselias moves to mornings.

As you know, the new CBS Sports Radio Network officially goes 24/7 this week. Meanwhile, the NBC Sports Radio Network, which officially announced its formation a mere week prior to CBSSR’s unveiling, is on the air with three shows from 7 PM to 5 AM ET, and with the new year will come a new weekend schedule.

Upon the announcement of the NBCSR weekend schedule was a confirmation that the network would be 24/7 on April 1.

And on that day, according to a somewhat buried sentence in Richard Deitsch’s weekly “Media Circus” column, NBCSR shows currently on the air will be moved back to an earlier time.

In the case of Erik Kuselias, who hosts the 7-10 PM program, he will be appointed the “morning host” on the network, putting him back in the wakeup daypart since he departed The Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” program last May. (Kuselias currently appears on TV via NBC Sports Network.)

As for the duo of Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer, currently entrenched in the 10 PM-1 AM slot, they will be rerouted to middays, according to Deitsch. Of course, exactly what “midday” time slot they will get is yet to be determined. More than likely, they’ll be given a time slot starting at 12 Noon ET. That’s because NBC employee Dan Patrick’s radio show, which broadcasts from 9 AM-12 Noon ET, is not far behind from joining the NBCSR lineup, as the television simulcast of the radio show recently moved over to NBC Sports Network from Fox Sports Networks.

No word on whether or not NBCSR redeye host Dan Schwartzman will be given an earlier shift when the network goes 24/7 in April, or if any of the talent hosting weekend programming on the network (e.g. Jason Page, Anita Marks, NFL Network’s Brian Webber) will also be granted a daily show.

UPDATE: Mr. Deitsch has informed me that the previous report that had Kuselias going to mornings and Shander/Toomer going to middays was a misreading on his part. Which I can understand. Of course, given Kuselias’ prior experience in the morning daypart, I can also understand if Kuselias does get promoted to morning drive eventually. So while it’s not a done deal, I wouldn’t rule it out. In fact, that’ll be my first (and only) 2013 prediction: Kuselias will get mornings when NBC Sports Radio goes 24/7.

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Dan Patrick To NBC Sports Radio?

Dan Patrick To NBC Sports Radio?

On the heels of CBS luring Jim Rome's radio show to their new sports radio network, launching full-time in January, it's only a matter of time before his peer, NBC television personality Dan Patrick, brings his own radio show to NBC Sports Radio.

Logic dictates that Dan Patrick’s syndicated radio show will eventually be making its way to NBC Sports Radio Network. Consider these facts:

Earlier this week, sources have reported that Jim Rome’s radio show would be moving to CBS Sports Radio next year.

Rome’s current deal with Clear Channel/Premiere Networks, which has been syndicating “The Jim Rome Show” to hundreds of radio stations since 1995 – mostly Fox Sports Radio stations – expires at the end of this year.

CBS Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup is scheduled to bow at the beginning of next year.

How convenient.

As you know, this past spring, Rome relocated his television post from ESPN, which aired the “Rome Is Burning” program (later retitled “Jim Rome Is Burning”), to CBS Sports Network, current home of the succinctly-titled “Rome” show. Which means that both of Rome’s daily programs will be under the CBS Sports umbrella once CBS Sports Radio fully launches on January 2 (its official launch, upon which they will offer hourly updates and commentaries, is Tuesday).

Now, let’s look at Dan Patrick, who, along with Rome, rounded out the top three of Talkers Magazine’s inaugural “Sports Talk Heavy Hundred” list this year – and with local New York host Mike Francesa topping that list, that means Rome and Patrick host the two most popular syndicated sports radio shows in the country.

Like Rome’s radio show, “The Dan Patrick Show” is heard on most Fox Sports Radio affiliates (the aforementioned Clear Channel distributes Fox Sports Radio). When it launched in the fall of 2007, the show was produced via Jimmy DeCastro’s The Content Factory, which owned the show’s rights; Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks handled sales and syndication. In the fall of 2009, DirecTV Sports Group took over as the show’s parent producer; a television simulcast of Patrick’s radio show had just started on DirecTV months earlier. Yet Premiere still acted as a sales and syndication liaison; in fact, last January, Premiere renewed its long-term agreement with DirecTV.

Like Rome, Patrick is a notable name that left ESPN. And like Rome, Patrick has a presence on television, having been on the NBC payroll since 2008.

So, you have CBS and NBC both starting up their brand new sports radio networks. CBS has all but secured their big-name television star for their radio side – so who’s to say NBC wouldn’t do the same at some point?

I would imagine NBC is chomping at the bit to bring Patrick into the NBC Sports Radio fold. It would likely be contingent on when Premiere’s long-term agreement with DirecTV expires.

For Clear Channel/Premiere to let Rome walk is one thing; for them to lose Patrick on top of that would be a one-two punch that might enable either CBS or NBC’s sports radio networks, if not both, not only to surpass Fox Sports Radio as far as popular talent on their rosters is concerned, but with both hosts possessing the two most popular syndicated sports radio programs, this could lead to more clearances for CBS and/or NBC – and, in turn, less for Fox.

More food for thought: Patrick’s NBC “Football Night In America” colleague Rodney Harrison will be hosting a weekly show, “Safety Blitz,” on NBC Sports Radio starting next weekend.

Give NBC Sports Radio credit for having some regularly scheduled shows right out of the gate when they also sign on the air Tuesday, but there is still no target date for a 24/7 NBCSRN launch. Perhaps that’ll be made known as soon as they’ve acquired syndication rights to Dan Patrick’s radio show?

If and when that happens, the battle between the two neophyte sports radio networks will really be, dare I say, en fuego.

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