L&L Broadcasting, which owns 35 stations nationally including five in the South Carolina Midlands, will switch WOIC-AM from its current news talk format to ESPN Radio Columbia on 1/1. That brings ESPN Radio back to the Columbia, SC market. ESPN Radio was last heard there July 2012 on Lake Murray Communications’ WZMJ-FM which flipped to Classic/Adult Hits at that time.
The move will give the Midlands/Columbia area three sports radio stations. Currently, Cumulus’ WNKT-FM The Game features local hosts, University of South Carolina sports, “The Dan Patrick Show” and CBS Sports Radio. CCME’s WXBT-AM The Team features local hosts, the state-oriented SportsTalk Radio Network and from Fox Sports Radio. Clemson football, basketball and baseball games still air on WZMJ-FM.
“We’re excited to bring the iconic ESPN brand back to the thousands of sports fans in Columbia,” said Bill McElveen, market manager for ESPN Columbia. “ESPN’s dominance in the sports arena is unparalleled, and we are delighted to be partnering with them in this venture.”
ESPN Columbia air Charlotte Bobcats games, as well as national NBA games from ESPN Radio. It will also will carry the ESPN national feed for Clemson vs. Ohio State in the Orange Bowl on 1/3.
The lineup: “Mike & Mike” (6-10 a.m.); “The Herd” (10 a.m.-1 p.m.); The Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Rusillo show from 1-4 p.m. weekdays. Local content will take over for three hours, with The Zone hosted by Duane “The Shot Doctor” Everett from 4-6 p.m., and Sports Hotline with Bobby Gist and Ernest Robinson from 6-7 p.m. Both of these local shows mentioned last currently air on WOIC.
The station plans to launch a website, www.espncolumbia.com.