Mike Tirico expands presence at ESPN


ESPN personality Mike Tirico will expand his ESPN responsibilities with a variety of high-profile TV and radio assignments, including a new weekly pro and college football radio show. In addition to his continuing play-by-play efforts for Monday Night Football and the NBA, and hosting duties on the Masters, NFL Draft and other top events, Tirico will play a prominent role in ESPN’s upcoming TV coverage of U.S. Open tennis, World Cup soccer, BCS games and more.

On the radio side, ESPN Radio’s Tirico & Van Pelt show (2-4 p.m. ET M-F) will become The Scott Van Pelt Show on July 6 when Van Pelt will be joined by Ryen Russillo with the final hour of their show simulcast for the first time on ESPN2.

Tirico’s new radio role will include hosting a weekly two-hour football program (22 weeks of the year) devoted to college and pro football Fridays from 7-9 p.m. He will be joined by a variety of ESPN college and pro football analysts and football newsmakers. Additionally, Tirico will host on-site ESPN Radio shows Super Bowl week, long-form podcasts featuring commentaries and interviews with top newsmakers, and SportsBeat afternoon drive-time commentaries throughout the year. He will also handle radio play-by-play for the NBA Finals, 2010 Rose Bowl and 2010 BCS Championship Game.

“Mike Tirico is one of the industry’s best and a trusted voice for fans,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “A great thing about ESPN is the many existing and new opportunities available for his talents across TV, radio and beyond. On top of that, Scott Van Pelt has become a major radio presence and will continue to provide listeners with his informed perspective and entertaining flair.”

Tirico added, “These two years on the radio show have been awesome. Working with Scott and the rest of our show crew has made it fun to do every day. I look forward to the new television opportunities and the privilege of working two of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. While the schedule will not permit me to do the daily radio grind, I am very excited to continue my long association with ESPN Radio and will be a loyal listener at 2 p.m. Eastern every weekday.”

Russillo, who will join Van Pelt, is a veteran of the Boston radio and TV scene, and knows his way around ESPN Radio’s Bristol, Conn. studios, having hosted several shows and filled in on others in recent years.

The Scott Van Pelt Show’s simulcast is the latest telecast of ESPN Radio programming which began with Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPNEWS (April 2004) then ESPN2 (January 2006). The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 a.m.-2 p.m. M-F) is currently simulcast on ESPNU.

Cowherd will also co-host his own show on ESPN2 starting July 6 when he will be joined by Michelle Beadle on the new daily studio show SportsNation (4-5 p.m. M-F). Radio personalities hosting television shows is not unprecedented, as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic took their morning show to prime time for an August 2004 special.