Earlier this week, we told you about ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb's move to CBS and their growing footprint in sports media. While Gottlieb's most glamorous position at his new home will be as a March Madness analyst, the crux of his hire was to be a building block to the new CBS Sports Radio Network, launching early next year. Yes, Gottlieb will likely also have a spot on the CBS Sports Network, but Jim Rome's move to the upstart channel has shown it's tough to gain traction on a network that just isn't in many homes.
The more intriguing question to me though is what happens to Gottlieb's old slot at ESPN Radio. For some reason, I've never sensed ESPN Radio to be the dominant force on the dial that ESPN is on television. Scott Van Pelt has established himself as a solid afternoon host, but the rest of ESPN's lineup has always struck me as mediocre. Readers of our site know that Mike & Mike have always been way too vanilla while Colin Cowherd's pontifications are unlistenable. Yet, every time ESPN has a vacancy to fill in their national lineup, they seem to take the easy way out by naming a random duo of whoever was walking down the hallway at the same time (cough, Hill/Schlereth, cough).
And with competition coming from Yahoo, CBS, and NBC, ESPN Radio is facing more entities eating into their market than ever before. With that being said, ESPN has several choices to pick from in replacing Gottlieb's late afternoon time slot. What follows are some potential off-the-radar choices for the WWL, but also potential targets for ESPN's competitors who could be ready to step out on a bigger stage nationally.