As expected, the lineup has been shuffled at ESPN 1000.
Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman are moving from mid-morning to the 2-6 p.m. afternoon slot. Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic will shift to the 10 a.m.-2 p.m. slot.
The new addition will be an hour of Cowherd’s national ESPN show. It will air from 9-10 a.m. Gone, at least in Chicago, will be Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Russillo, whose show currently airs from 1-2 p.m. on the station.
The changes are effective April 1.
ESPN appears to be making a push to extend Cowherd’s reach into more markets. It remains to be seen whether Chicago will embrace Cowherd.
Cowherd did some early romancing Tuesday, saying how he and his wife, a Michigan native, consider Chicago “their favorite city.”
“I never thought I’d get on in Chicago,” Cowherd said. “I’ve been on in New York and Los Angeles, so it’ll be great to be on there. Chicago has a pedigree as having a great radio market. There are talented people there (in sports talk radio). I know it won’t be easy. If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game, you’ll vanish in that market.”
Asked how he would describe himself to Chicago listeners who never have heard him, Cowherd said, “It won’t take long for people to know I drink a lot of coffee.”
“I take each segment very seriously,” Cowherd said. “I’m not saying I’m always right, but I’m going to come out with a ton of energy.”
The shake-up was expected after ESPN 1000 cut ties with Harry Teinowitz from the afternoon show a few weeks ago. The station is trailing its sports talk rival, WSCR-AM 670, in the ratings race.
ESPN 1000 knows it has to improve its numbers in the afternoon. In the January ratings of men 25-54 (the key demographic for sports talk radio) from 1-6 p.m., ESPN 1000′s afternoon show placed 17th with a 2.6 audience share. Meanwhile, its main competition, Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers at WSCR-AM 670, was No. 1 with a 6.5 share.
ESPN 1000 is counting on the appeal of Waddle, a popular former Bear, and the chemistry he’s built with “Silvy,” to cut into that deficit.
As for the morning, there’s an interesting sidelight. Jurkovic now will be competing against his former ESPN 1000 partner and close friend, Dan McNeil, who teams with Matt Spiegel from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WSCR.
Stay tuned for more.