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Hahn To Evenings, Rothenberg To Middays at ESPN New York

Jason Barrett

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ESPN New York is swapping roles for two of its key hosts. Starting Monday, August 21st, Alan Hahn will exit the midday program with Rick DiPietro and Chris Canty to host The Alan Hahn Show weeknights from 7p-10p ET. Hahn had been part of the midday lineup since 2015.

The re-named Humpty & Canty will continue in the same timeslot with evening host Dave Rothenberg returning to a daytime role. Rothenberg will complete the trio starting Tuesday, September 5th. His Saturday program The Dave Rothenberg Show will continue from 9a-12p ET.

“Hosting the show  with Rick and Chris has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career,” said Hahn. “I’m excited about my new venture back at night where it all started. I can’t thank Tim McCarthy (senior vice president of ESPN  New York 98.7FM) enough for working with me on this move to ensure I can keep developing as a radio host.”

Tim McCarthy, senior vice president of ESPN  New York 98.7FM, added, “Alan has been an integral part of 98.7 FM and Hahn, Humpty & Canty. I am very happy that Alan will have his own show, showcasing his knowledge of New York sports, especially his basketball expertise. We are also excited to add Dave to Humpty & Canty. Dave has been a successful host for many years at 98.7 FM and will only add to an already successful show with Rick and Chris.”

Hahn initially joined ESPN New York as a fill-in host and teamed up with DiPietro in 2014. They had excellent chemistry and impressed enough people in the company to earn a midday opportunity, an MSG Network airing of their show, and the addition of a third host in Canty.

That said, Rothenberg is a talented host himself. He’s had good chemistry with numerous hosts at the station and should do a nice job running point between the two former New York athletes.

The only question not answered is why Hahn and Rothenberg are switching shifts. Usually a move from midday to evenings is seen as a step backwards unless there are other factors which play into an individual needing to change their availability. With ESPN NY carrying NY Knicks and NY Rangers broadcasts, and Hahn being a member of MSG’s NY Knicks studio coverage, it’s likely he’ll be hosting less shows on the station than he would’ve had he remained in middays.

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Fescoe in the Morning: ESPN Has a History of Ignoring Non-Partner Leagues

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

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Fescoe in the Morning

ESPN is out of the running for the Big Ten football and basketball media rights. Those will be awarded to a combination of other networks and likely a streaming service. ESPN appears to be focusing on NCAA Championships next.

Josh Klingler, co-host of Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City, took time on their show on Tuesday to break down what that might mean for the Big Ten in terms of coverage.

“You’re (Big Ten) going to network television, which is better; more eyeballs and what have you,” noted Klingler. “But also, let’s not forget ESPN has a history of ignoring you when you’re not on their air. That’s the risk they are going to run.”

Klingler would add, “They are going to take the money. They are going to get network viewers, which is good. I guess the highlight and the hype and all those things that we are accustomed to doing that ESPN provides. We’ve already seen they ignore you if you’re not on their network.”

Bob Fescoe chimed in a reminder about another prominent league that chose not to partner with ESPN.

“Ask the National Hockey League what happened when they took the money from NBC and ran,” said Fescoe.

“They are risking being ignored by ESPN now,” replied Klingler.

“Right, but I think they are willing to do that for a billion dollars per year,” Fescoe responded.

Fescoe then said that the Big Ten might make up for the perceived shortcomings of not being on ESPN by being on network television.

“If you’re going to be on network TV in all three windows, Josh, quite honestly all your marquee games are going to be free,” said Fescoe.

“That’s exposure,” said Klingler.

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NESN’s Dave O’Brien Says National Networks “Blew It” By Not Hiring Dennis Eckersley

“I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”

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Dennis Eckersley

On Monday, Dennis Eckersley decided to make it known that this season would be his last with NESN in the booth. He mentioned that after 50 years in baseball, it was time to go be with the grandchildren in San Diego.

His broadcast partner for a lot of those years in the NESN booth was Dave O’Brien. On the latest Sports Media Mayhem podcast, O’Brien joined show host Alex Reimer to talk about the retirement of Eckersley. Reimer pointed out that it took awhile before Eckersley became the main color analyst for the team. O’Brien remembered the time well.

“When he started, he was pre- and post- and he did that most of his career at NESN,” said O’Brien. “It was really, only the last six or seven years that he really started to get on as a game analyst.”

O’Brien was named the lead play-by-play announcer for NESN’s Red Sox coverage in 2016 which is about the same time Eckersley slid into the role of game analyst. In the time since, O’Brien has seen the work of Eckersley up close and is floored that he was working for a regional sports network and not somewhere more nationally prominent.

“I think the national people totally blew it on Dennis Eckersley,” blurted O’Brien. “And that includes Turner. They had an opportunity, I can say that because a lot of those people there now didn’t make the decision. He should have been the lead analyst doing national games. He should have been on ESPN on Sunday Night Baseball or FOX. I don’t know how they blew it as badly as they did but Dennis Eckersley should have been a national icon… they made a mistake on that. I hope somebody regrets it.”

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Sal Paolantonio Not Interested In Trying Ayahuasca To Better Understand Aaron Rodgers

“Halucinagenics have been at the center of a lot of conversations about Aaron Rodgers lately.”

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Dan Patrick is a very good interviewer. He asks the questions he knows his audience wants answered. He also makes a habit out of throwing out questions to his guests that they never see coming. That was the case on Tuesday for ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.

Paolantonio joined the Dan Patrick Show to discuss Pro Football Hall of Fame voting and the new NFL season. That is not what the host hit him with out of the gate.

The first question from Patrick to Paolantonio was “Just to relate to Aaron Rodgers, would you be willing to try ayahuasca?”.

Paolantonio was left speechless. All he could do was laugh and say “you got me on that one, Dan.”

Halucinagenics have been at the center of a lot of conversations about Aaron Rodgers lately. The Green Bay quarterback recently said on a podcast that experimenting with ayahuasca opened him up to be ready to succeed both on the field and as a leader. He credits the experience with laying the foundation for his 2021 MVP season.

Patrick pushed the issue challenging Paolantonio to beat Andrea Kremer to the experience.

“My money is on the fearless Andrea Kremer,” Paolantonio shot back.

For the record, Kremer responded to the challenge on Twitter.

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