The loyal but often strange devotees of Tony Kornheiser’s ESPN 980 radio show got two pieces of good news this week.
First, the station announced that the program — following its annual lengthy summer break — will return to its regular 10-to-noon weekday slot on Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day.
And second, the network announced that it is working on a revenue model that will end the much-complained-about 24-hour delay for Kornheiser’s podcasts, VP of Programming Chuck Sapienza told me.
“Tony’s fans hopefully will be excited to know that we’re working on models to end the podcast delay without charging them a fee to listen to the show,” Sapienza told me.
The station is still ironing out the details and testing the model; Sapienza said there is no timetable but they’re working toward a resolution as soon as possible. If it works successfully with Kornheiser’s show, the pause could also be removed from 980’s other daily shows, which are also posted on a 24-hour delay.
As for the Kornheiser show itself, it will return with the usual cast of characters, including Marc “Nigel” Sterne, Jeanne McManus, Kevin Sheehan, David Aldridge and so on. Kornheiser, a former Post columnist, will also continue to appear on ESPN 980’s Redskins pregame programming.
As he typically does, Kornheiser had jokingly discussed the possibility of the show never returning before he left for his summer break before July 4.
“This is the last show of the season. I hope to be back. You know that. I hope to be back the day after Labor Day,” Kornheiser said on July 3.
“I don’t know myself,” he later said when discussing the show’s future. “I hope to return. I do.”
“I would love to return, and we would love to return the day after Labor Day,” he also said then. “I will certainly be somewhere.”
“To me it was never in doubt that he would be back after Labor Day,” Sapienza said. “People at Bagel City can rest easy.”
— ESPN 980 (@ESPNRadio980) August 26, 2014