On Friday, Red Zebra Broadcasting announced a major shakeup to its programming on ESPN 980 starting May 2, including the return of “The Sports Reporters” with Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin during the afternoon drive.
Former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley, who has co-hosted “The Drive with Cooley and Czabe” with Czaban on the Daniel Snyder-owned station since 2013, will move to the 7 a.m.-11 a.m. slot and co-host a new show with Kevin Sheehan, aptly titled “Cooley and Kevin.” Sheehan currently co-hosts “The Sports Fix” from noon-2 p.m. with Washington Times sports columnist Thom Loverro, who does not feature in the station’s new lineup of daily programming.
Czaban and Pollin co-hosted “The Sports Reporters” on WTEM from 2000-2013 before Cooley arrived. Pollin continued “The Sports Reporters” on SportsTalk 570 for nearly 18 months and has served as a contributor and fill-in host on 980 since. He and Czaban, who will be together from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. every weekday, have collaborated on a weekly podcast since September.
Al Galdi, a co-host on “The Drive,” will host a new show from 5 a.m.-7 a.m. called “The Morning Blitz.” Galdi’s show will replace “Mike and Mike,” the nationally syndicated program that has occupied the 6 a.m.-10 a.m. time slot on 980 since “The Man Cave” was abruptly canceled in October.
“I think without a doubt, especially in a town like D.C. where you have so many passionate fans, local is better,” ESPN 980 program director Chris Johnson said after he took the job in February. “There are certain days where it just matters so much to have local programming on the station.”
Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the coming changes, which were first reported by DCRTV.com.
“The Tony Kornheiser Show” will air from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by an extended version of “Inside the Locker Room” — currently a two-hour show — with Doc Walker, Brian Mitchell and Scott Jackson from 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Tim Murray and Nick Ashooh will co-host another new show, “DMV Game Time,” from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., giving the station 17 consecutive hours of local programming. Friday’s release noted that additional Redskins-related coverage on the team’s flagship station, including expanded training camp coverage, will be announced soon.