Longtime D.C. sports radio personality Kevin Sheehan’s contract expired and was not renewed when Silver Spring-based Urban One assumed operational control of The Team 980 on Aug. 1. While that brought an end to the morning drive-time show Sheehan hosted with former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley for more than two years, there was no way Sheehan was going to sit out the start of the football season waiting for his next opportunity. Instead, he created his own.
On Friday, Sheehan launched “The Kevin Sheehan Show,” a daily D.C. sports podcast recorded in his friend Tony Kornheiser’s studio at Chatter in Friendship Heights. Sheehan joked that he originally wanted to continue talking Redskins, Terps, gambling and more for four hours every day, as he was accustomed to on the radio, but producer Marc Sterne, who is helping Sheehan get the podcast up and running, convinced him to tighten things up just a bit for the new medium.
“It’s definitely a work in progress,” Sheehan said in a phone interview this week. “I put it together with the help of some good friends very quickly. I’m figuring it out. It’s like every day we fix something else. So far the reaction has been great.”
For Sheehan’s regular listeners, the roughly one-hour podcast will feature familiar segments, such as “The Smell Test” and “NFL Power Rankings,” and familiar guests, including ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Washington Times sports columnist Thom Loverro. In fact, Loverro, who co-hosted “The Sports Fix” with Sheehan on 980 for more than seven years before Sheehan was paired with Cooley, will join the show every Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday’s episode, available at TheKevinSheehanShow.com, as well as iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play, was appropriately titled “The Sports Fix 2.0.”
“We have remained really good friends since the show ended,” Sheehan said of Loverro, who continues to host his own podcast, “Cigars and Curveballs,” and a weekend show with Andy Pollin on 106.7 The Fan. “We’ve always talked about how one of these days we’d end up somehow, some way, doing something together again. This is at least a start. Maybe it’ll be on radio one day down the road.”
On Friday’s debut episode, Sheehan spent a couple of minutes discussing his departure from The Team 980, which came two months after the sale of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s flagship and final radio property was announced. Bram Weinstein and Scott Jackson also lost their daily hosting jobs as part of the changeover. The station’s new programming lineup currently features Al Galdi, Doc Walker, Brian Mitchell and Steve Czaban.
“There are no gory details here,” Sheehan said. “The new owner preferred a different type of operation that was much more focused on low costs. Their prerogative. It just didn’t work out for me and a few others, and there are no hard feelings at all.”
Cooley remains a part of Redskins game broadcasts on The Team 980, which are run by the team, independent from Urban One, but he no longer has a daily show. Sheehan was cryptic when asked about a potential reunion with his most recent radio partner.
“I would like that very much, but that’s not my call,” Sheehan said. “I think both of us would prefer right now to be doing a morning drive radio show in this market. We would much prefer to be doing that, and if we weren’t doing that, we’d love to be doing a podcast together. But for now, for many reasons that I can’t go into, it’s not possible as of this moment.”
Sheehan said that one of the reasons he decided to start a podcast was the response he received from listeners after Redskins Broadcast Network host Larry Michael announced the end of Sheehan’s run at The Team 980 before the Redskins’ first preseason game.
“It was much appreciated and it really did mean a lot,” Sheehan said. “Over the last month, the encouragement to get back on the air or to do a podcast has been really, really nice.”
Another reason was that Sheehan couldn’t stand the thought of not talking about the Redskins and another NFL season.
“It’s the best time of the year,” Sheehan said. “This city, for what I do, and what they do at [106.7 The Fan] and 980, this is the high season: Labor Day until the Super Bowl. Obviously, there are events, like the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup, that end up being huge bonuses during the course of the non-high season calendar. But we haven’t had many of those over the years.”
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