Sports

Ryen Russillo And ESPN Radio Will Be Parting Ways At The End Of 2017


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ESPN Radio is in a state of flux, much like the rest of the massive media company. In November, the network announced sweeping changes to the lineup beginning in January and that news comes in conjunction with the massive shift that is moving from Mike and Mike to Golic and Wingo, already underway.

Like anything in the sports media landscape, change always seems to be brewing but, in the same breath, any kind of stability in the radio game is a plus, and that is what Ryen Russillo has provided ESPN Radio for many years.

As of this week, however, that stability will evaporate, as ESPN PR announced on Wednesday that Russillo will complete his final show for ESPN Radio on Dec. 22. Traug Keller, who acts as the SVP of ESPN Radio, indicated that the network “extended an attractive offer” for Russillo to remain in place but, in the end, the host “decided to pursue other opportunities when his contract expires next year.”

In the meantime, Russillo will be hosting a podcast “through next summer” and he released a statement as part of the announcement. “This was a really tough decision,” Russillo said. “ESPN Radio means a lot to me. Even though I won’t be sitting in a studio every day like I have for the last eight plus years, I’m looking forward to working on a podcast and still providing content for the company.”

Russillo was a long-term co-host of Scott Van Pelt and, later, Danny Kanell before taking the reins of The Ryen Russillo Show following Kanell’s layoff. However, ESPN’s plan included a full-time co-host position for Will Cain (in addition to a time slot shift) and Russillo seemingly sees a brighter opportunity elsewhere. Earlier in 2017, Russillo rose to national prominence in a less than desirable way for an arrest while on vacation in Wyoming but there is no public indication that the incident led to this parting of ways.

It remains to be seen as to what ESPN will do with a coveted afternoon slot on the national radio scene but Ryen Russillo’s next stop will also be of peak interest to those in and around the sports media.

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