In a complicated radio maneuver, ESPN Radio announced today that it will be moving to the FM frequency at 98.7 in New York, the longtime home of KISS FM. The switch to the FM dial begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. ESPN’s lackluster 1050 AM signal, which had equally lackluster ratings since competing against all-sports station WFAN in 2003, will simulcast ESPN Radio programming until September. Then, to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month, ESPN will debut a 24-hour Spanish sports talk station.
“The bottom line is we’re extremely delighted that the company is providing this resource,” David Roberts, ESPN New York general manager, says. ”…We have to make sure that we produce the kind of content and programming that will not only get sampling, but to get people to come back more often.”
Part of the programming will have new times for Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco, together from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., as the lead-in to The Michael Kay Show. The station also announced Patrick McEnroe will do a Saturday show from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning May 5.
As the rumors about ESPN’s move became more widespread this week, so did the speculation about bringing the Yankees on board in 2013. Traug Keller, senior vice president, production, business divisions, tells FishbowlNY in today’s conference call that no deal is in place.