Strange how most of the people who don't like Paul never listen to his show. The crazy callers, and there really are only a few, are just comic relief. What makes Paul great is this: if a caller isn't entertaining or making a really good point, he cuts them off and goes right to the next caller. 99% of sports talk hosts could learn a lot from that.. You may be on the air for 5 hours in the afternoon, but my drive home is only 25 minutes and I want to hear something INTERESTING.
After a month-long publicity push on ESPN’s television properties, Paul Finebaum will make his debut on ESPN’s radio arm this afternoon. The long-time, controversial host went off the air six months ago and waited out a non-compete clause before launching his new show, which will be regionally-syndicated under the ESPN Radio brand.
A simulcast of Finebaum’s show is already scheduled to become the anchor program for the SEC Network when it launches in August of 2014. In fact, ESPN unveiled the logo for Finebaum’s new show (at left) and it has the SEC logo built right into it. If the SEC has a media ambassador, it’s now Paul Finebaum.
The host has made a career of turning his show over to mostly Alabama-based callers who wage the Alabama/Auburn war over the phone lines each day. A number of his regular callers have become “radio personalities” due to their extreme opinions and vocal schtick. Many of those who religiously listened to Finebaum’s old show did so to have a laugh at the characters dialing in and ranting.
While we don’t necessarily think Finebaum’s callers help put the South’s best foot forward — and therefore might not be the best choice for an SEC television channel hoping to grab a national foothold — the host himself plans to pick up right where he left off:
“I feel like the callers have been incredibly loyal in the absence of the show, and I feel like it should be their day. That’s my goal.”
Scott Masteller, the senior director of content for ESPN Radio agrees. “When people tune in, it’s going to be pretty much what they’re used to hearing,” he told Al.com. “Paul has had great success, a great track record. We are all very ecstatic and about him joining the company.”
To hear the show you might have to do a little searching. ESPN has not officially announced which stations will be carrying the radio program, though Cumulus has signed a deal for the show’s “terrestrial radio distribution” rights. There’s still no word on a satellite distribution plan.
Finebaum is an intelligent, funny host. Our only wish is that his show featured more opinions from him and his guests, as opposed to over-the-top, lengthy rants from listeners. But then — as so many Finebaum fans have told us in the past — we don’t get the joke.