Mike Golic has been a mainstay on ESPN Radio airwaves since the late 1990s. He co-hosted Mike & Mike from 2000 until Mike Greenberg left to host ESPN’s Get Up in 2017, and has hosted Golic and Wingo in its place ever since.
ESPN is set to shake up its radio lineup in a big way. Golic, the 57-year old former Notre Dame football star, doesn’t factor in. His show, which just wrapped its final episode, is being replaced by one featuring Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and SportsCenter‘s Zubin Mehenti. He has made it clear that it wasn’t his decision to go without a radio show.
“Unfortunately, the tough thing this time around is I basically heard it was ending through the media,” Golic told colleague Sarah Spain on her podcast, “which, to me, isn’t the best way to find something out. I don’t think that’s the right way. But they didn’t ask me what I thought was the right way. At the end of the day, it’s business. I’ve always said this about football or doing anything, you gotta be careful at taking things too personally.”
Golic says he’s not retiring. Whether that means he’ll work to find another project at the Worldwide Leader or is open to leaving ESPN for another network, is yet to be seen. The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch says that the outpouring of support that has come for Golic for basically the entire month of July, since the announcement that Golic and Wingo was ending was made, proves that ESPN’s decision to take him off the air is “short-sighted.”
The fact that Mike Golic is trending and has engendered such positive reception from people as he concludes his long run on ESPN Radio is literally the reason why the decision to remove Golic from a permanent spot on ESPN Radio is so short-sighted.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 31, 2020
ESPN is definitely well within its rights to try and test out something new. Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin may turn out to be a really dynamic trio. It is no guarantee that the public will gravitate to it though, while Golic has been the model of consistency for ESPN.
The family, which has deep ties to ESPN at this point, won’t be totally off of the air though. Mike Golic Jr. has emerged as one of the network’s more popular young personalities, and he’s getting his own three-hour daily show on the new ESPN Radio lineup, co-hosting with WNBA star Chiney Ogwumike.
We’ll see how things fare for the Mike Golic Sr.-less ESPN Radio. It will be pretty strange for sure.