ESPN Radio, heard locally on WMVP-AM, is starting to click. Where else could you have heard Peter Gammons on Saturday night rip White Sox/Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf for allowing Michael Jordan to announce his retirement at the start of the AL playoffs?
In addition, during the football season, the fledgling radio network added a Sunday afternoon "NFL GameDay" that included live updates from stringers at all the pro football games. When the contests were over, ESPN picked up and interviews from the ABC Radio Network. And that was in addition to the network's regular Saturday night and Sunday morning and night programming for 270 affiliates.
One of those strides was the switch in Chicago from all-talk WLS to all-sports WMVP. "When a station like that picks us up, that's tremendous," says Barenfeld, who credits Mark Mason for the changes. Mason, formerly program director at WFAN in New York, was hired during the summer as general manager of the ESPN Radio Network.