Aug 122013

FinebaumShermanBut will you be able to hear him?

From by Ed Sherman

Paul Finebaum begins his new radio gig today at ESPN. The four-hour show debuts at 2 p.m. ET.

The question is where?

This is from the official release from ESPN:

ESPN Audio has selected Cumulus Media Networks to secure terrestrial radio distribution for Finebaum’s show.

ESPN affiliated stations in every market will have the first opportunity to carry the show. His former home station in Birmingham, Ala., WJOX 94.5 FM, as well as WAPI 100.5 FM, will offer the show. His previous show attracted nearly a quarter of the adult male listeners in Birmingham, ESPN’s highest-rated college football television market the past several years.

ESPN Audio is overseeing satellite and digital distribution.

Paul Finebaum on ESPN

Finebaum will appear on a variety of other ESPN shows and outlets, including SportsCenter, College Football Live, College GameDay and in ESPN The Magazine. Starting in August 2014, when the SEC Network launches, a television simulcast of Finebaum’s radio show will anchor the network’s afternoon lineup.

In a USA Today story, Finebaum “could not confirm how many affiliates have committed to airing the show.”

So I guess, check your local listings.

Hopefully, ESPN will find a way to place Finebaum’s show nationally on a Sirius XM outlet. Otherwise, I’ll never hear his show in Chicago. There’s no room at the Inn here.

That’s also the case for me with shows such as John Feinstein’s on CBS Sports Radio and Brian Kenny’s on NBC Sports Radio. I know, I know: Those programs are available on the Internet, but I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone work and listen to the radio.

As a result, the bulk of my radio listening in the car. Since I am in the car quite a bit, I hear a lot of radio, which is a big reason why I subscribe to Sirius XM. That’s where I heard Finebaum prior to him making the jump to ESPN.

There’s little question that this is a great move for Finebaum, especially when the SEC Network gets up and running. However, it isn’t so great for people like me who won’t be able to hear his show.

As for the show, Finebaum told USA Today the format will remain the same.

So what will be different about the show? Finebaum doesn’t anticipate changes other than it will be broadcasted from Charlotte, N.C. and have better resources being an ESPN product.

“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it as long as I’m doing radio,” Finebaum said. “There are better shows in the country with better guests, who may have better hosts, but no show has better callers.”

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