The Sports Animal Radio Network will have some involvement with the new CBS Sports Radio Network, but likely will carry only secondary programming. Cumulus Media, which owns the Sports Animal and its AM partner, ESPN 640, is partnering with CBS to launch the new sports radio network on Jan. 2, 2013.
ESPN 640, which carries ESPN Radio's programming, won't be affected.
“We have a long-term agreement with ESPN,” Dax Davis, Sports Animal program director, said in an email.
Cumulus Media will be the network's syndicator and sales partner to secure affiliate clearances and ad sales with radio stations nationwide. In addition, it will make CBS Sports Radio programming available on 67 of its owned and operated station, including WWLS-FM 98.1, The Sports Animal.
“We will have involvement, but we will remain committed to live and local sports programming,” Davis said.
At launch, CBS Sports Radio will reach listeners in nine of the nation's top 10 markets with an audience reach of almost 10 million listeners, nearly 90 percent of them located in Top 50 markets.
DURANT, KEMP NOMINATED FOR ESPYS
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp have received nominations for the 2012 ESPY Awards, and Iowa State's 37-31 double-overtime victory over Oklahoma State has been nominated for best upset.
Kemp, a Midwest City native, was nominated for best MLB player along with Ryan Braun, Josh Hamilton, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander.
Durant was nominated for best NBA player along with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love, Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo. James also was nominated for best male athlete.
Fans will determine the winners by voting online at ESPN.com/ESPYS up to the start of the award show, hosted by Rob Riggle, at 8 p.m. July 11.
— Analyst David Pollack and reporter Samantha Steele will join returning announcer Rece Davis and analyst Jesse Palmer as ESPN's new Thursday night football broadcast team. Pollack will continue as a contributing analyst on “College GameDay.” The Thursday night schedule will kick off Aug. 30 with a doubleheader: South Carolina at Vanderbilt at 6 p.m. and Washington State at BYU at 9:15 p.m.
— Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the 2011 NFL MVP, has been ranked No. 1 on the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2012. The rest of the top 10: 2. Drew Brees, New Orleans, QB; 3. Calvin Johnson, Detroit, WR; 4. Tom Brady, New England, QB; 5. Darrelle Revis, N.Y. Jets, CB; 6. DeMarcus Ware, Dallas, LB; 7. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, WR; 8. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, RB; 9. Haloti Ngata, Baltimore, DT; 10. Patrick Willis, San Francisco, LB. Other notables: 23. Wes Welker, New England, WR; 31. Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants, QB; 91. Tony Romo, Dallas, QB; 95. Tim Tebow, N.Y. Jets, QB.
— The New Orleans Hornets' local telecasts are moving from Cox Sports Television to the new Fox Sports New Orleans regional network. Fox Sports New Orleans will carry about 75 regular-season games per season under the long-term contract.
— TBS will announce the MLB All-Star rosters at noon Sunday. Host Matt Winer will be joined by commentators Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken Jr. and David Wells in analyzing the teams. The show will be followed at 1 p.m. by the Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees telecast (Brian Anderson and John Smoltz).
— Kenny Albert and Tom Verducci will call the Oakland-Texas game at 6 p.m. Saturday for Fox, which will go to 16 percent of the nation, including KOKH-25.
— ESPN2 First Take host Jay Crawford is leaving the show to become a regular 11 a.m. “SportsCenter” anchor beginning July 9. No replacement has been named. The new general “SportsCenter” lineup: 8 a.m., Kevin Neghandi and Hannah Storm; 11 a.m., Chris McKendry and Crawford; 5 p.m., Jay Harris and John Anderson; 10 p.m., Scott Van Pelt, John Buccigross, Steve Levy, Stuart Scott, Linda Cohn and Robert Flores (two anchors nightly); 1 a.m., Neil Everett and Stan Verrett.
— NBA TV is planning a series of “Free Agent Fever” shows as part of the free agency period. Shows are set for 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.