Confirmed: Erik Kuselias Will Be NBC Sports Radio's First Morning Drive Host; Donovan McNabb Afternoons With Mark Malone







Starting April 1, Erik Kuselias will assume morning drive on NBC Sports Radio when the network goes 24/7 for the first time. The daypart is familiar territory for Kuselias, having previously hosted "Morning Drive" on The Golf Channel.

Starting April 1, Erik Kuselias will assume morning drive on NBC Sports Radio when the network goes 24/7 for the first time. The daypart is familiar territory for Kuselias, having previously hosted “Morning Drive” on The Golf Channel.

Back on New Year’s Eve, I posted an item focusing on NBC Sports Radio expanding from weeknight and late night programming to the weekends – but I immediately zeroed in on a passage from Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch in his “Media Circus” post about the news. He had written that when the network goes 24/7, which happens weeks from now, nighttime host Erik Kuselias would be given the morning show, while Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer, now heard from 10 PM to 1 AM weeknights, would get a “midday” show.

Alas, Mr. Deitsch would later realize that he had “misreported” the times in his column, and removed what he wrote about the shows’ new times.

Hey, we’re not perfect. But I don’t think he can be ashamed of that error – because the originally erroneous report about Kuselias moving to morning drive on April 1 will be a reality.

And – no foolin’ – I called this one even as Deitsch struck it from the record.

“I’m thrilled to be in the prime spot for NBC Sports Radio’s first daily lineup,” acknowledged Kuselias. “We believe this is the smartest and most fun sports radio program in the nation, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”

He also awaits the task of helping to “rejuvenate mornings for those looking for a fresh approach.”

It won’t be his first rodeo at sunrise: he had previously hosted The Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show up until last spring. Kuselias still makes frequent appearances on NBC Sports Network as he maintains his show for the radio unit.

Taking Kuselias’ primetime vacancy on NBCSR will be Jon Stashower, who had spent nearly two decades with ESPN before joining the neophyte radio network last August.

That leaves but eight hours to be scheduled when NBCSR goes full throttle, full-time in a few weeks. We know Bobby Valentine will be involved somehow. The network has already confirmed that he’ll be part of a weekday show starting in the spring, so that much we know.

Also, they recently added Donovan McNabb to their roster – but would you really just hand him a daily talk show, even in a co-hosting capacity, with the little media experience he has (he’s been seen here and there on NFL Network for the past several months prior)? I’m sure as time passes, he’ll be worthy of his own show soon enough. But not now.

Maybe Richard Deitsch’s other prematurely reported item will indeed come true, and Eytan and Amani will assume middays.

And don’t forget, there’s that Dan Patrick thing that has a very strong possibility of happening, especially after NBC’s cable sports network took over as the home of the video feed of his radio show.

I’ll point out that NBC specifically announced that Kuselias would be live on their sports radio network between the hours of 6 and 9 AM ET. Not 6 to 10, 6 to 9 – or ending right as Patrick’s show begins.

UPDATE: Here’s the first full weekday lineup for NBCSR:

6 AM Erik Kuselias

9 AM Brian Kenny (but don’t be surprised if Dan Patrick eventually ends up in this daypart)

12 Noon Newy Scruggs, joined by a different co-host every weekday, one of whom will be Bobby Valentine

3 PM Mark Malone and Donovan McNabb

7 PM Jon Stashower

10 PM Eytan Shander and Amani Toomer (whom I predicted would move to an earlier time slot)

1 AM Dan Schwartzman

There should be another announcement very, very soon from NBC Sports Radio as to who indeed will fill out the rest of its daily lineup.

And depending on who ends up in middays, NBCSR program director Jack Silver might reach out to Richard Deitsch and ask him for a few lottery numbers.

UPDATE, 3.14.13: Well, it’s very, very soon, and as promised, NBC Sports Radio has announced that Donovan McNabb will indeed be co-hosting afternoon drive with… Mark Malone, a former ESPN analyst. So while ESPN has “Mike & Mike,” and NFL Network has their own “M&M” (Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin), NBC now has an “M&M.” The actual announcement will be made official tomorrow, but USA Today’s Mike Hiestand has the scoop.

Also, I’ve updated the speculative schedule above with the confirmed dayparts. Still a couple more dayparts to be nailed down, and I’m not counting out E&A in middays.

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