Earlier this month, former Eagles defensive tackle Mike Golic opened up about ESPN’s decision to split up its popular Mike & Mike radio show, telling Sporting News reporter Michael McCarthy that he’s OK with the break-up.
"I certainly enjoyed the 18 years with Greeny," Golic said. "If we move on from that, I’ll enjoy it if I do it with someone else next."
Now his co-host Mike Greenberg, who recently signed a new deal that reportedly pays him $6.5 million a year, is speaking about the move, telling McCarthy he has one big regret about how everything has played out.
"I would have really liked the first place our audience heard about that is to have been from us. On our show," Greenberg said. "Because it’s been a really special thing."
"Obviously, that’s not a possibility any more," Greenberg said.
Unfortunately, the cat is well out of the bag on ESPN’s plans to move Greenberg off the popular radio show and into his own morning show on the Worldwide Leader, which will reportedly combine elements of SportsCenter with a typical morning show.
While confirming that all the rumors about the show have been true, Greenberg says there are a “million decisions” that need to be made before the plug is officially pulled on Mike & Mike.
“We haven’t even hired a producer yet,” Greenberg said. “ I know people think I’m saying this just to say it, but we really have not officially decided to do this yet.”
So far, ESPN has refused to comment on the news.
The move to put Greenberg in his own morning show would come as ESPN is planning to undergo another round of layoffs, which will spare behind-the-scenes staff but includes many hosts and reporters whom fans know and recognize.
During an appearance on Richard Deitch’s Sports Illustrated podcast, ESPN expert and bestselling author Jim Miller predicted the network will shed between 40 and 50 on-air personalities during this round of cutbacks.
Miller, author of Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN, laid out a potential schedule based on deals the network has already made that include’s Greenberg’s upcoming solo show, a rumored pairing featuring Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre, and re-runs of Neil Everett and Stan Verrett’s SportsCenter airing early in the morning.
“If you’re ESPN talent and you’re looking at a schedule that’s something like that, based on the commitments they’ve made, if you’re not on that, then you’re starting to feel a little shaky,” Miller said. “That’s not to say everyone else is gone, but I think those are the people that should take a deep breath, and those are the people that should feel immune.”
“If you are part of the SportsCenter unit right now but not one of the special talents where management has tapped you on the shoulder and given you the golden ticket... I would be talking to my agent and my representation about how management thinks of me," Deitsch said.
For his part, Greenberg said he hasn’t been consulted about the cuts, and only knows what he’s been reading in media reports.
“I don’t really know what’s going on,” Greenberg said of the pending layoffs. “If that sort of thing is going to go on, it will make me feel terrible.”
As for Golic, one rumor, first reported by Deitsch, is that ESPN is considering pairing Golic with his son, Mike Golic, Jr., who currently hosts his own show on ESPN Radio and appears on Mike & Mike every Friday.
“Oh, it would be awesome,” Golic said. “He’s way beyond what I was when I first started in this business. He’s way smarter than me. He speaks better way better than I do.”