Back in May, several staffers working on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, and they painted a picture of a tense set on which hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic were barely on speaking terms.
“It’s really a poisonous atmosphere right now,” one longtime staffer told Deitsch. “Most of us don’t see the show lasting through its contractual end,” which is expected to be in December.
Things became tense between the hosts after news broke in September that Greenberg was leaving the show he has hosted for 18 years to launch a new morning program on ESPN. Golic, who once shared the same agent with Greenberg, was caught off guard by the move, as well as his co-host’s huge new deal, reportedly reaching $6.5 million a year.
In a new interview with the New York Post, Greenberg revealed he’s still angry about how news of the pending divorce went down, and directed his ire at co-workers who leaked details from the set to Deitsch behind both hosts’ backs.
“We’ve been together a long time, and we’ve had a very close-knit staff over the years. We’ve had people work with us, and most of them have been with us for years and years and years,” Greenberg said. “So, if there are people that are talking anonymously about us — then, sure, that would bother me, too. Absolutely, no question.”
In an interview with the South Bend Tribune last month, Golic said comments made by the anonymous staffers simply aren’t true, noting that he and Greenberg “are fine.” Greenberg, who has been away from Mike & Mike filming ABC’s revival of Battle of the Network Stars, agreed.
“Regardless of what anyone seems to want to think, Mike and I are doing just great,” Greenberg said, suggesting it wasn’t his decision to leave Mike & Mike. “I’m going to miss him. It’s just that simple. The decision for me to go do a new show was one that was made by other people. It was not made by me.”
ESPN plans to split Greenberg and Golic, who have hosted Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio for 18 years, later this year. Golic has said it could happen “as early as September,” but could be pushed back to December.
Greenberg will host a new morning show on ESPN, where it will go head-to-head with a new morning show on Fox Sports 1 hosted by former Eagles wide receiver Cris Carter and Nick Wright. Many media pundits, including Deitsch, think it will be tough for Greenberg to earn ratings high enough to justify his multimillion-dollar contract, but Connor Schell, ESPN’s new executive vice president of content, is reportedly a big supporter of the show, and hand-picked former Around the Horn producer Bill Wolff to oversee it.
Golic will remain on the radio, where he will team up with Trey Wingo on a yet-to-be-named replacement for Mike & Mike. Golic’s son, Mike Jr., will also join the show daily from 6 to 7 a.m.
“The last year and a half has been somewhat interesting if not eyebrow-raising as well,” Golic said during the tense announcement of his split with Greenberg last month. “For me, it’s not my story to tell. I’m going to continue doing this exact same show. It’s for others to tell who made this decision if they want to tell it and how they want to tell it.”
Greeny & Golic address the future of Mike & Mike pic.twitter.com/86JfHwBS2C
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) May 17, 2017