Two of the biggest names in Pittsburgh radio will be added full time to the talent base at 1250 ESPN as the all-sports station fills out its afternoon drive-time slot and revamps its midday show.
Station general manager Mike Thompson had promised some surprises and delivered them.
Scott Paulsen, who made his name in town as one of the hosts of the top-rated WDVE "Morning Show," will be part of a three-man team that will fill the 3-7 p.m. slot that was made vacant in May when Mark Madden was fired.
Paulsen will be joined on the show by Eddy Crow, who previously was heard from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the "Junker and Crow Show," and former Steelers defensive back Mike Logan.
Crow's departure from the midday show opens a spot that will be filled by Stan Savran, long a staple of Pittsburgh talk radio and better known for his "Savran on Sportsbeat" show on FSN Pittsburgh.
The move will reunite Savran with Guy Junker. The two were long-time co-hosts of "Sports Beat" on FSN.
The new shows are expected to go on the air Monday. Contracts still must be finalized but that is expected to be little more than a formality.
Savran had been working part-time at 1250 ESPN, mostly filling in for Junker or Crow. He has not had a full-time talk-radio show since he was fired, in what was partially, at least, an economy move, at Fox Sports Radio 970. Savran had a long-running talk show on WTAE-Radio, the forerunner to 1250 ESPN, beginning in the early 1980s.
That show will reunite Paulsen and Crow, who once did the sports on the "Morning Show." Logan, a graduate of McKeesport High School who played football at West Virginia, has little radio experience but apparently impressed station management with the once-a-week hourly show he did last season with Madden.
"Junker and Crow" had been a rating success in its time slot. The addition of Savran, one of the best-known sports voices in the region, should not affect that and could help.
The greater concern of station management will be the ratings in the crucial 3-7 p.m. slot, which help drive advertising rates. Madden dominated sport-talk ratings in the young male demographic such stations seek during the first three hours of his show.
Paulsen, who left the "Morning Show" of his own choosing in 1999, briefly did a late-afternoon, sports-oriented show on Fox Sports Radio 970 in 2001 and also had a show last year on WTZN, which was cancelled when the station changed its format. More recently he has been working part-time at KDKA-Radio.
Bob Smizik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org