The Lakers’ move to KSPN-AM (710) starting next season seems to be the push behind another lineup change at the ESPN Radio affiliate based across the street from Staples Center.
It’s for the better. Much better.
Vice president and general manager Chris Berry announced that, beginning Friday, Steve Mason and John Ireland will return to afternoon drive (3 to 7 p.m.), a spot they once occupied at the station until Nov, ’07, when management decided not to renew Ireland’s contract, move Mason solo to the middays and introduce Dave Dameshek, who has since been let loose under former station GM Bob Koontz.
The change of Mason-Ireland back to drive time — and up against KLAC’s Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith — is also to allow Mason to host a Laker pregame show starting in the fall.
Even more interesting, taking over from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is a shot-gun marriage between Mychal Thompson and Andrew Siciliano — the former Laker and current game analyst on radio, as well as the former Fox Sports Radio syndicated talk show host who have never worked together before.
“Like Mychal, Andrew has a long and solid career in radio and television broadcasting,” said Berry. “I am confident that the chemistry that I have already seen between these two professionals will resonate with our listeners.”
Said Siciliano, who had been filling in for the vacationing Jim Rome recently and still does the Fox Sports Net “Final Score” national highlight package and DirecTV’s “Red Zone” coverage during the NFL season: “I’m thrilled. It’s great to be back on the radio every day. Working with Mychal is going to be fantastic.
I can’t wait to get started.”
Sicilano and Thompson will be regular partners starting Monday, July 20, since Sicilano has a vacation planned.
Brian Long and Dave Denholm, who had been filling the drive-time shift the last few months, will be taking “additional responsibilities” on coverage of the Lakers and USC football, said Berry. Long is filling in for Siciliano all next week.
Rumors of a Mason-Ireland move back to drive-time had been fresh since last spring, but delays in getting it done seemed to fall within program director Larry Gifford, according to several sources. The change couldn’t take place until the Lakers finished their playoff run and Thompson’s time as the Lakers’ radio analyst on KLAC-AM ended a couple of weeks ago.