ESPN took a lot of heat for its recent decision to put an end to the 18-year run of the Mike & Mike show later this year.
But as it turns out, they may not have had much choice. The relationship between the longtime ESPN Radio duo has “turned icy” according to a new report from Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.
In the revealing report, Deitsch cites several inside sources on the show that say Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg are “not talking to each other off the set—and hardly at all before the show or during commercial breaks.” His sources predict the show will come to its conclusion prior to the expected split by the end of 2017.
“It’s really a poisonous atmosphere right now,” said one longtime ESPNer who has worked on the show. “Most of us don’t see the show lasting through its contractual end [which is believed to be the end of December]. But I give both these guys immense credit because when the light comes on, you would not know what’s going on. They are pros on air.”
If this report, which cites at least three anonymous ESPN employees, is true, the pair has done a remarkable job of keeping the tension off the set. Deitsch reports that the rift extends back to last year, and that it may involve a plan revealed in 2015 to move the show to New York City.
Both Golic and Greenberg are slated to remain with the Worldwide Leader following the conclusion of their morning show that began airing on ESPN Radio in 2000.
Greenberg will host a morning show from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. beginning on Jan. 1, 2018. Per ESPN, the weekday program will originate from a studio in Manhattan and will air live from 7-10 a.m. ET on ESPN, re-airing each day at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
Meanwhile, Golic will team up with Trey Wingo on a morning show of his own.
“One of the many benefits of working at ESPN is that change and evolution are in our DNA,” said Greenberg via ESPN release following the announcement of his new show. “My run with Golic has been an incredible experience that I’ll always treasure, but having the chance to engage multiple voices every morning in a dialogue on each day’s sports stories will be a great new challenge.”