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Radio Row: Lammey gets Les Shapiro’s seat at the adults table plus the mysterious disappearance of Tom Nalen from 102.3 ESPN

Colin D. | July 29, 2014

“Lammey says he looks forward to having a “bigger footprint”. Having toiled in podcasting and radio for the better part of a decade Lammey feels that a two-hour daily radio show is a just reward.”

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Radio Row” Lammey gets Les Shapiro’s seat at the adults table plus the mysterious disappearance of Tom Nalen from 102.3 ESPN

Several years ago a popular afternoon sports radio talk show host came on the South Stands Denver Fancast and said some pretty nasty things about Les Shapiro. The following day Shapiro blocked me on Twitter but not before telling me that we South Standers will “never sit at the adults table”. Well, guess who’s not sitting at the table at all anymore?

Les Shapiro’s pre-drive afternoon show on 102.3 / 105.5 ESPN has been cancelled. He and his co-host Charles “CJ” Johnson did not get their contracts renewed by the station. The “CJ and Les” show ran from noon-three weekdays. It has been replaced by an extra hour of nationally syndicated programming in the form of the “the Herd” with Colin Cowherd and two hours of Ridin’ Shotgun with Cecil Lammey.

It’s about time.

Lammey has been waiting his turn ever since 102.3 FM switched formats from “Live and Local” to carrying ESPN programming. Lammey had a regular afternoon gig prior to the switch but has been used as a sub, an “NFL insider” and as a weekend host since. His “Gametime Decisions”, a fantastic Sunday morning fantasy football show was the only regular slot Cecil had in the station lineup. His fans clamored for “more Cecil” via Twitter and the station, owned by Tom “Lou from Littleton” Manoogian, Doug “Dealin’ Doug”  Moreland and a handful of investors, apparently listened.

In a telephone interview Cecil Lammey told me that he was both humbled and inspired by the fan support that lead to his returning to daily sports talk radio. “My fanbase follows me wherever I go.”, he said. He also said that Les Shapiro was a “true professional” when he got the news that Cecil would be replacing him. “He sought me out and shook my hand”, Lammey told me, “He was a true gentleman about handing me the baton.”

Lammey says he looks forward to having a “bigger footprint”. Having toiled in podcasting and radio for the better part of a decade Lammey feels that a two-hour daily radio show is a just reward. “This is what I need to be doing,”, he said adding “my ultimate goal is to get to Bristol.” Bristol; Connecticut, of course, is where the headquarters of ESPN are. Lammey’s goal is to report the NFL for the “four letter network” with his friends and colleagues Adam Schefter and Mark Schlereth.

Meanwhile, Tom Nalen, the Broncos Ring-of-Famer, who had been paired with Nate Kreckman in 102.3 / 105.5 ESPN’s drive time slot (3PM to 6PM) has mysteriously disappeared from the airwaves. Why did Nalen suddenly stop doing radio? The best answer I have gotten is “it’s complicated”. My guess? Somebody might have tried to reel him in verbally (Nalen was no-holds-barred) or the station tried to lowball him on his contract. Either way, Denver lost a gem of a host when Nalen left the station. His commentary was unfettered, unedited, real-deal stuff and his cohesion with Kreckman was clear to anyone who listened. The two had fun doing radio together and that made listening fun.

Kreckman is flying solo in drive time – for now anyway. As always, the radio world is the furthest thing from static. If you aren’t happy with the shows as they are programmed just wait. It’s all going to change.

 

Written by Colin D.

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