Former ESPN Radio co-hosts Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo will recreate the tremendous chemistry they enjoyed with lively sports conversation in a new podcast, SVP & Russillo. The one-hour offering will debut June 3. After three monthly editions, in September the show will become bi-weekly. Their former ESPN Radio show was heard for six years weekday afternoons until mid-2015.
“We just figured, if we are going to talk on the phone for 45 minutes, we might as well record it and make it a podcast,” said Van Pelt. “We enjoyed our time together on radio, and it’s amazing the loyalty and appetite our listeners still have for us. I couldn’t be more fired up.”
Russillo added, “It’s been a few years since we stopped doing the show and I’ve always been amazed how many times people come up to me and say how much they still miss it. It was a daily part of people’s lives. Even people at ESPN who have different roles and positions today say how much they loved the show. We both knew we would do something again. I’m just happy it’s still with ESPN.”
Tom Ricks, ESPN vice president, digital strategy and marketing within ESPN Audio, said, “We’ve been looking to reignite the chemistry and fun Scott and Ryen had when on radio together. They are smart and entertaining and resonated with a loyal fan base who will enjoy them in the format of a podcast.”
Van Pelt, who joined ESPN as a golf reporter in 2001 has hosted his own, personalized edition of SportsCenter at midnight since September 2015, bringing his unique perspective to the venerable show. The program showcases Van Pelt’s passion for sports, with his self-deprecating wit and disposition toward celebrating stars and storylines. Van Pelt’s radio involvement dates from July 2009 when The Scott Van Pelt Show made its debut on ESPN Radio and in a simulcast on ESPN2. Russillo was serving as co-host, and the show was re-named SVP & Russillo in October 2012. It ended in the summer of 2015 when Van Pelt was preparing for the launch of the new midnight SportsCenter.
Russillo, who joined ESPN Audio in 2006, was first heard on a variety of radio shows and formats including talk shows, college football’s College GameDay on Radio and the NFL Draft. After Van Pelt left for SportsCenter, Russillo continued to host the show through December 2017. As of January 2018 he hosts a weekly podcast, The Russillo Show. He also appears regularly on SportsCenter and Get Up! to discuss the NBA.
ESPN Audio launched its first podcast in 2005 and is a leader in the sports genre with more than 35 original offerings, plus shows from ESPN Radio and television. Offerings focus on “sports passions” (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.), storytelling (“30 for 30”) and compelling personalities. The most popular titles include Fantasy Focus Football, The Lowe Post as well as podcasts of ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, and TV’s First Take, Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn. In 2018, ESPN’s podcast business broke its record for most downloads in a month three times; total downloads were up 43%. They are available via the ESPN App, Apple Podcasts, and most other places podcasts are found.