Morning local sports radio is about to get very entertaining.
When the new morning-drive show debuts on Sept. 8 on WDNC (AM 620, 96.5 FM in Durham, 99.3 FM in Raleigh; Buzz Sports Radio), not only will it have the smart and witty Lauren Brownlow as Mike Maniscalco’s new co-host, but its executive producer – and third voice on the show – will be Demetri Ravanos.
The show will debut with a different name that originally announced and it will be an hour longer: It will now be called “The Morning Show with Mike, Lauren and Demetri,” and will now air from 6–10 a.m.
Chris Morris, who has been the producer, will do updates on the show, as well as during WCMC‘s (99.9 The Fan) broadcast of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike.”
After the “Morning Show,” the station will pick up “The Dan Patrick Show” from 10 a.m.–noon, followed by the Fox version of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from noon–3 p.m. and “The Jim Rome Show” from 3–6 p.m.
“I think that the Triangle is going to get a very entertaining and hyper-local sports show, that brings three dynamic and diverse people into the same room for four hours a day,” Dennis Glasgow, operations manager and program director CBC’s sports radio station, said of the “Morning Show.”
The morning-drive show already promised to be a fun show for listeners. But the addition of the funny and lively Ravanos should increase the fun factor.
“I’m looking forward to it. I get to work with two talented people,” said Maniscalco, who has always brought strong sports knowledge, energy and humor to the show. “And I am excited for the new show and what we can do together.”
Ravanos, whose frequently writes movie reviews for Raleigh & Company and can be heard on the “Rock n’ Roll Karate Sex Dragons” and “Spooning with Demitri” podcasts, will continue as the afternoon-drive host from 3–7 p.m. weekdays for WBBB-FM (Radio 96.1) until Sept. 4. He started that job in April.
“I’m thrilled and excited for the opportunity,” Brownlow said. “Every day I’ve filled in with Mike in the past has been fun, and I couldn’t be happier to do it full time. Demetri’s creativity and energy will complement us very well. The three of us look forward to bringing the area a brand new show that we hope becomes must-listen radio.”
The WDNC morning show has featured various substitute co-host since Mark Thomas left the air after his last show July 24. All of last week, the crew from the Saturday morning WDNC show “The Sports Shop” hosted the show while Maniscalco was on vacation.
“Mark and Mike were a sports talk morning show,” said Ravanos, who added that “The Morning Show” will be “a morning show that talks sports.
“The fact that Lauren and I are there obviously makes it a lot different because Lauren brings a more neutral perspective than Mark could, and I’m just a fan that happens to be funnier than the average guy,” Ravanos said. “I think the idea is that we know our stuff, but our first goal is to entertain. As a listener, Mike & Mark sometimes sounded too much like Mike & Mike. That’s not going to be the case with us.”
Maniscalco said the approach will be different than the old show.
“There will be a faster pace and you’ll notice more emphasis on pop-culture topics,” Maniscalco said.
Brownlow agreed that there will be more pop-culture references, adding that, “it will be hyper-local in terms of sports especially, though. Of course we’ll talk bigger national news,” Brownlow said.
As with “The World’s Strongest Morning Show” (the name of the show when Thomas was co-host), “The Morning Show” will air opposite “Mike & Mike” (which airs from 6–10 a.m. weekdays on WCMC). Mike Greenberg doesn’t hide his love for the New York Jets on that show, and Brownlow won’t be hiding her NFL fandom.
“My love of the Panthers, and perhaps even my alternate persona (and Twitter account) Sad Panthers Fan, will make an appearance,” said Brownlow, who will continue doing her GIF-filled weekend preview stories on WRALSportsfan.com and do other writing for the site.
When WBBB-FM was branded as 96 Rock, Ravanos co-hosted a morning-drive show from November 2005–June 2011 called “Salt & Demitri The Greek” with Ryan “Salt” MacMillan.
MacMillan, now is at WBMX in Boston, worked with Maniscalco at WRNL (now branded Fox Sports 910) in Richmond, Va., from 2003–05. When the opening came up, MacMillan contacted Maniscalco and mentioned that Ravanos would be a great addition to the show.
Although the “Salt and Demitri The Greek” program wasn’t a sports show, they talked a good bit of sports and had former Triangle host Taylor Zarzour as a third voice, doing sports updates. Last year, Ravanos did a weekly college football show on WOIC in Columbia, S.C.
A University of Alabama graduate and Crimson Tide fan, Ravanos came to the area after working at WBPT in Birmingham, Ala., as a 7 p.m. –midnight host from October 2003-May 2005.
Ravanos also has worked for Good Parts Media out of Chicago, was the morning-drive host on Talk Radio 850 (WPTF) in the summer of 2012 and filled in for Doug Kellett many times on the same station before Kellett’s show was discontinued in July.
STORY UPDATED AUG. 28 TO REFECT CHANGE OF SHOW NAME, SHOW HOURS AND THE START DATE AND SEPT. 3 TO REFLECT THE CHANGES IN THE SYNDICATED SHOWS.