Debut of “First Take, Her Take” Leads New Developments for ESPN Podcasts in 2021

The debut of First Take, Her Take leads new developments for ESPN podcasts this year, with Jalen & Jacoby, and First Draft with Kiper and McShay returning to the lineup.

What’s Happening:

  • On Wednesday, January 20, ESPN Podcasts will debut a new weekly offering, First Take, Her Take, with format similar to ESPN TV’s weekday morning discussion show, First Take.  The new podcast will feature three prominent women in sports – ESPN’s Charly Arnolt, Kimberley A. Martin and Chiney Ogwumike – discussing the biggest sports stories but also providing insight into their unique backgrounds and personalities as they delve into other topics about their lives and culture.
  • Arnolt, who first gained attention for her role as Charly Caruso on WWE telecasts after stints in local television in her hometown of Indianapolis and Kansas City, hosts select editions of First Take. She graduated summa cum laude in broadcast journalism from American University.
  • Martin joined ESPN last March as a year-round NFL reporter after nearly a decade covering the league for Yahoo, Washington Post, Buffalo News and Newsday. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she earned her master’s degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse.
  • Ogwumike, an active WNBA player for the Los Angeles Sparks and a former No. 1 overall draft pick out of Stanford, originally joined ESPN as a studio commentator in 2017. In addition to regular appearances on The Jump and SportsCenter as an NBA analyst, in August 2020, she began hosting Chiney and Golic Jr., becoming the first Black woman to host a national, daily sports-talk radio show. Ogwumike and co-host Mike Golic Jr. can be heard from 4 – 7 p.m. ET with a simulcast on ESPN+.
  • Jalen Rose and David Jacoby have returned to their podcast roots with the relaunch of Jalen & Jacoby as a twice-weekly offering. The show is in addition to the podcast version of their daily ESPN TV show.
  • In addition, First Draft with ESPN NFL Draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay has returned to the lineup with weekly editions leading to the NFL Draft on April 29 – May 1.  They will be joined by Fantasy Focus Football podcast host Field Yates.

What They’re Saying:

  • Pete Gianesini, senior director, digital audio programming: “We’re really excited to have Charly, Chiney, and Kimberley carry the First Take brand into our original podcast lineup, with their individual and shared perspectives joining an already strong roster of engaging female podcast hosts. The show furthers ESPN Audio’s efforts to diversify its voices and reach new audiences with compelling personalities and opinions.”
  • Charly Arnolt: “The First Take brand speaks for itself–and now to combine such a tried-and-true formula and give it a female twist is exactly what we need in 2021! Honored and pumped to be part of First Take, Her Take!
  • Kimberly A. Martin: “This isn’t a ‘three chicks talking sports’ gimmick. I love that our backgrounds are so different, and so are our areas of expertise. As a black woman with years of experience as a sports beat writer, feature writer and columnist, I’m thrilled to now have an opportunity to have conversations, share opinions and tell stories with smart, thoughtful women whom I respect. We’re going to laugh, argue — maybe spill some tea! — and have a lot fun with our listeners while doing it.”
  • Chiney Ogwumike: “First Take is one of the strongest brands in sports. I am thrilled to be a part of its evolution by teaming up with some baaaaaaad, boss women in the industry.”