Mina Kimes’ meteoric rise at ESPN will continue as she is expected to be named lead host of ESPN’s first daily morning podcast, sources said.
The ESPN Daily is expected to be formally launched in mid-October. ESPN is holding off Kimes’ announcement until right before the podcast goes live, said sources.
Since joining the company from Bloomberg in May 2014, Kimes has been featured across a growing number of ESPN shows and platforms.
She launched her own NFL-focused podcast, guest-starred on studio shows such as Dan Le Batard’s Highly Questionable, First Take, Around the Horn and E:60 and written multiple features for ESPN The Magazine on athletes like Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and gold medalist/activist Aly Raisman.
This season, she even went into the NFL broadcast booth to call a preseason Los Angeles Rams game. Kimes signed a multi-year contract extension with ESPN in September 2018.
ESPN declined to comment on Kimes, who currently serves as senior writer.
But one source said: “Mina makes a lot of sense. She’s a true journalist, she’ll ask good questions, she’s an experienced podcaster and she’s based in Los Angeles. So she’ll get good live guests.”
ESPN has previously said the podcast will be published Monday-Friday. The pod will feature a variety of journalists, producers, and commentators, according to ESPN.
“The ESPN Daily is going to be appointment listening for anyone interested in the world of sports,” said Andy Tennant, executive producer of Outside the Lines and E:60 who will direct the team producing the podcast, in a statement. “The show will be unlike anything now available in sports, anywhere, with stories, interviews, and analysis that only ESPN can provide.”
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Every weekday, the podcast will “take a deep dive into a specific event or issue in sports,” promised Tennant.
Ben Strauss of The Washington Post first reported Kimes was one of five internal candidates under consideration for the role.
During an interview, Executive Vice President Norby Williamson said the new podcast would likely run 18-25 minutes and be similar in some ways to the popular New York Times podcast, The Daily.
ESPN is attempting to reach a younger audience with its podcasts and studio shows.
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Most of the growth in podcasting comes from Americans aged 12-24 years old, according to Edison Research’s The Podcast Consumer 2019.
The podcast industry generated $480 million in revenue in 2018, up 53% from the year before, according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Advertising revenue is expected to surpass $1 billion by 2021.