Is Barstool Radio worth a Sirius XM subscription? We listened to find out
Barstool Sports, a newspaper-turned-blog-turned-multimedia powerhouse, has reached yet another milestone in their journey to the moon. They have officially launched their own Sirius XM channel.
I spent my day snowed in at my office, listening to the entire opening day lineup of Barstool Radio. Featuring a handful of new shows, the Power 85 offering had a familiar feel with a fresh coat of paint.
Festivities kicked off at 7am with their morning drive-time show called Barstool Breakfast. This key time slot is hosted by Julie Stewart-Binks (ESPN), former NFL player Willie Colon (New York Jets, Pittsburg Steelers) and Barstool's own Francis Ellis. It seems clear they wanted some star power with JSB and Willie, mixed with the Barstool vibes of Francis. The combo worked well.
Francis is one of the more underrated staffers at Barstool, a well-rounded talent whose humor is as quick as it is dry. I'm partial to that sort of comedy, especially in my morning shows, i.e. Bax & O'Brien out of Springfield.
Julie and Willie provided a solid range of personalities and all parties shined during the interview segments. Impressive, considering the bull-headed crop of guests that included Mike Francesca and Piers Morgan reminded me of Jimmy Fallon kicking things off with Robert De Niro.
I switched over to Jim and Sam for an hour while a repeat of the KFC Radio podcast aired on the channel, but I returned in time for Pat McAfee's show from 10 to noon.
The next three hours were spent in Indianapolis at the Barstool Heartland headquarters. After retiring with the NFL, McAfee took on a major role with Barstool Sports, much to the criticism of major sports media. With each new move, it's starting to look smarter.
I wasn't very familiar with the Indy offerings before today, but I was impressed with the product. High energy, good calls, exactly what I needed to get me through my midday slump.
Starring Ria and Fran, "Chicks In The Office" debuted at 1pm to mixed results. Granted, I may not be the target audience for the show, but from a production standpoint, it could use some work. Somewhat expected when attempting to transition from 2-minute video segments to an hour-long radio show.
There were some more podcast replays from 2pm to 4pm and then the heavy hitters dropped. The closest thing to the old “Barstool Radio” show now airs at 4pm. El Pres, KFC and the newly added Liz Gonzalez round out the primetime drive slot and it's exactly what listeners fell in love with on Rush 93. I still miss Fran as the third voice, but what are you going to do.
Finally, the day wraps with "The Evening Yak," an hour long show with three of Barstool's biggest personalities. Big Cat, Rone & Carrabis focus heavily on sports, ending with a gambling segment and recapping the big news of the day. So yes, one of these shows actually sticks to sports.
All in all, it was a solid launch day for the station. With additional shows on the way and even more rumored, there are bound to be changes coming soon. But if the right decisions are made, the future is looking bright for the Barstool gang. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a second channel at some point, i.e. Howard Stern.
Worth the price of admission for Sirius XM? Yes.