Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Artie Lange is closing a deal to make his return to radio. Lange is teaming with fellow stand-up comic Nick DiPaolo for The Nick and Artie Show, a sports-themed talk show that will broadcast weeknights from 10 PM-1 AM East Coast time. The plan is to launch October 3, and it will also be taped for broadcast on DirecTV later on. They hope to roll out cross-country, and will start in between 20 and 30 markets. Their deals are worth high six-figures. It’s a three-year commitment and the total value of the deal is in excess of $3 million, I’m told.

Lange returns to the airwaves in regular rotation for the first time since he left under tragic circumstances. Lange replaced Jackie Martling as writer and on-air sidekick to Howard Stern, and his blue-collar sensibility and quick wit made him a popular part of the show. But he also spoke openly about his problems with depression, and vices like substance abuse and gambling, and it was clear these were taking a toll on him as he mixed the early-morning radio gig with weekend stand-up appearances. His Stern run ended when he attempted suicide in 2010. Lange resurfaced slowly on the stand-up comedy circuit, and he comes back to the radio almost two years later, healthy and with his life back on track, I’m told. DiPaolo is a longtime Lange pal — they came up together on the stand-up comedy circuit — and DiPaolo has also done hosting stints on Stern’s Sirius XM Satellite Radio channels. The new show won’t be on Sirius XM; it will be syndicated on terrestrial radio.

Lange and DiPaolo tested out their radio chemistry when they subbed for Tony Bruno on Fox Sports Radio earlier this year, and it was no secret they were looking for a deal. The show won’t be syndicated by Fox, though, but they are close to finalizing with another company.

The show will be national in scope and take a hard-core fan’s perspective. The hosts were bred to disagree. Lange grew up in New Jersey with an affinity for New York teams while DiPaolo grew up in the Boston area as a fan of the New England teams. Best for Lange, his new gig means he can wax on about his beloved New York Yankees and other sports without having to bear Stern as he veered the conversation into his favorite TV competitions, Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. Lange and DiPaolo’s deals are being finalized by Tony Burton of Don Buchwald & Associates; Lange is managed by 3 Arts and DiPaolo by New Wave Entertainment.

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