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ESPN Cancels SportsNation, Moves High Noon to 4pm

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ESPN is revamping its afternoon lineup on September 11. It directly effects 3 shows.

First, SportsNation will come to an end on August 24. The show, which has been on the air since 2009. When the show debuted it was hosted by Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle. The show’s most recent change happened in July when Marcellus Wiley left ESPN for a new role at FS1.

Current hosts Cari Champion and LZ Granderson will be retained by ESPN. Grandson will continue to host his radio show for ESPN 710 in LA. Champion will return to SportsCenter.

Despite the decision to cancel SportsNation, Norby Williamson, ESPN’s Executive Vice President of Production and Executive Editor, had nothing but kind words to say about the cast and crew that has worked on the show during its ten-year run.

SportsNation has been a staple of our afternoon lineup for years and while we felt it was time for a change, the collection of talented, creative people and content associated with that show has been extremely impressive and groundbreaking in many ways.

SportsCenter Coast to Coast will return to the ESPN lineup at noon. Champion will remain in Los Angeles. She will be joined by David Lloyd, who will broadcast from ESPN headquarters in Bristol. On Mondays during the football season, SportsCenter will expand to 90 minutes and give way to more NFL talk, as an hour-long edition of NFL Primetime will join the lineup.

Filling SportsNation‘s spot in the afternoon lineup will be High Noon featuring Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre. The show will be trimmed from its current hour-long format to a half-hour. Despite the time change, there is no plan to change the show’s name.

The new lineups are as follows

The ESPN weekday schedule (as of September 11):

Time (ET) Show
Noon-1 p.m. SportsCenter: Coast to Coast
1-1:30 p.m. Outside the Lines
1:30-3 p.m. NFL Live
3-4 p.m. The Jump
4-4:30 p.m. HIGH NOON
4:30-5 p.m. Highly Questionable
5-5:30 p.m. Around the Horn
5:30-6 p.m. PTI
6-7 p.m. SportsCenter

During football season only, the typical Monday ESPN schedule will be:

Time (ET) Show
Noon-1:30 p.m. SportsCenter
1:30-2:30 p.m. NFL Primetime
2:30-4 p.m. NFL Live
4-4:30 p.m. HIGH NOON
4:30-5 p.m. Highly Questionable
5-5:30 p.m. Around the Horn
5:30-6 p.m. PTI
6-8 p.m. Monday Night Countdown

 

 

Sports TV News

ESPN Could Still Land Some Big Ten Media Rights

“We’ll continue to be good partners with them in a slightly different way than we have.”

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ESPN, BIG TEN

The Big Ten announced the conference’s newest slate of media rights deals on Thursday. The conference confirmed it has partnered with NBC, CBS and FOX for the next seven years. The one glaring outsider is ESPN. However, even though the two may have parted ways after this current media rights deal has expired, there may still be a way to see Big Ten products on ESPN.

In an article from Pat Forde from Sports Illustrated, sources indicate to him the network may still be able to ink an agreement to carry Big Ten contests as a sublicensee. He notes the most likely sport that would happen in is men’s basketball.

“We have one more year with them,” Warren said of ESPN and the 2022–23 season. “They’re professionals, we’re professionals, and we’ve had a close relationship with them for a long time.”

“I don’t think we expect this will be the end of the relationship. We’ll continue to be good partners with them in a slightly different way than we have.”

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Sports TV News

Roxy Bernstein: ‘Bill Walton’s Persona Is An Entertaining Act’

“But Bill, I think this is good simulation for him.”

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One of the enduring broadcast themes of college basketball season is Bill Walton’s calling Pac-12 games and doing so with a but of an untethered flare. Roxy Bernstein, one of Walton’s broadcast partners, says it’s a deliberate attempt to be interesting.

“I think people see this caricature on television,” Bernstein said. “Let me clue you in on a secret and pull back the curtain here: it’s an act.”

Bernstein made these comments as a guest on Announcer Schedules the Podcast. He talked about Walton’s style being one that suits him to satisfy his own happiness.

“If he wanted to be a cookie-cutter analyst, he’s done that. He could do it,” commented Bernstein. “But Bill, I think this is good simulation for him. His ability to inform the audience and make it a well-rounded broadcast, to culture the audience so there’s just laser-focused in on this game.”

Bernstein also noted that when you see Walton and his play-by-play partner for the first time on television, it’s often the first time they are speaking to each other.

“He never opens the door to what is going to happen that night,” said Bernstein. “Essentially the first conversation of that day that we are having is, ‘Hi, welcome to Pauley Pavilion. Along with the Hall of Famer Bill Walton, I’m Roxy Bernstein’. That’s the first time we are really talking all day.”

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Sports TV News

Michael Grady Named Play-By-Play Announcer of the Minnesota Timberwolves

“Today is a thrilling day for myself and my family as this has been my lifelong dream to be an NBA play-by-play announcer,” said Grady.

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Michael Grady

The Minnesota Timberwolves, in partnership with Bally Sports North, named Michael Grady as their new television play-by-play announcer.

Grady, 39, will partner with color analyst Jim Petersen.

“Michael’s extensive knowledge of the game and his genuine on-air style make him the perfect fit for this role,” said Timberwolves & Lynx Chief Executive Officer Ethan Casson. “As Michael returns to his Midwest roots, we couldn’t be more excited to have his voice on the call for Timberwolves games for seasons to come.”

Grady spent the last six years with the YES Network as the Brooklyn Nets courtside reporter. He does have previous NBA television play-by-play experience including work with the New York Liberty, Turner Sports, NBATV and the 2022 WNBA Commissioners Cup. He also sas called play-by-play for college basketball and college football games for CBS.

“Today is a thrilling day for myself and my family as this has been my lifelong dream to be an NBA play-by-play announcer,” said Grady. “I can’t wait to join Jim Petersen and the rest of the Bally Sports North crew calling games for this exciting franchise. I also look forward to interacting with our phenomenal Timberwolves fans and partners in the community to continue to tell the stories of this great basketball state.”

“Michael’s unique background and basketball acumen will serve him well in his new role,” said Executive Producer for Bally Sports North Tony Tortorici. “Fans will enjoy his smooth delivery for this exciting new era of Timberwolves basketball and he will be a great compliment to longtime Timberwolves analyst Jim Petersen.”

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