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ESPN Announces a Few Programming Changes

In November, it was reported ESPN’s Cari Champion could replace Michelle Beadle on SportsNation once Beadle joins Jalen Rose and Mike Greenberg as co-host of the network’s new morning show Get Up. This week, ESPN confirmed Champion’s new role will be on SportsNation.

Champion will debut on SportsNation beginning March 12th, with her co-hosts Marcellus Wiley and LZ Granderson. Labeled as a fun, energetic show discussing unique sports topics, the program will continue to broadcast 30 minute episodes, weekdays at 4pm ET from the Los Angeles Production Center.

Champion originally joined ESPN in 2012 as host of First Take with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. In July 2015, Champion became a SportsCenter anchor and began on SportsCenter Coast-to-Coast in February 2016. After shuffling their weekday television lineup at the start of 2018, ESPN decided not to retain SportsCenter Coast-to-Coast.

SportsNation is a brand the company cares for deeply, and I’m excited to join a well-regarded show and also show another side of me,” said Champion. “As the only woman on the show, I’ve already let the guys know I’m going to bring the heat. This is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to the support from all involved! Teamwork makes the…you get the point.  Cheers!”

The former SportsNation host, Michelle Beadle, will debut with co-hosts Jalen Rose and Mike Greenberg on their ESPN morning show, Get Up, from the network’s new studio in New York on April 2nd. Beadle and Rose will remain on NBA Countdown, which The Big Lead reports will move from Los Angeles to Bristol immediately.

With Rose and Beadle needing to be in New York for Get UpCountdown naturally could not remain in Los Angeles. Countdown will broadcast from Bristol and be moved to New York as soon as the new studio is ready within the next few weeks.

The Big Lead reported further changes for ESPN, with The Jump expanding to a one hour show weekdays at 3pm ET. Hosted by Rachel Nichols, The Jump follows the NBA with a rotating cast of analysts and insiders.

According to the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and John Lombardo, the NBA is experiencing large rating’s increases locally and nationally. That information, paired with The Jump drawing 603,000 viewers during its three-hour trade deadline special, up 31% from last year’s show, makes it a wise decision to expand the program to a full hour.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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