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Beadle Not Likely To Be Reassigned By ESPN

“Rachel Nichols will take over for Beadle on Countdown, with Maria Taylor filling in when she can.”

Jack Ferris

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Last week news broke that Michelle Beadle would not be returning to ESPN’s NBA Countdown this year, adding another chapter to an already complicated relationship between the network and its one-time star.

Rachel Nichols will take over for Beadle on Countdown, with Maria Taylor filling in when she can.

At the start of the decade, Beadle was one of the rising stars of the industry.  The San Antonio native came up through the ranks via the YES Network covering the Nets before showcasing her personality on the Michael Kay Show for ESPN New York.  She emerged on the national scene when she teamed up with Colin Cowherd on SportsNation in 2009, a pivotal program for ESPN at the time due to it’s embrace of social media interaction and trending viral videos – sports related or otherwise. 

In 2012, Beadle left ESPN to work for NBC covering sports and appearing regularly on Access Hollywood.  It was a marriage that didn’t last long.  
Less than two years after her departure, John Skipper welcomed Beadle back to ESPN with a contract worth $5 million annually.

From here, as outlined in a recent New York Post article by Andrew Marchand, things get interesting.  It’s not clear how both sides landed on the $5 million number, as Beadle was just let out of her NBC contract and it didn’t seem like any other outlets were bidding on her services.  Either way, it appeared Beadle was a favorite of Skipper and she had a home with the company as long as he was in charge.  Beadle went back to SportsNation duties, helped out with NBA studio coverage and eventually launched Beadlemania – a podcast under the Grantland umbrella.  

Beadle’s role with ESPN became increasingly ambiguous as soon as Skipper resigned in 2017.  She was lured to New York to help launch Get Up! in early 2018 but was moved off the show relatively quickly after saying on air that she was no longer going to watch NFL games.  She’s been a mainstay on NBA Countdown since 2016, and now with that show in her rear view mirror, it’s not likely Beadle will find another landing spot with ESPN, a company that still owes her $5 million for the next 1-2 years.

Marchand goes on to speculate Jimmy Pitaro made the move as part of his larger vision for ESPN; to get the network back to 24/7 news and information with less “Skipper All-Stars” driving content themselves.

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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