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Michelle Beadle: ‘What I Accomplished Made It Easy To Leave ESPN’

“It was my dream job for a while and I did it. It was good. I know we did a good show and I rest thinking that.”

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Some people never get the chance to get multiple goodbyes at the same place of employment. However, Michelle Beadle worked for ESPN on two different occasions. Her most recent stint ended when she decided to leave in 2019. 

This week, Beadle was a guest on The Ariel Helwani Show to talk about her time at ESPN, working for the San Antonio Spurs, and starting her own podcast at The Athletic called What Did I Miss? After her time at ESPN ended, Beadle did think for a time that she might not ever go back to working in the media.

“The thing that sort of stopped that I guess was I didn’t have a plan B. In fairness, I never had a plan A. I was like, well what will I do? I came back to Texas and was like I could drive Uber, I could wait tables again. Nothing sounded fun and I think that’s what it was.”

While Michelle Beadle said she would have been devastated in the past about leaving ESPN, she says she was at peace with the decision when she made it two years ago.

“I think because I did what I did and I reached what I wanted to reach and I was financially good, I think all of that combined really let me relax because I had worked so hard for so many years…I had never really taken a ‘break break’ from it. I didn’t care if I was seen again because it was on my own terms. Had I been fired or had it been just a little bit different of an ending, maybe I would have been a little more angry or a little more feeling I have to get out there.

“It was like a breakup. When you break up, you walk away cool. You have a clean conscience, you’re like I did what I did, said what I said. It was my dream job for a while and I did it. It was good. I know we did a good show and I rest thinking that. It was almost the best-case scenario for leaving something like that rather than jumping back into something that you didn’t want to do.” 

One of the things that Beadle did at ESPN in her second act there was be a part of Get Up. It is a decision that she does not regret. However, she told Helwani she did not like the way the show was changing: 

“No. That decision was good for my bank account. What we signed up to do under John Skipper was very much a show we all wanted to do. People leave, things get changed, other people come in and it becomes something else so that’s ok.” 

She did not like that Get Up was turning into every other show and she mentioned that since she was hosting NBA Countdown, it was easier for her to leave Get Up. That, unfortunately, meant leaving Mike Greenburg, who Michelle Beadle clearly enjoyed being around.

“Greeny is a lovely man. Our personalities could not be more different. I am obnoxious and loud. He is not. He is a dream for hosting television because he doesn’t get you in trouble, he is not going to say anything controversial even though I never thought I said anything controversial. He’s a good person.”

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Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII

“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”

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The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.

Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.

Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.

Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.

Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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