“SportsNation” is about to get a lot less perky.
That’s because Michelle Beadle, who has been co-host of the program since its inception in the summer of 2009, is reportedly leaving ESPN for NBC.
According to SportsByBrooks.com, Beadle’s tasks at the peacock network will include covering this year’s Olympics, as well as appear on the network’s “Today Show,” with the possibility of “eventually” co-hosting “Access Hollywood,” the nightly television program distributed by NBC Universal, and airing on NBC’s owned-and-operated stations across the country.
Shortly after Sports By Brooks broke the news, an ESPN spokesman claims the Worldwide Leader is “in talks with Michelle,” likely making an effort to retain her services and perhaps match any offer sheet NBC has.
Since joining ESPN in June 2009, Beadle’s other roles included serving as co-host of “ESPN Sports Saturday” on ABC alongside resident NFL analyst Marcellus Wiley, and contributing to the afternoon drive radio show hosted by New York Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay on ESPN’s radio outlet in New York City.
Meanwhile, CBS auto racing analyst Pete Pistone speculates that with Beadle on board, NBC “will be a NASCAR player.” That is, of course, contingent on one of NASCAR’s current broadcast partners on the brink of losing their rights because they’re “not a better partner.”
One thing is for certain: Michelle Beadle is the 2012 version of Tiki Barber, in that NBC hired the former Giants running back for similar duties upon his retirement from the NFL. Barber, of course, fizzled out.
In Michelle Beadle, NBC now has a chance to redeem themselves from the Tiki Barber disaster. Big-time.
UPDATE: Michelle Beadle is officially an NBC Universal employee as of May 21. Listen to her first interview since making the transition from the Worldwide Leader to the Peacock.