If the late sportscaster George Michael was alive today, I’m sure he would be proud.
ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak is about to get somewhat of a promotion. She has been hosting “SportsCenter” since she joined the Worldwide Leader last year, usually in the late morning hours or on weekends. But The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre is hearing that she will be named the new host of the widely-watched 6 PM Eastern edition of “SportsCenter”.
The move comes as ESPN anchor Steve Berthiaume has agreed to be the new play-by-play announcer for Arizona Diamondbacks television broadcasts. Interestingly, his wife is also an ESPN anchor – and indeed, Cindy Brunson is standing by her man and departing the network with him.
I say the 6 PM edition of “SportsCenter” is “widely watched” (it follows “Pardon the Interruption” with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon) with sort of an asterisk: as McIntyre points out, ESPN’s popular sports highlights and discussion program is suffering from “sagging ratings” across the board, and so a rearranging of the anchor chairs appears to be the plan at Bristol.
Czarniak began her professional career in the news business, working at stations in Miami and Jacksonville; she was also a production assistant at CNN. But in 2005, when she joined WRC-TV in Washington, Michael, the station’s sports anchor, offered her a job on his syndicated “George Michael Sports Machine” program. The two co-hosted the show for what would be the final two seasons of production, as Michael left the station at the end of 2007 (he passed away on Christmas Eve 2009). She would continue working at WRC-TV until last year. Czarniak also worked NASCAR pre-race coverage on TNT, and for a short time, even worked at SPEED (which Fox is transforming into a competitor of Czarniak’s employer very soon).
So it looks like you’ll have to get used to two female anchors named Lindsay (NFL Network’s Rhodes) co-hosting early evening sports news programs.