With the playoffs looming, ESPN is making a change to its NBA shows, with Michelle Beadle replacing Sage Steele as the host of “NBA Countdown” on ABC and ESPN.
Beadle will host the pregame and halftime shows on ABC and will also host the ESPN and ABC studio shows throughout the playoffs, the company announced Tuesday. She will continue co-hosting “SportsNation” Monday through Friday as well. Beadle joined “NBA Countdown” at the start of this season, hosting on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Steele will continue to appear on “SportsCenter on the Road,” as the company announced last fall, and will have what the company said in October would be an expanded on-site presence at events such as the Masters, World Series, Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff, and College Football National Championship.
Steele was drawn into the national anthem controversy last fall and found herself embroiled in controversy at the end of January when she complained about missing a flight because of the airport chaos and confusion that resulted in the first moments after President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Steele posted a photo of protests at Los Angeles International Airport on Instagram and wrote that while she’s all for the peaceful protesters she’s saddened “to see the joy on their faces knowing that they were successful in disrupting so many people’s travel plans.”
Changes aren’t restricted to the NBA shows, either. The network has revamped its NFL shows in the wake of Chris Berman’s departure, most recently adding Rex Ryan to “Sunday NFL Countdown.” Samantha Ponder, who has had a major role as ESPN’s top college football sideline reporter and co-host of “College GameDay” since 2012, will become the host of “Sunday NFL Countdown.” Suzy Kolber, who has been at ESPN since 1993 and has been a mainstay on its NFL offerings for years, will take over as the lone host of the “Monday Night Countdown” preview show after splitting hosting duties with Berman since 2015. Trey Wingo will take over all three days of the NFL draft while continuing to host “NFL Live,” ESPN’s daily show.
And there are expected to be further changes, with Mike Greenberg reportedly leaving his “Mike & Mike” radio show for a 7-10 a.m. morning gig on TV. He all but confirmed that something was up in a recent interview with the Sporting News.
“I’ve seen a lot of the stuff that’s been written about it. The truth is, it’s all true,” he said. “It’s all true that that is exactly what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the possibility of breaking Mike and me up after all these years.
“But as I’ve said to many people, and I know a lot of people don’t believe me, it’s premature. There’s a million decisions that have to be made yet. I have to make a bunch of them, Mike has to make a bunch of them and the company has to make a bunch of them.”
Evidently, it is.