Co-host of SportsNation on ESPN, Michelle Beadle; and Sideline reporter Erin Andrews are up for contract renewal.
ESPN President John Skipper announced Tuesday in a press release that Michelle Beadle will no longer be with the network.
"Michelle did a great job. We love Michelle. We wish her well. We're sorry she's leaving," said Skipper about Beadle, who hosted the Disney-owned sports network's annual upfront presentation to advertisers last year. "We worked hard to try to keep her but she has some different aspirations." (Press release)
Beadle will be joining NBC to help cover the Olympics this year. In her absence ESPN has been actively looking for Beadle’s replacement, and plans to hire someone internally. "We have a deep bench," said Skipper.
The network has almost an unlimited supply of employees that provide all around sport coverage. With over 1,000 people that appear on-air, talk sports on the radio, or write about sports for ESPN The Magazine, they have no lack of talent on their roster.
"Getting excited about people leaving is very overrated -- whether it be executives or on-air. Mostly it gives somebody else a chance to shine. I can't think of a single instance where losing a talent has been significantly debilitating to a specific program. I don't think we've ever canceled a program because we couldn't find somebody to do it." Said skipper.
So its official Michelle Beadle is gone, but what about Erin Andrews?
The last time her contract was up, ESPN gave her even more responsibility than her single sideline roll. Will they do the same this time?
"We're in discussions with Erin. Erin does a great job for us. Our preference would be for her to stay." Said Skipper.
There are several others waiting to take Andrews spot, but it will ultimately come down to Erin’s decision to stay with the network or pursue other opportunities in entertainment television. There have been no reports at this time whether she plans to stay with ESPN.