Scott Van Pelt to bring unique voice to solo edition of SportsCenter

Bristol, CT - May 18, 2015 - Studio X: Scott Van Pelt on the set of SportsCenter (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

Bristol, CT – May 18, 2015 – Studio X: Scott Van Pelt on the set of SportsCenter
(Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

An excerpt from my latest column for Poynter:

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When ESPN approached Scott Van Pelt about going solo with the midnight (Eastern) edition of “SportsCenter,” he initially said no.

Van Pelt was the co-host of a popular midday radio show on the network, which gave him the opportunity to express his views about various issues in sports. Typically, “SportsCenter” hosts aren’t given as much latitude in that regard. It’s mainly scores and highlights.

“I pushed back,” Van Pelt said. “I loved the radio show where I had the ability to have an opinion. They came back to me and said, ‘No, we’re encouraging that [if he did the ‘SportsCenter’ show]. We want you to bring opinion to that space.’ That made it an incredibly compelling opportunity.”

As a result, Van Pelt said good-bye to his radio show in June. Since then, he has been gearing up for the Sept. 7 debut of his version “SportsCenter.”

The midnight show hasn’t been renamed “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt,” but that is essentially the case. ESPN is looking to tap into Van Pelt’s unique voice and perspective in between the more traditional 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. editions of “SportsCenter.”

Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president for “SportsCenter” and news, said Van Pelt will “place a new, entertaining stamp on the midnight ‘SportsCenter.’”

Indeed, it hasn’t been lost on Van Pelt that ESPN is giving him the keys to drive perhaps the coolest car in the lot.

“I’ll admit at times it is daunting when I think about it,” Van Pelt said. “But it’s also like the coach saying you’re going to start. Time to go out and play.”

 

One thought on “Scott Van Pelt to bring unique voice to solo edition of SportsCenter

  1. Am I missing something? Why would I want to stay up late and watch SVP to get his opinions when I could have listened to his show which was at a much more convenient time? I watch more of late night shows and clips from them on hulu or youtube than I do live but that doesn’t really work with sports shows. When Colin was on ESPNU in the morning west coast time I would tune in because it was entertaining and informative. I can tell you I’m not staying up late to watch SVP any day of the week.

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