Michelle Beadle blasted the big news last night via here Twitter feed.
ESPN made it official this morning. Here’s the release:
Michelle Beadle will return to SportsNation on ESPN2 today, hosting the show alongside commentators Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. Kellerman and Wiley will continue to offer their opinions and different viewpoints on the weekday afternoon show based in Los Angeles. The trio will together continue the clever and off-beat SportsNation tradition of discussing the day’s hottest sports topics weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
“Michelle’s style of delivery has a way of bringing a fun edge to whatever she works on and her range of experience in both sports and entertainment makes her a truly unique talent,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, Production, Program Scheduling and Development. “We know that fans really connect with her personality and we’re happy to welcome her back to ESPN and SportsNation.”
“I’ve missed the everyday fun of this show and this group so when given the chance to reunite, I got here as fast as I could,” said Beadle. “For two years, I’ve kept my pirate costume hanging in my closet. It was starting to collect dust. Returning to SportsNation is my destiny.”
Coinciding with Beadle’s return, SportsNation will launch an Instagram account on Monday featuring memes and photoshops that work well in social media as well as original video including Beadle behind the scenes at the show. SportsNation has one of the highest levels of social engagement for an ESPN studio show with more than two million followers on Twitter and nearly two million likes on Facebook.
SportsNation was created in 2009 as a live sports television show born from the Internet, fueled by fan interaction and focused on fun. With the youngest demographic of all of ESPN’s studio shows, SportsNation is different than most of the network’s offerings in that fan engagement and clever, imaginative segments are at the heart of the program. On a daily basis, SportsNation engages with hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the country via ESPN.com’s SportsNation page.
Fans can follow the show on Facebook (facebook.com/sportsnation) and Twitter at @SportsNation, @MichelleDBeadle, @Max_Kellerman and @MarcellusWiley.
To me, it seems like a bit of been-there, done-that for Beadle. I suspect a return to SportsNation is a way to get here back in the mix at ESPN.
However, I think she is destined to do more in her second trip at ESPN. Her profile now is much higher. Despite the disaster at NBC and NBCSN, Beadle is a talented and highly-engaging sports TV personality.
At some point, I would look for ESPN to come up with another vehicle for Beadle. The network did it once. It could do it again.