Details of Michelle Beadle's status at ESPN shows the network still has a leaking problem.
1. It would seem that ESPN still has a problem with leakage.
New York Post media columinst and frequent SI Media Podcast guest Andrew Marchand reported on Tuesday that ESPN and Michelle Beadle were negotiating terms of a buyout that would see the host leave the network after she was reportedly removed from NBA Countdown.
When I saw Marchand's story, my first thought was that somewhere Adnan Virk had to be smiling.
Virk, you'll recall, was fired by ESPN after he allegedly leaked information about the network to Awful Announcing. This news that Beadle would lose her job on NBA Countdown was reported by Sports By Brooks on June 12. A slew of media reporters (and yours truly) all reached out to ESPN at time for confirmation of the report, but all the World Wide Leader would say is that no decisions about Countdown had been made, but I'm not sure anyone believed them.
Cut to mid-August and Richard Deitsch reports that not only is Beadle out, but Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor will replace her on Countdown.
ESPN news: ESPN is planning to name Rachel Nichols & Maria Taylor as the hosts of NBA Countdown for this upcoming season. Formal announcement should come in coming weeks. The expectation, via sources, is both will host the show. They'll split the assignment in some manner.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 16, 2019
We have to assume Beadle did not see this coming because after the Sports By Brooks report, she seemed awfully confident she'd be back on Countdown next season.
Right here, pumpkin. Enjoying vacation. And also...if you live on the internet, I’d hope you’d be more current. Anyways. See y’all next season on Countdown! 💋— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) June 15, 2019
So even though Virk is no longer with ESPN, Brooks Melchior, Richard Deitsch and Andrew Marchand have all been leaked information about Beadle's status with the company.
Of course, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Beadle's position at ESPN was not in good standing. She was part of the Get Up cast when it debuted to poor reviews and low ratings. She ended her tenure there by saying she doesn't watch football, which was promblematic for two reasons. One, the NFL is a partner with ESPN and, two, part of her job at the time was to talk about the NFL. After she left Get Up, the show was reformatted and began to show a ratings increase on a regular basis.
Her next gig was to host Countdown and that just didn't work. In fairness, that wasn't necessarily Beadle's fault. ESPN will always have a problem with their pre and postgame NBA shows because they will always be compared to TNT's Inside the NBA and it's a totally lopsided fight. You can't put the blame for Countdown's struggles solely on Beadle, but the show was not good.
As of this writing, Beadle's departure from ESPN is not done, but we have no doubt that when it happens, it will be leaked for the masses before we get an official announcement.
2. Speaking of sports media shake ups, Mike Francesa announced Tuesday that his $9 a month app is being shut down. In a fascinating twist, Marchand reported that Francesa may take most of his daily show to Radio.com with only a little bit of it being broadcast on WFAN. This video below wasn't the official announcement of the news, but it's the only announcement you need.
3. A brand new SI Media Podcast dropped recently and it's a very good one. First up is NFL Network's Rich Eisen, who talked about the Andrew Luck bombshell, the upcoming NFL season and what makes an NFL pregame show stand out in such a crowded field. Eisen also shared some great stories about Larry David, who attended Rich's 50th birthday party, and shared some info on the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
At the 40-minute mark of the podcast, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo from SiriusXM and MLB Network joins the show to opine on a variety of topics like only he can. The Doggie discussed being snubbed from the Radio Hall of Fame, whether he reached out to his old partner Mike Francesa to congratulate him on his induction, why athletes don't care about sports talk radio anymore, whether the future of radio is in jeopardy, why the NBA's popularity annoys him and much, much more.
4. Down 10-4 in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday night, the Nationals scored seven runs against the Mets and pulled off an 11-10 win on a three-run walkoff home run by Kurt Suzuki. The local Washington radio call lived up to the moment.
5. New Colts starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett has already given us the best quote of the 2019 NFL season.
6. Gronk dropped an interesting nugget on HBO's The Shop on Tuesday night, saying that he started contemplating retirement two years ago. (On a total side note, I was all excited to tune into The Shop, but then I quickly discovered that LeBron was not on the show. How is LeBron not on his own show???)
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Posted this on Twitter last night and got a lot of funny responses. Jon Bon Jovi attended a wedding a few years ago. The singer busted out "Livin' on a Prayer." It didn't go well. Jon looked completely miserable as the song got butchered. Plus, the singer was trying to get Jon to join in, which you could clearly see was not going over well. Eventually, though, Bon Jovi couldn't take it anymore and begrudgingly performed his classic hit.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Google Play. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.
IN CLOSING: Worst Hard Knocks season ever.