Colin Cowherd is leaving ESPN2's SportsNation. This development has been expected for months but Bristol finally made it official this week. Cowherd will remain in Bristol, where he will focus on his nationally syndicated radio show (and potentially add to those duties somewhere down the line). At the end of December, SportsNation will relocate from ESPN’s Bristol campus to a new set at ESPN's Los Angeles studio. Host Charissa Thompson will be joined by new co-host Marcellus Wiley.
SportsNation is an… interesting show, for lack of better words, that was created in 2009 and focuses on fan interaction and has a much lighter side than ESPN's other shows. It was SportsNation that launched Michelle Beadle into stardom and now it will reboot entirely with both original hosts gone. Here's what ESPN had to say about the moves:
“The light-hearted tone of SportsNation has always been focused on the intersection of sports and entertainment, and basing the show in our LA studio will give us additional opportunities to expand the pop culture tie-ins that we know resonate with our audience,” said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN’s vice president of original programming and production. “We’re excited to welcome Marcellus on board as a co-host with Charissa. They both bring a versatile mix of knowledge, fun and snarkiness to the show which creates the perfect on-air chemistry to appeal to our younger viewers.”
Wiley is an intriguing choice for the new show co-host, and it might be worth tuning in to see how he does with the tone and format of the show in a permanent role. I'm not a fan of Cowherd at all, so seeing any one of ESPN's thousands of personalities step in would be an improvement. Nevertheless, it was Beadle and Cowherd's chemistry that originally made SportsNation a success, and it'll be interesting to see whether or not Wiley and Thompson can duplicate that or come close to it.