Cari Champion

We’ve noted here at Awful Announcing that Cari Champion has had the Herculean task of moderating the quagmire that is First Take, sitting between Skip “The Butcher” Bayless and Stephen A. “A is for Angry” Smith. Since October 2012, Champion has been witness to Smith making silly comments about domestic violence, Ben Roethlisberger, women’s soccer and other issues. And lest we forget about Skippy’s constant harping on LeBron James throughout Champion’s time on the show.

Well, Champion is finally getting out from Shawshank leaving First Take to become a SportsCenter anchor. Debbie Emery of The Wrap reports that Champion’s last day on First Take will be today and she will join the morning edition of SportsCenter sometime next month plus “interact” with ABC’s Good Morning America.

She is expected to work on morning segments of the broadcast beginning in mid-July, particularly a series of upcoming “interactions” about sports and entertainment with members of ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I grew up watching ‘SportsCenter’ — it is the flagship show so I am living the dream,” Champion told TheWrap. “When I first started working here, I would casually petition for it — but there’s always a long line.”

In addition to moderating First Take over the last two and half years, Champion was the subject of some insane tweets from comedian Artie Lange which prompted ESPN to ban him from appearing on any of its platforms. He later apologized while Cari took the high road on the whole incident.

As Champion leaves First Take today, there’s no word on who will take her role as moderator. The person who replaces her will need a strong stomach and personality to put up with the opinions from Bayless and Smith.

Cari explains the decision to leave First Take in her espnW “Be Honest” podcast.

In the meantime, the former Tennis Channel host and entertainment reporter moves on to the next phase of her career where she should thrive and succeed. SportsCenter is a natural progression for Champion after being the moderator of First Take and the move is a well deserved promotion after enduring her time in Embrace Debate Purgatory.

[The Wrap]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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