Cari Champion

Cari Champion’s time at ESPN has come to an end. Champion had quite the run at the Worldwide Leader, first joining (from Tennis Channel) in 2012 as a First Take host and then moving on to SportsCenter in 2015, then signing a multi-year extension in 2016 and then joining SportsNation (in addition to her SportsCenter work) in 2018. But she announced Thursday that she’s on her way out, with her final days coming at the end of January.

Meanwhile, ESPN sent out their own announcement Thursday about what’s ahead for SportsCenter after Champion’s exit:

With Cari Champion’s pending departure, the noon ET SportsCenter will no longer be a bicoastal show and instead will originate completely from Bristol, Conn., with Elle Duncan and Matt Barrie helming the newly-expanded 90-minute Monday-Thursday episodes. Hannah Storm and Jay Harris will handle Friday’s noon shows in addition to weekend SCs beginning at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m., while Duncan and Barrie will be on the Sunday 7 a.m. show.

The Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. SC will be anchored by Nicole Briscoe and Randy Scott and David Lloyd shifts from the daily noon show to handle Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7 a.m. shows where he will be joined by Storm on Mondays and Toni Collins the other two days.

“We’re thrilled with the momentum we’ve built before and during the NFL and college football seasons and these adjustments set us up well moving forward,” said Senior Vice President, Production/Content Strategy, Jill Frederickson. “Viewers have embraced the chemistry and camaraderie of the established pairings and we expect Toni and David to seamlessly transition into their new roles.”

The Big Lead recently discussed the Duncan and Barrie noon partnership. And it will certainly be interesting to see where Champion lands. And it’s also notable to see ESPN shifting from a bicoastal noon ET SportsCenter to one entirely based in Bristol.

[ESPN Front Row]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.