ESPN officially announced a new lineup for its weekday NFL Live show on Tuesday. The new program is expected to relaunch in August.
Confirming what was originally reported by Outkick’s Bobby Burack in early June, Laura Rutledge will take over as NFL Live host, replacing Wendy Nix. She’ll lead a regular panel of Marcus Spears, Dan Orlovsky, Keyshawn Johnson, and Mina Kimes.
Rutledge had been a permanent contributor to Get Up in addition to her work for SEC Network. According to ESPN’s release, she’ll continue hosting the SEC Nation Saturday pregame show along with NFL Live.
Most of the new NFL Live roster had regular roles on ESPN’s morning show. Spears and Orlovsky frequently appeared on Get Up, as well as First Take, and SportsCenter as NFL analysts. Along with their new positions, both will continue appearing on those programs.
Spears originally joined ESPN as an analyst for SEC Network, but had been providing more analysis for NFL Live, Get Up, First Take, and SportsCenter since last fall. Orlovsky was reportedly a candidate for the Monday Night Football team, but this presumably takes him out of consideration. According to ESPN’s release, he will continue calling a weekly college football game for ESPN and ABC.
Johnson was just named as one of the co-hosts for ESPN Radio’s new morning show in addition to his new analyst role on NFL Live. Previously, he was an analyst for Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown, while also appearing on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.
Kimes probably shouldn’t be a surprising addition to the show, considering the feature writing she’s done on the NFL and the frequent football analysis and commentary she provides throughout ESPN programming. Kimes will become an NFL analyst as part of her NFL Live role, but will continue in most of the other roles she had with the network. She will still appear on Around the Horn and Highly Questionable, as well as host her podcast, The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny.
“Football is my passion, so I couldn’t be more excited to devote more time to studying the game,” said Kimes in ESPN’s official release. “I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to making a fun, smart show with these incredible people.”
However, Kimes will step away from the ESPN Daily podcast she’s hosted since it debuted last October. Pablo Torre will replace Kimes on that program, available every weekday morning, part of the contract extension he signed with the network in May.
Prior to taking over as permanent host, Torre will fill in on select shows during July. He will also continue appearing on Around the Horn and Highly Questionable. Torre co-hosted High Noon with Bomani Jones as part of ESPN’s weekday lineup until that show was canceled in February after nearly two years on the air. (The last edition of the program was produced remotely and posted online following ESPN’s shutdown of studio programming amid the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Also continuing to contribute to NFL Live will be Ryan Clark, who will make Friday appearances on the show. And as could be expected, all of the network’s reporters and insiders, including Adam Schefter, Dianna Russini, Jeff Darlington, Louis Riddick, Field Yates, Dan Graziano, Kimberley A. Martin, and Chris Mortensen will appear regularly.