ESPN dropped some interesting news on Friday afternoon as The Big Lead initially reported Michelle Beadle will leave Get Up in order to set up a new NBA post-game show that will launch this fall. Also, Beadle has extended her contract with ESPN with a refocus strictly on the NBA from here on out.
After The Buzzer will air on ESPN after NBA doubleheaders on Wednesdays and Fridays during the season. The show will air from Los Angeles, as will NBA Countdown, which is returning to LA after moving to NYC earlier this year. Both shows will feature the same hosts (Beadle, Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce). Beadle will also continue to host NBA studio coverage on Christmas and throughout the NBA Playoffs and the NBA Finals.
ESPN also announced that they will be launching a new show called NBA Courtside, a 15-minute tipoff show that airs after Countdown but before game coverage.
Beadle’s last day on Get Up will be August 29. She’ll be replaced by a rotating collection of hosts, including Maria Taylor, Laura Rutledge, Jen Lada, Mina Kimes, and Dianna Russini. Mike Greenberg will remain as host of the show while Jalen Rose will continue to co-host when he’s not in Los Angeles working on Countdown. Also, Get Up will see its runtime shrunk from three hours to two hours beginning on September 3. SportsCenter will start airing from 7-8 a.m. while Get Up will run from 8-10 a.m.
Get Up has been besieged by issues and concerns since it started. Entering the landscape with a reputation as the “woke” morning show, audiences seemed wary about what to expect and stayed away. Panic seemed to set in early and there was some talk of “significant changes” in May if ratings didn’t improve. Our Matt Yoder wondered if a rotating panel of guest hosts might be the answer (and it looks like someone was listening).
Things really seemed to come to a head Friday morning when Beadle admitted that she doesn’t watch the NFL or college football due in large part to the way people in the sport treat women. Beadle, who has spoken out about domestic violence issues before, was discussing the way the investigation into Urban Meyer and the Ohio State football program went down following the revelation that former assistant coach Zach Smith had assaulted his ex-wife on more than one occasion but remained employed until recently.
“…there’s a reason why this will be the second season I don’t watch NFL and I don’t spend my Saturdays watching college football either. I believe that the sport of football has set itself up to be in a position where it shows itself in the bigger picture to not really care about women — they don’t really care about people of color, but we won’t get into that for NFL either. But as a woman, I feel like a person who has been marginalized. And every single one of these stories that comes out, every single time, pushes me further and further away. I realize that they don’t care, but for me, it’s opened up my weekends. I appreciate you for giving that to me. I don’t care anymore.
The timing of Beadle’s comments and this announcement that she’s leaving the show could be seen as correlating to some. But when you actually look at the moving parts involved in this announcement, how many people are affected by the changes, and how much of a financial commitment ESPN is making, it’s clear that the timing is coincidental. That said, Beadle’s comments certainly give context to her desire to leave Get Up and get back to focusing on the NBA.
As for Get Up, the show moves into a new era, leaving behind a Big Three mentality to become yet another ESPN program with a rotating cast of the usual suspects. Not that that’s a bad thing, it’s just clearly a shift away from the idea that this show is based specifically around three big personalities. Connor Schell, ESPN executive vice president of content, said in the announcement that the company remains behind the show as it tries to find the secret sauce to make it work.
“We remain very committed to Get Up! and the show continues to provide important context, wide-ranging expertise and strong analysis and opinions, led by Mike Greenberg, Jalen Rose, and a very talented, hard-working team. It remains a central part of our revamped morning lineup,” said Schell.