SAN FRANCISCO, CA – FEBRUARY 05: TV personality Sage Steele attends Bleacher Report’s ‘Bleacher Ball’ presented by go90 at The Mezzanine prior to Sunday’s big game on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Bleacher Ball)

When ESPN announced that Michelle Beadle was replacing Sage Steele as full-time host of NBA Countdown, it led to wild speculation that the Worldwide Leader was cutting ties with Steele. But according to the Sporting News, Steele is apparently on her way to becoming a morning show anchor. Mike McCarthy writes that ESPN is about to name Steele as Mike Greenberg’s sidekick on his about-to-be announced show that will be based out of New York.

The long-awaited morning program will apparently end the 17-year partnership between Greenberg and Mike Golic on ESPN Radio. It will signal yet another foray into morning television for ESPN that has included Cold Pizza, 1st and 10 and SportsCenter:AM.

For Steele, being on the morning show would give her some stability and a regular role. Plus, it would give her some positive news especially after a post on Instagram about a protest at Los Angeles International Airport didn’t go over well, and a Facebook post on diversity that got her called out.

The uproar after ESPN announced Beadle as NBA Countdown’s full-time host led president John Skipper to issue a statement expressing his confidence in Steele, but the speculation didn’t die down.

After the Countdown announcement, ESPN assigned Steele to cover The Masters for its SportsCenter on the Road segments. Awful Announcing was informed that Steele would remain on SportsCenter on the Road for the foreseeable future.

But if the morning show is Steele’s light at the end of the tunnel, then it buffers Skipper’s public vote of confidence and could quiet the critics who have been angry over her conservative statements. But critics aside and if the Sporting News report is solid, then it appears that Steele isn’t going anywhere and is on firm ground with ESPN management.

[Sporting News]

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.