Last October, FanDuel TV launched Run It Back, a NBA show airing Mondays through Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Eastern. The show is hosted by Michelle Beadle alongside Chandler Parsons, Shams Charania, and Eddie Gonzalez. It’s the latest in a long series of sports media broadcasts for Beadle, whose past work includes time at ESPN (2009-12, 2014-19), NBC (2012-14), The Athletic (2021-22) and more. Earlier this year, she spoke to AA via Zoom about Run It Back, and said it’s been a great experience working on it, with part of that coming from the cast.
“I like it. It’s a bazillion times less stress as far as any sort of drama; no behind-the-scenes drama, no in-front-of-the-scenes drama. It’s just very easy and peaceful. And the group that we’ve put together at this point, Chandler Parsons, Eddie Gonzalez, Shams is an old soul with lots of knowledge, so it’s very fun to do his thing. And I like it. I enjoy getting up Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday knowing we’re going to talk about hoops for an hour. And you never know what Chandler’s going to say, and that’s just an extra bonus. So it’s all good on my end.”
She said it’s been interesting watching and working with Charania, given his prominence in the breaking news space and beyond.
“Shams, for me…Woj for so long has just held that spot, and it’s always fun when there’s more. You don’t want to have that monopoly, especially in the information game. And for me to have that person be Shams Charania, who is young as hell…you wouldn’t know it, because he’s more mature than all of us, and it’s literally not close. And to sort of not just watch him crush his own space, but to watch him growing and building his own, I hate to use the word brand, but I can’t think of anything else in the moment, watching him build that is sort of a fun thing to watch as well.
Beadle said Parsons and Gonzalez have been great fits too.
“Chandler as a player to me was always just such a treat off the court, because he was such fodder for ‘Is he going to be the next Bachelor? Is he dating?’ He just had such a persona off the court as well. And we all know what he did on the court. And he will be the first to tell you about robbing banks in some of his deals, so I don’t feel out of line mentioning that.”
“And then Eddie was for me the complete unknown; I had no idea. I knew he did a podcast with Kevin Durant, but that’s all I really knew. And surprisingly, and beautifully, he has become one of my favorite people period to sort of exchange texts with and talk to. His basketball knowledge is off the charts. He has such insight.”
Beadle said it’s been fun working at a new and growing outlet like FanDuel TV, too, and it’s been great to be in the same lineup as Kay Adams with Up and Adams.
“It’s just a brand new enterprise. And you’ve got Kay Adams doing her football thing, and she also came from a really big show on a different network, so I kind of feel a little bit of a kindred spirit in that sense. But she didn’t take 100 years off in between! [laughs] But yeah, it’s a new enterprise.”
“I’ve been a part of sort of new network situations before, and it’s always exciting; you have no idea what to expect. And the beauty of this particular opportunity is you’ve got a company like FanDuel, which we all know, these guys are kings at this point, so when you have something like that behind you, you understand that the support is there. And that really is half the battle when you’re trying to do things like this.”
Beadle said she’s impressed with what Adams has done so far.
“I love it because she was so good on Good Morning Football. That show always made me smile because it had a lot of the brightness of what we used to do on SportsNation. It was just kind of irreverent, and fun, and very much personality-driven. And she was so good at it.”
“And she’s manning the show all by herself, and that says a lot. She’s garnered the respect of the industry. She has a name in the NFL that guys are willing to talk to her, players are willing to come on the show and hang out. And she’s funny. And for me, that combination is what you’re looking for, that’s what I want in my television.”
As for returning to sports television after not doing that since 2019, Beadle said it felt like something she eventually wanted to get back to even from the start.
“At some point I had to do something, right? I was 45 [after leaving ESPN in 2019], I was just like ‘I can’t not work ever again, I’m not tech rich, that’s not going to happen.’ And my intention had always been, the minute I left the last place, to travel. And I started doing that, and then COVID hit. So that extra year was just a bonus really, no one had any intention of taking that much time off.”
“And then I knew also that when I did start working again, my biggest priority to myself was that I do jobs I enjoy with people I like. I’ve learned a lot, I think, along the way, and who you work with on a daily basis and the people that are surrounding you, are more important honestly than what the job is to me.”
“Because you have to love it. We’re not doctors, we’re not cops, we’re not doing jobs that are dangerous, we’re doing things that are supposed to be fun. When they stop being fun, I don’t want to do it.”
Beadle has often been a prominent commentator on women in sports media. She said the general environment for women in sports media seems better in 2023 than it has been at some times in past, but for her, she’s also less willing to hear criticisms of women being in that space than she used to be.
“I never really felt like the battle was necessarily uphill just because I was a woman in sports. Ironically, some of my biggest obstacles were other women in sports, so that will always remain to me the funny thing that, behind the scenes, people don’t understand sometimes. It’s not the dudes always. It is a lot, but not always. It’s hard, because I can’t tell you whether it’s gotten better or whether I stopped listening more. It could be a combination of the two, to be honest with you.”
She said it does seem positive that more women are gaining prominent TV roles than we’ve necessarily seen in the past.
“I can say that from my own personal observation and consumption of media, I see a lot more women doing a lot more things. And I guess if that’s the way we’re going to gauge the progress, then it’s definitely headed in the right direction.”
“You see a lot more women hosting big studio shows. I always say this, and I never mean it with disrespect, but you see us doing more than just sideline reporting, and that for me was always the gauge of progress. And that makes me happy. I like seeing that we are not just that anymore.”
As for Run It Back, Beadle said the key goal is to just keep doing it, and to keep making it better.
“I just want us to keep doing it. I don’t have any sort of goals in that sense, other than while it’s fun and we’re learning every day. When you put something like this together, it seems like you talk about it for a while, and then the actual coming together is overnight. It’s like ‘Oh crap, we’ve got a show tomorrow, I had no idea.'”
“So for me, it’s watching us all grow, getting better at it. …It’s just to keep it going, get bigger, better, have guests. Any show getting bigger, I’m a big supporter of that. And I hope we get a shot at doing the same.”
Run It Back airs Mondays to Wednesdays at 10 a.m. ET on FanDuel TV and the FanDuel TV+ streaming app. More on how to watch it is here.