Michelle Beadle's NBCUniversal Deal Includes "Access Hollywood," London Games Coverage
NBCUniversal announced a multi-platform agreement with on-air talent Michelle Beadle that includes duties for “Access Hollywood” and the NBC Sports Group. Beadle, who will be based in N.Y., will serve as a correspondent for “Access Hollywood,” as well as a correspondent for NBC Sports Group’s big-event properties including this summer’s London Games, which she will also be covering for “Access Hollywood.” Beadle additionally will have a role in the ‘12 NFL Kickoff game and during the net's coverage of the Belmont Stakes, as well as other NBC Sports Network programs. As part of the agreement, NBC Sports Group will develop new programming for NBC Sports Network featuring Beadle (NBCUniversal). Beadle said she will continue to host ESPN2's "SportsNation" until May 31, when her contract with ESPN expires. She said on ESPN Radio 1070 Indianapolis' "The Dan Dakich Show" she will host a "new sports show probably around the end of summer" as part of the deal. Beadle: "So I am not leaving sports at all." She added, "It’s very bizarre. It’s bittersweet. Usually you leave a job and you’re very ready to leave, but I don’t really feel that way here because I love the people that I work with. But timing, I guess. You kind of have to go where you have to go. It’s weird. I won’t miss Bristol, but I’ll miss the people” (“The Dan Dakich Show," ESPN Radio 1070 Indianapolis, 5/21). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes Beadle is expected to start at NBC “in mid-June,” but she “doesn’t know exactly what she’ll do for the NBC Sports Network.” ESPN’s Charissa Thompson is “expected to replace Beadle on ‘SportsNation’ to co-host with Colin Cowherd, who has an option in his ESPN contract to leave the show by year’s end” (USA TODAY, 5/22).
WARD DROPPED FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SI.com's Richard Deitsch on his Twitter account reported ESPN has “removed Pam Ward from its college football coverage.” ESPN Communications Manager Mike Humes said, "For a decade, Pam has been a trailblazing voice on college football. She will continue to be a big part of our coverage plans across multiple sports including college basketball, softball, the WNBA and more." Deitsch noted the net is “still in the process of finalizing all college football assignments” (TWITTER.com, 5/21). YAHOO SPORTS’ Graham Watson wrote Ward “wasn't the best announcer in college football, but she wasn't nearly the worst.” Watson: “That's not to say Ward didn't have her moments. Awfulannouncing.com often chronicled those moments on a weekly basis as well as other awful announcing blunders. The site gave out yearly awards called the ‘Pammies’ named after Ward” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/21).