THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre cited sources as saying that ESPN's Samantha Steele "has been tabbed as the replacement for Erin Andrews as co-host" of ESPNU's 9:00am ET "College GameDay" on Saturdays this fall. Steele also "will be featured" during the show's 10:00am-12:00pm window on ESPN "in the same capacity Andrews was." Meanwhile, ESPN's Heather Cox is the "replacement for Andrews on ABC's Saturday night College Football game of the week." Cox will join the net's "top announcing pair" of Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit (THEBIGLEAD.com, 7/11).
COMING & GOING: The CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION's Brad Wolverton reported sportswriter Steve Wieberg is leaving USA Today after "nearly 30 years" with the newspaper, and this is his last week. Wieberg has taken a job "teaching high-school English and journalism near his home" in Lawson, Mo. The move comes "amid a major restructuring of USA Today’s sports staff." Last month, 15 writers and editors there lost their jobs, but Wieberg "was not a part of those layoffs" (CHRONICLE.com, 7/11). Meanwhile, The Big Lead’s McIntyre tweeted USA Today has hired the Washington Post’s Michael Katz, the Portland Oregonian’s Jeff Martin and the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Brent Schrotenboer (TWITTER.com, 7/11).
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT: PrePlay, a N.Y.-based startup developer of predictive mobile games, has secured $3.1M in Series A venture capital funding, with the round led by social media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, RSE Ventures CEO Matt Higgins and others. The funds will be used to build out additional games. PrePlay earlier this year struck a deal with the NHL and beer sponsor Molson to create the Molson Canadian PrePlay app. The game, available for iPhone and iPad, allows users to accumulate points by correctly predicting upcoming plays in televised games (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).