Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 210
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

FS1 Taking "America's Pregame" Off The Air, Looking For More Opinion-Based Shows

Fox Sports National Network's President Jamie Horowitz’s first tangible move at FS1 is coming this week, as the network cancelled its daily studio show “America’s Pregame,” which will produce its final episode tomorrow. Fox will replace the show in the 5:00-6:00pm ET time slot with “The Best Thing I Herd,” a best-of show from Colin Cowherd that will be hosted by Kristine Leahy. Fox Sports execs stressed that the change was not a cost-cutting move. Rather, they said the move was the first step of the net's plan to remake the afternoon programming slate into a more opinion-focused programming block. "When we came in, we were going to evaluate everything and make changes as we saw fit,” said FS1 and FS2 Exec VP/Content Charlie Dixon, whom Horowitz hired in August. "'APG' did not fit specifically with what we are trying to do.” The hour-long “APG” launched nearly 18 months ago with Mike Hill and Molly McGrath as hosts and struggled to find a big audience. The FS1 show has averaged around 40,000 viewers since the start of August. During that time, those shows aired primarily in the 5:00pm window and typically ran for an hour. However, several shows went for 90 minutes or even two hours. The show also was preempted several times in mid-August for FS1’s coverage of U.S. Amateur golf championship. Fox Sports created the show to act as a nightly pregame show, one that provided a look ahead to the games coming that night. Dixon said Fox is looking for a show in that timeslot to be more conversational with hosts that are more opinionated. "We’re looking to explore more opinion-based generalists who can speak every sport and have the conversations that every sports fan is having,” Dixon said. “This is a work in progress. Step one was taking 'APG' in its current form off and then putting a new format that will be coming in a predetermined amount of time.” Fox Sports would not say how many people on “APG’s” staff would be affected, saying that headcount will remain the same. “APG” staff will interview for positions on other shows. Hill will return to “Fox Sports Live,” and McGrath will work as a sideline reporter. “We’re going to be growing,” Dixon said. “They brought us in to grow the programming grid, not to take it away. The first step may look like we’re downsizing, but we’re going to grow.”