People & Personalities: Lee Corso Staying On "College GameDay" For Two More Years
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit yesterday said that Lee Corso, "who will turn 82 in August, recently signed a two-year contract extension to remain on 'College GameDay' as an analyst." Herbstreit, speaking at a fundraiser luncheon in Louisville, said that he has "received many questions over the past year from people wondering if Corso would be retiring from the show." He said that he "told Corso in a recent phone conversation that he's 'Don Corleone of 'GameDay' and that no matter what the length of the contract, 'as long as you want to hang out, you're the show'" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 5/18).
GOOD NEWS: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth noted ESPN's Shelley Smith was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital yesterday and that she "wants to feel better enough to possibly get back to work as soon as the NBA Finals begin.” Smith, who was taken to a Bay Area hospital on Sunday after suffering stroke symptoms following Spurs-Warriors Game 1, said via text that doctors found a “small blot clot in her brain as well as two others in her chest that can be treated with blood thinning medication.” Smith: “It was a scary 15 minutes.” Smith added that she “expects to give out more information soon on a Facebook post” (DAILYNEWS.com, 5/17).
ENDING ON HIS TERMS: Mike Francesa's last show on WFAN-AM is slated for Dec. 15, and THE RINGER's Bryan Curtis noted that broadcast "will be a pure distillation" of the longtime sports radio host. Francesa has "forbade even his wife and three kids from entering the studio with him" that day, and and he also has "trimmed back the bells and whistles." Francesa: "There will be no guests, no updates. ... I’m not even sure yet there’s going to be commercials. We’re still working on that. It’s just going to be me and the callers, that’s it" (THERINGER.com, 5/16).
BIG SHOES TO FILL: ESPN's Samantha Ponder is replacing Chris Berman as the host of "Sunday NFL Countdown" this season, but she said she does not "see it that way." Ponder said Berman is a "total legend" and replacing him is an "impossible task." Ponder: "I’m not even going to try to do that because not only was he one of the best ever, but that’s not me." Ponder did say the show will "look really different and hopefully in ways that still pays tribute to the show [Berman] created and put on the map" (NYPOST.com, 5/17).
UP FOR MORE: Pac-12 Networks' Yogi Roth and Steve Lavin have both signed multiyear extensions to stay with the net to cover football and men's basketball, respectively (Pac-12).