Cari Champion is expected to replace Michelle Beadle on SportsNation when Beadle begins prep for ESPN’s upcoming morning program, Get Up, with Mike Greenberg and Jalen Rose, The Big Lead has learned from two people with knowledge of the news. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, the people requested anonymity. An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.
The deal is not finalized yet but all appearances are the program will head in that direction. The transition is likely still months away because the debut of the morning show has had construction delays and won’t happen until Spring 2018.
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Currently, Cari hosts SportsCenter Coast to Coast with David Lloyd. That program will come to an end around the same time the Greeny/Beadle/Rose combination starts, making way for a show co-hosted by Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre. The former host of First Take also leads an Uber-branded campaign in conjunction with Uninterrupted, the digital media platform founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
As soon as it became apparent that Beadle was the frontrunner to join the morning show, Cari was the most likely candidate to take her spot on SportsNation.
Nevertheless, one other ESPNer who the other hosts of SN — LZ Granderson and Marcellus Wiley — thought would be a good fit is Elle Duncan because of her background with the improvisational talk radio conversation format. It was announced this week that Duncan, along with Katie Nolan, would be one of the hosts on ESPN’s new daily SportsCenter show on Snapchat.