Report: Michelle Beadle not fulfilling off-air responsibilities at ESPN
If Michelle Beadle does not return as the host of ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” next season, it may be because she has irritated the higher-ups by what she has done off-camera rather than on the air.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that executives at ESPN have been disappointed with Beadle’s unwillingness to promote “NBA Countdown” and her sudden departure from the network’s morning show, “Get Up.” As Marchand notes, “NBA Countdown” and the the popular “Inside the NBA” show on TNT get similar viewership numbers, but the Charles Barkley-led show creates far more buzz and seems more popular. That may be where the disappointment comes in with Beadle’s lack of effort in promoting “Countdown.”
Beadle is reportedly making $5 million per year with her current ESPN contract, so moving her to a lesser role next season may not make sense. Sports by Brooks reported last week that Beadle, Chauncey Billups and Paul Pierce are expected to get the boot from “NBA Countdown,” but Marchand speculates that Beadle could get another shot with a different supporting cast.
ESPN responded to the Beadle talk with a statement that didn’t exactly reassure her that her job is safe. The issues are probably still being sorted out, with the main one being that ESPN needs to make sure the right analysts and or/host are in place if they make major changes.