ESPN whittles down 'SportsCenter' in daytime

Network says no job cuts will result from the change

NEW YORK -- ESPN has scaled back slightly on its plans for a daylong live "SportsCenter" block.

The Bristol, Conn.-based sports powerhouse told employees Wednesday that it would produce six hours of live "SportsCenter" a day during the daytime. The previous plan, announced at ESPN's upfront presentation in May in New York, was for nine hours Monday-Friday beginning at 6 a.m. ET.

But ESPN executives realized, a month before the show was to debut, that the first three hours of "SportsCenter" between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. wouldn't be that much of a change from the last live "SportsCenter" from the night before that repeats in the mornings currently.

"It felt like a better use of our resources" to concentrate on the 9 a.m.-3 p.m. block, an ESPN spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. He pointed out that there would still be 30 new hours of live "SportsCenter" every week.

Hannah Storm and Josh Elliott will continue to anchor the 9 a.m.-noon block, as Robert Flores and Chris McKendry will be the co-anchors of the later block. The scheduled early anchors, Linda Cohn and Steve Berthiaume, will be reassigned to other jobs at ESPN. No one, either in front of the camera or behind it, will lose their jobs.
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