Reporters the stars on new 'ESPN Reports'


ESPN will launch an hourlong magazine show in the fall with a "60 Minutes"-style rotation of correspondents, longform investigations and interviews as well as an Andy Rooney-style commentary at the end of the show.

"ESPN Reports," the working title of the show, will premiere at 7 p.m. Oct. 16, after "SportsCenter" and run for four successive Tuesdays in that slot. Plans are for it to return after several months and have at least 14 shows every year.

Featured will be ESPN correspondents Jeremy Schaap, Lisa Salters, Tom Farrey and Rachel Nichols. The executive in charge of production is Robert Wallace, who recently joined ESPN. Other producers include Andy Tennant and Robert Abbott.

"Think ESPN meets '60 Minutes' meets the Mod Squad," said John Skipper, executive vp content at ESPN. Skipper said the show would have segments from six minutes to as long as 13 minutes and have a Rooney-type commentator offering funny or wry observations.

"We have a very serious commitment from the highest echelons of the company," Schaap said.

The show would offer ESPN reporters the chance to do something that they haven't done much in the past, which is take the starring role at a network whose anchors have always gotten more buzz.

Also announced at ESPN's upfront was "The SportsCenter Minute," an hourly update that will be broadcast on ABC during ESPN on ABC programming starting in September, and "This Is SportsCenter 300," a series of specials in the fall that will mark the 300th "SportsCenter" commercial and the series' legacy.

For its upfront presentation, ESPN rented the Nokia Theatre in Times Square, and for the morning it went all Broadway with an hour-and-25-minute stage show that featured ESPN execs John Skipper, George Bodenheimer and Sean Bratches playing themselves along with actors and actresses about a fictitious sports star in the midst of a branding deal.