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Michelle Beadle is in talks with ESPN for a new multiyear deal, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
It’s no surprise that ESPN executives would work to retain the SportsNation host. But the new pact will preclude her from also working at HBO, where for the last two years she has been an interviewer on Jim Lampley’s The Fight Game. Her last appearance on the show will be the Dec. 23 year-in-review installment.
“Michelle is a singular talent,” Lampley said in a statement to THR. “As a producer, I could not be prouder of her work on The Fight Game. And as a friend, I cannot be more excited to watch her career flourish.”
An ESPN spokesperson declined comment.
Beadle returned to ESPN in 2014 after an unhappy two years at NBC, where she contributed to Access Hollywood while the show that was built for her, The Crossover, failed and was canceled after less than a year.
She currently hosts ESPN2’s SportsNation alongside commentators Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. Beadle was the original co-host of SportsNation — with Colin Cowherd — from 2009-2012, before leaving for NBC. At the time, she was looking for a broader platform, and NBC’s Olympics rights also were a draw. But she clashed with Crossover co-host Dave Briggs and NBC executives.
At ESPN, she regained her footing and her voice and has once again become among sports TV’s top personalities. Her public criticism of Floyd Mayweather’s history of domestic violence got her credentials for last May’s mega-fight between the boxer and Manny Pacquiao pulled by Mayweather’s camp. (Rachel Nichols, who is expected to return to ESPN after her stint at Turner Sports and CNN, also had her credentials pulled for the same reason.)
Beadle is among several top personalities ESPN has resigned in the months since the high-profile exits of Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann and Cowherd, who is now at Fox Sports.
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