ESPN announced today that Cari Champion will make her SportsNation debut, joining co-hosts Marcellus Wiley and LZ Granderson, beginning March 12. Champion replaces longstanding host Michelle Beadle, who will move to New York to join Mike Greenberg and Jalen Rose on ESPN’s new morning show, Get Up.
SportsNation, ESPN’s fun and energetic afternoon show, was created in 2009 as a live sports television show born from the Internet and fueled by fan interaction. Champion, Wiley, Granderson and numerous guests will continue the SportsNation tradition of discussing the day’s hottest and weirdest sports topics on a brand new set and host desk at the Los Angeles Production Center in 30-minute episodes, weekdays at 4 p.m. ET. Marcellus and LZ will continue to co-host the show along with several popular sports personalities until Cari’s debut show.
“SportsNation is a brand the company cares for deeply, and I’m excited to join a well-regarded show and also show another side of me,” said Champion. “As the only woman on the show, I’ve already let the guys know I’m going to bring the heat. This is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to the support from all involved! Teamwork makes the…you get the point. Cheers!”
Added, Richelle Markazene, SportsNation coordinating producer: “Michelle Beadle has been the significant driving force in SportsNation’s popularity and success and it is very difficult to say goodbye to her, but Cari Champion is one of the most talented personalities at ESPN and we are thrilled to have her on the SportsNation team. Cari will bring a new approach and energy to the show and we are excited to begin this new era of SportsNation with her.”
Prior to joining SportsNation, Champion was named SportsCenter anchor in July, 2015, and in February, 2016, she was named co-anchor for SportsCenter Coast-to-Coast with David Lloyd. Previously, Champion served as host of ESPN2’s First Take, where she shared the debate table with featured commentators Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith and moderated their debate topics while offering her perspective and insight.
Before her time at ESPN, Champion was an anchor and courtside reporter at the Tennis Channel. Additionally, she served as an entertainment/lifestyle reporter doing features for The Insider, Hollywood 411 and Starz Entertainment.