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Michael Smith is Leaving SportsCenter

Brandon Contes

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After SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill left SC6 in January, it seemed logical co-host Michael Smith wouldn’t remain on the program much longer. According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Friday will be Smith’s final day headlining the 6pm edition of SportsCenter.

When SC6 was announced a little over a year ago, it was branded as a show that would allow the host’s personalities and opinions to be present. “With a format geared to fit Smith and Hill’s personalities, along with a specially-designed set and its own music, The Six will be different from any other SportsCenter.” ESPN’s press release from January 2017 stated.

“I’m most excited for the viewers to see how much freedom we are going to have,” said Smith in the release.

But that freedom quickly began to fade over the course of the show’s 13 month tenure. Recently, during an appearance on James Andrew Miller’s Origins podcast, Smith was open about SC6 reverting back toward being a more traditional SportsCenter.

“There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other [on air] anymore,” Smith told Miller. “Like no more Michael and Jemele, not less, not here and there. No more Michael and Jemele talking. No more of their commentary. It’s just strictly live shots and analysts. That’s what pissed me off so much.”

Smith continued, “I’m like, so wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths that we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t f–king talk to each other? How does that make sense?”

SC6 launched on February 6th, 2017. The modern take on SportsCenter lasted just 13 months and less than a year with both Hill and Smith as co-hosts. Who will take over the 6pm edition of SportsCenter on a permanent basis, or in the interim beginning Monday, has not been reported.

According to Deitsch, Hill and Smith both have multiple years remaining on their ESPN contracts. Hill joined The Undefeated after leaving SC6, while Smith who has been with ESPN since 2004, previously contributed to shows including Around the Horn, First Take and SportsNation, will most likely take on a new role at the network.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FOX Sports Announces Urban Meyer Will Return to BIG NOON KICKOFF Set

Meyer returns after spending much of 2021 as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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FOX Sports announced that their college football pregame show, BIG NOON KICKOFF, will return this season with its original cast. That means on the set will be Rob Stone, Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and the return of Urban Meyer.

Meyer returns after spending much of 2021 as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was reported in May that Meyer was near a deal to return to the network.

FOX Sports also announced that this season will be the first time that the show will travel each week of the season and air on location from campuses across the nation.

BIG NOON KICKOFF also features on-site reports from Tom Rinaldi and college football insider Bruce Feldman. The show will see expect contributions from Clay Travis, Emmanuel Acho, Chris Petersen and Mike Hill.

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Peyton Manning To Launch ESPN UFC GronkCast

“You could not get a more perfect group of guys to host it,” Peyton Manning said.

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Rob Gronkowski

Coming off the success of his own “ManningCast” with ESPN alongside Monday Night Football games and signing up Pat McAfee to do a similar project this fall with college football, Peyton Manning has another simulcast idea ready to go.

Manning and Omaha Productions will produce a “GronkCast” to go alongside Saturday nigh’;s welterweight fight between Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards on ESPN+. ants to go to the mat in his ongoing bid to create a sports-content empire. On the stream will be Rob Gronkowski and his brothers Chris, Dan, Glenn and Gordie Jr. along with father Gordon, who will host what is being called UFC 278 with The Gronks.

The show has lined up Chuck Liddell and UFC stars Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann to be guests for the family.

“You could not get a more perfect group of guys to host it,” Peyton Manning said.

UFC 278 with The Gronks will simulcast between 9 and 10 p.m. eastern on ESPN and ESPN+, then move at 10 p.m. to ESPN+ only, where it will stream until the conclusion of the event.

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Sports TV News

Jess Sims Calls Joining College GameDay the “Opportunity of a Lifetime”

“Long story short, to get this role is mind blowing,” she said.

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Jess Sims

Earlier this month, Jess Sims was announced as the newest addition to the College GameDay program as a sports reporter. Since then, it has been a whirlwind for her to get the chance to live a dream.

She appeared on SiriusXM’s College channel to discuss her new gig.

“I don’t even know where to begin, to be honest,” Sims said. “Life happens as it’s moving forward, but it only makes sense looking backwards. Even with the whole interview process and talking with the team at ESPN, it’s been a dream come true and something that I kind of manifested in so many different ways.”

Sims said going to school and playing at a smaller school made her want to be a part of the bigger school atmospheres and their crowds and that she always wanted to be part of something bigger than herself.

“Long story short, to get this role is mind blowing,” she said. “It is an opportunity of a lifetime just to join the cast of incredible, incredible people that are already on the team that have made the last 35 season such a success.”

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