Network announces new shows, lineup for 2018 — ESPN Upfront

Joe Buck

ESPN will start next year with a new weekday programming lineup that will kick off with Mike Greenberg's new morning show starting Jan 1. Like the TV pro that he is, Greenberg forged ahead. ESPN, like many cable networks, has steadily lost subscribers over the last several years.

Officially announced at ESPN's upfront Tuesday morning, Greenberg's long-expected new show will originate from NY and run from 7 a.m. ET till 10 a.m.

"I'm so accustomed to just turning behind me and thinking, 'If everything goes wrong, (Golic) will say something amusing.' So that will be a insane new reality for me". I'm going to continue to do this exact same show, it's for others to tell who made this decision - if they want to tell it and how they want to tell it.

Greenberg is not the only one making a leap of faith.

Here's the most interesting portion of the above conversation, transcribed. ESPN recently laid off 100 anchors and reporters, including familiar faces such as Jay Crawford, Britt McHenry, Ed Werder, Andy Katz and Jaymee Sire.

But ESPN is still the biggest, baddest player in sports media.

We now know more about what the new daytime ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Radio schedules will look like, including a pair of new shows.

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Like the Yankees or the Patriots, ESPN doesn't rebuild; it reloads. This is the end of the Mikes. Suzie Kolber, Jon Gruden and Randy Moss and sports stars including Paul Pierce and a pregnant Serena Williams. "ESPN is committed to putting talented women in high-profile positions and we look forward to Beth and Rex's call of this game on our MNF opening night".

The other new show is an unnamed, hour-long talk show hosted by Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre airing at noon on ESPN.

The network also announced that it reached multi-year contract deals with hosts John Buccigross, Kenny Mayne and Hannah Storm. Jones will co-host "Highly Questionable" with Dan and Gonzalo "Papi" Le Batard until June.

ESPN was, for the most part, in sell mode, at times poking fun at the notion that television advertising was outdated.

The network also says Golic and Wingo have multiyear extensions to stay with ESPN.

On Tuesday, ESPN also confirmed what SI reported on Sunday: Beth Mowins will be the play-by-play announcer and Rex Ryan will be her game analyst for the Monday Night Football game on September 11 between the Chargers and Broncos. The most fascinating pairing: Ex-Jets and Bills head coach Rex Ryan working with Beth Mowins, the first female to call a National Football League game since 1987. "She deserves this opportunity", said Stephanie Druley, Senior Vice President, ESPN events and studio production. Rutledge was named to fill Taylor's former role as host of "SEC Nation", with Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum. "Of course, the current environment forces us to be realists as well as optimists". He also said that ESPN had been working to improve its mobile apps, which he said have recently attracted a relatively healthy monthly audience of 23 million unique users.

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