UPDATE---June 20, 2012-----The wait is over for Michelle Beadle fans. Catch her on NBC this weekend for the Olympic trials. Story, here.
The ESPN corporate suits tried their hardest to keep one of their true rising stars in the house but failed. Michelle Beadle has left the building at the Bristol, Connecticut studios of the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports. Read: ESPN loses Michelle Beadle, adds more "30 for 30" documentaries.
Beadle 36, had come on board some three years ago and quickly rose in popularity as she co-hosted "Sports Nation" a daily hour-long program using results from online polls posted on ESPN.com and various other platforms of the sports giant. Video of her final comments posted below.
Michelle made a pretty distraction from co-host and radio personality Colin Cowherd. Cowherd said at the time he took on the "Sports Nation" job, that he wouldn't have been keen to add an additional show to his three hours a day radio gig had it not been for the network's choice of Michelle Beadle.
Her humorous and light approach to the job was the perfect touch next to the dry and somewhat sarcastic Cowherd. It didn't hurt that in addition to being a great looking woman, she could run circles around her co-host when it came to engaging an audience with her sports knowledge.
A Texas native and graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio, Beadle came to the attention of the ESPN brass after her stint with the New Jersey Nets as a sideline reporter for the YES network.
At the ESPN upfront presentations to ad buyers last month, John Skipper the ESPN President told Richard Deitsch of SI.com, "We are sorry she's (Beadle) leaving. We worked hard to try to keep her but she has some different aspirations and we wish her well on those. She did a great job. Colin did a great job as well. However, as we have discovered, these shows work. If you have a good format, the shows can work when you transition to a different host."
Why would she leave the Worldwide Leader? For a new gig with the up and coming NBC/Universal sports channel and a correspondent position at "Access Hollywood."
It was one of the reasons she showed up in-studio with Dan Patrick, who in addition to his daily syndicated radio program, hosts NBC Network's "Football Night in America". It is the in-studio show that wraps around the Sunday night football NFL game.
Patrick also anchors coverage of other high profile sporting events at NBC and will be on the scene in London for the summer games that begin in July. He will now be joined by Beadle.
Dan Patrick spent 18 years at ESPN, most famously as co-anchor of Sports Center with the difficult and mercurial Keith Olbermann. When he left the fold to go on his own, the sports network was less than pleased and it became clear from the start, that he would be denied access to ESPN on-air talent as guests for his radio program.
While there was never anything formal that prohibited his former co-workers from appearing on Patrick's show, the pattern became obvious when the guest booker got repeatedly turned down. ESPN TV personality Mike Wilbon was one who took the plunge because he was also a columnist for the Washington Post and was identified that way when he came on-air with his old pal Dan.
Michelle Beadle's final "Sports Nation" appearance yesterday was marked by her and Cowherd joking about her former boyfriend, Matthew Barnaby who is no longer in her life or at his job at ESPN. Sounding very much like an ex-girlfriend she and Colin riffed on her experience knowing there wouldn't be one thing that her now former bosses could do..
It's just another reason the Michelle Beadle is unique among her business colleagues.