Anchors Located in Bristol, Los Angeles Studios with Guests, Analysts
Viewers of ESPN’s signature news and information program SportsCenter will notice a major change in the midday edition of the show starting on Tuesday, April 5.
The noon – 1:30 p.m. ET SportsCenter will take on a new, bi-coastal format that day with anchor David Lloyd in ESPN’s Bristol, Ct., studios as usual but co-anchor Cari Champion doing the show from ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center (LAPC).
“This is a move we’ve been planning for some time to increase the scope of what SportsCenter can do,” said Scott Clark, ESPN coordinating producer, who oversees the daytime editions of SportsCenter. “It’s going to be a new, different look for the show, as well as a bigger feel, and will continue to evolve what SportsCenter is.”
The show’s format change is expected to expand the pool of in-studio guests and analysts to include many based in the Los Angeles area, complementing the midday SportsCenter’s conversational format that reflects a time of day demanding an evolved discussion of the most compelling events and storylines.
“We think we can elevate what we get guest-wise by being in LA, and it’s a big part of the move,” Clark said. “Adding guests from LA to the lineup of strong guests we already get in Bristol will make the show even better.”
Lloyd and Champion, who have been hosting the midday show together since February, will continue their interaction with guests and analysts as well as their popular segments “Explain Yourself” and “Top 5.” Both feel that their experience working together will help them with the show’s new format.
“The chemistry that we’ve developed already surprised me,” said Lloyd, an ESPN anchor since 1997. “We didn’t really know each other at all going into this, but for some reason, we’re of the same mind when we go out there and we have a great time doing SportsCenter together.”
“We’re dedicated now to keeping up the chemistry,” said Champion, who joined ESPN in 2012 and became a SportsCenter anchor in 2015. “We’re making sure that’s priority number one. We’re trying to do something different and he allows me to be me and I allow him to be him, which is why it’s so good. We don’t get in each other’s way – we complement each other. And that’s probably the best relationship you can have and a rare one in this television biz.”
The move to Los Angeles also is a homecoming for Champion, who grew up in nearby Pasadena, Calif., and graduated from UCLA.
“It really puts me in a position to do what I love to do in my home city,” Champion said. “You have to understand I’ve always known since I was a kid I wanted to do what I’m doing and be a broadcast journalist. I’ve always imagined a time when I could work in my home. There’s a whole different perspective when you can come to a place that you know so well and where your love of sports initially started.”
The show also will continue to have contributions from SportsCenter fan correspondent Reese Waters and include features.
All of ESPN’s daytime SportsCenter editions took on a different appearance beginning Feb. 8 with the launch of the new SportsCenter:AM program, which airs from 7-10 a.m. and marked the earliest start ever for SportsCenter on a regular basis. Each of the four shows airing between 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. has its own distinct format and identity.
ESPN’s LAPC also is the home of the 1 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter hosted by Neil Everett and Stan Verrett. In addition, ESPN programs SportsNation, NBA Countdown and The Jump originate from the facility as do the ESPN Deportes programs A Los Golpes and Nacion ESPN and the ESPN Radio program Jalen & Jacoby.
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