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Former ESPN Personality Michelle Beadle Makes Her Return to Broadcasting and It’s a Place She Feels Right at Home

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Michelle Beadle made her return to broadcasting on ESPN 2’s NBA Countdown show. She left the network in 2011 after a controversial tweet about LeBron James, but was welcomed back with open arms by new Head of Programming Norby Williamson.

Michelle Beadle, a former ESPN personality who left the company in 2018 to pursue other opportunities, made her return to broadcasting on Tuesday. In an interview with The Athletic, she said that she feels right at home in the new environment and is excited about the future of sports media.

Michelle Beadle has been a regular on different ESPN programs for years. She had her share of contentious times while working for The Worldwide Leader. She departed NBA Countdown in 2019 following a disagreement and was gone from the network entirely a few months later. Since then, she hasn’t been on the radio. With the start of the 2021-22 NBA season just over a week away, Beadle will be back on the air, and she’ll be doing it in a familiar setting.

Michelle Beadle is a rising talent on ESPN.  

Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd broadcast show Michelle Beadle, an ESPN sports reporter and anchor, and Colin Cowherd, a sports radio celebrity, aired “SportsNation” in 3D from the ESPN 3D area at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas. Bryan Steffy/WireImage photo

Michelle Beadle started her sporting career as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs. The Texas native rose through the ranks of sports broadcasting, covering events such as the Professional Bull Riders circuit, MLB, NFL, and NBA. 

After serving as an anchor for ESPN Radio, Beadle joined the ESPN television network in 2009 as a co-host on SportsNation alongside Colin Cowherd. She remained for three years before joining NBC as a host for NBCSN, where she also served as an anchor for the 2012 London Olympics. 

In 2014, she returned to Bristol as a co-host of the program she had started five years before. She became involved in a feud with Stephen A. Smith not long after, when she chastised him for his remarks on the Ray Rice domestic abuse case. Smith was given a one-week ban. 

In 2016, ESPN appointed Beadle as the anchor of the NBA Countdown program, and she quickly established herself as a staple of the network’s nightly NBA coverage.  

Things at ESPN go south, and she is no longer on the air.

For a few years, Beadle was the host of Countdown. During that time, network executives invited her to join Jalen Rose and Mike Greenberg on the morning program Get Up! She originally declined until the network agreed to give her $5 million each year. She began in April of this year. 

Later that year, Beadle made news by announcing a boycott of collegiate and professional football, calling Urban Meyer a “liar” and claiming that the sport “marginalized women.” A few months later, the network announced that she will be focusing only on NBA coverage.

ESPN reportedly bought out her contract in August 2019, according to several sources. Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols were announced as the new hosts of Countdown, although no formal announcement was made. 

Beadle is back on the air with the San Antonio Spurs.

A tale: I lost Leroy Jenkins, the finest of all pugs, in December. I packed my belongings and departed Los Angeles. During that period, my old priority list shifted—I wanted to be surrounded by people who made me happy, both emotionally and professionally. It seems to be simple enough. But don’t worry, I’m still a jerk. pic.twitter.com/roWfPOoQ3g

October 7, 2021 — Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle)

Beadle has kept a quiet profile since her departure from Countdown. She hasn’t been on television in some time, but she has remained active on social media. The 45-year-old gave a life update on Twitter earlier this week.  

“A story: I lost Leroy Jenkins, the finest of all pugs, in December,” she wrote. “I packed my belongings and departed Los Angeles. During that period, my old priority list shifted—I wanted to be surrounded by people who made me happy, both emotionally and professionally. It seems to be simple enough. But don’t worry, I’m still a jerk.”

On Friday, it was discovered that the individuals who make her smile are the same people with whom she began her career as an intern and for whom she has never disguised her affection for the San Antonio Spurs throughout the years. During the 2021-22 NBA season, Beadle will serve as a special reporter for a few Spurs games. 

The regular season for the Spurs begins on October 20.

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