It certainly doesn’t appear that there’s any love lost between Michelle Beadle and ESPN. The former host, who quietly departed ESPN after accepting a buyout in 2019, had a telling reaction to the drama surrounding Rachel Nichols, who supplanted her from NBA Countdown, her last hosting gig with the network.
In addition to her duties on The Jump, ESPN’s weekday NBA-focused show, Nichols splits NBA Countdown hosting duties with Maria Taylor. Over the weekend, after it came out that Taylor was seeking a huge new deal from the network, The New York Times wrote about a video from 2020, in which Nichols complained that Taylor had taken over hosting duties for the NBA Finals last year.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols reportedly said on the July 2020 video. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
There has been a firestorm around Nichols’ comments for days. Beadle, who was replaced by Nichols and Taylor in that NBA Countdown role after being bought out by the company, seems to be reveling in the drama.
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 6, 2021
Michelle Beadle’s final deal with ESPN was a huge one, and it proved to be something of an albatross for the network. She was paid $5 million per year to help launch Get Up with Mike Greenberg and Jalen Rose.
After the Zach Smith scandal at Ohio State, Beadle announced that she was boycotting the sport of football, which was an issue for the host of a show geared around the football season in many ways. Combined with some serious growing pains for the show early on, Beadle was eventually bounced to NBA Countdown. Soon after Jimmy Pitaro took over for John Skipper, a Beadle ally, as ESPN president, she and the network reached a buyout settlement. She hasn’t had major work since that deal.
As more people chime in about the Nichols and Taylor situation, it’s clear that not all is well at the Worldwide Leader right now.