ESPN is planning digital and personality changes to 'SportsCenter'

ESPN announced plans on Monday to shake up its flagship show SportsCenter, with an initiative to reach sports fans on platforms outside of just television. The announcement comes on the heels of the network laying off more than 100 staff members.

ESPN senior vice president Rob King told Yahoo Finance it will be a trial-and-error experiment, and that two of the big changes will focus on a more digitally-driven SportsCenter and much more emphasis on the personality of the host during shows.

Among the digital changes to SportsCenter include running “Right Now” video updates — some capturing breaking news, some capturing viral happenings — on TV and digital avenues, while shooting more segments specifically for the web instead of repurposing highlight reel and interview segments from TV.

To bolster the personality that SportsCenter adopted with Scott Van Pelt at midnight showings and Michael Smith and Jemele Hill at 6 p.m. showings, the network is shuffling its agenda:

Sage Steele will anchor the 7 a.m. SportsCenter, set to air seven days a week. Kevin Negandhi, Jay Harris, Randy Scott, Elle Duncan and Matt Barrie will join.

Neil Everett and Stan Verrett will stay at their 1 a.m. slot.

Steve Levy, John Anderson and John Buccigross will co-host the 11 p.m. show. SportsCenter and this showing will also feature Kenny Mayne hosting from Bristol, Conn., headquarters for the first time in close to a decade.

Hannah Storm, current host of the 10 a.m. broadcast, is set to move to a new role focusing on “high impact journalistic pieces” for SportsCenter and E:60.

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