For the second time since its debut 20 months ago, ESPN’s afternoon TV show, Numbers Never Lie, is making a change. Two ESPN sources tell me the network has added Jemele Hill to the show as a co-host, effective sometime after the NBA Finals are complete. Jalen Rose, a fixture on the show since it last shook things up in June 2012, is leaving. (By choice, it seems; he’s stretched thin with ESPN’s NBA Countdown show and College Basketball Gameday and Sportscenter hits.) Hill, who recently started a podcast with colleague Michael Smith, will now co-host NNL with him. Hugh Douglas will remain on the show as a guy who gives opinions. An ESPN spokesman had no comment.
NNL started in September 2011 as a stats show, but after just nine months ESPN decided to scrap that format and turn it into an afternoon debate show. The initial host, Charissa Thompson, moved over to Sportsnation. (She has since left for Fox Sports.)
An ESPN spokesman did note that in its new 2 pm timeslot on ESPN2 – with First Take as a lead-in – ratings in two key demos (men 18-34 and men 18-49) for Numbers Never Lie were up year-to-year.
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