With ESPN’s new morning show Get Up set to enter its first football season, ESPN is in active conversations in regards to adding a rotating cast of personalities with football backgrounds to the show, The Big Lead has learned from two people with knowledge of the news. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, they requested anonymity.
The idea would be to have each personality assigned to a specific day of the week to join the regular cast of Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose. ESPN could elect to use them as the fourth co-host or feature them in and out throughout the program. Making these recurring spots happening on the same day each week would give ESPN a mechanism to promote habits.
While nothing is final, and several things could still be tweaked, considered, or changed this idea is at the forefront of options being discussed.
An ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.
Get Up‘s struggles have been well documented as the current staff and format has never seemed to click with the viewing public. Michael McCarthy of Sporting News previously reported in May that Get Up could be in for changes by football season. A football presence on the show is needed, as two-thirds of the cast are unequivocally more associated with the NBA. It is crucial for the show to make gains by football season, as it lays the foundation for the rest of ESPN programming.
Both Schefter and Finebaum have a history with the show’s most important piece, Greenberg, dating back to being frequent guests on Mike & Mike.
The Big Lead has not been able to confirm other targets, but it would make sense that Booger McFarland, Damien Woody, and Ryan Clark are in the mix, as all have spent time in the fourth chair on Get Up in its early months and come from NFL backgrounds.
Adam Schefter would give the show tremendous value by having the top news-breaker in the sport on hand. This could also be a way for him to branch into analysis, discussing not just the what but the why and how in the NFL landscape.
The more controversial Paul Finebaum has a following and can move the needle when discussing college football. It is worth pointing out that traditionally shows of this format do not spend a ton of time discussing college football. Finebaum recently signed a multiyear contract extension with ESPN after rumors of a potential departure from the network emerged in early July.
Changes are going to be made, not even six months into the show’s existence. Those changes–which will likely include big names in Schefter and Finebaum–will provide additional time to see what works during football season.