ESPN has canceled SportsNation, John Ourand reports for SportsBusiness Journal. In its timeslot, 4pm, will be High Noon with Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre, which will now be 30 minutes instead of an hour (despite not airing at noon anywhere in continental America, it will retain its title).
SportsCenter, with Cari Champion and David Lloyd, will move into the 12-1pm slot, re-launching the Coast-to-Coast show they previously hosted. ESPN studio show boss Norby Williamson told Ourand, “Its time had come … This is not an assessment of the show’s current staff. It was performing okay.”
August 24th will be SportsNation’s last day, and the new lineup will be in total effect on September 11th.
The key takeaway from this is that SportsCenter, after years of attrition to debate or other talk (for example: I would qualify High Noon as conversation, not debate), is making a comeback in ESPN. Even before it met its fate, it felt like SportsNation had moved almost to a SportsCenter format. High Noon will no longer have the First Take lead-in.
As Ourand noted, producer Erik Rydholm now has all of the shows he oversees — High Noon, Highly Questionable, Around the Horn, and Pardon the Interruption — in a two-hour block in daily afternoons.