With longtime ESPN commentator Chris Berman relegated to a much smaller role at the sports network, executives have finally confirmed that they will replace him on the popular “Monday Night Countdown” show with no less than three new hosts.
The network is set to replace Berman with Trey Wingo, Suzy Kolber, and Samantha Ponder, the network said on Thursday.
“We have three exceptional hosts in Suzy, Sam and Trey, who will usher in this new era of NFL studio coverage on ESPN,” Stephanie Druley, ESPN Senior Vice President, Studio and Event Production, said in a network statement. “They each have a unique style and approach, yet they all share a passion for the game of football that is evident to viewers. We look forward to this group being the face of our NFL studio coverage for many years ahead on ESPN.”
Wingo and Kolber both have a long history of reporting on the NFL, but Ponder’s career kept her closer to college sports.
Acknowledging her coming career shift, Ponder wrote an op-ed discussing the move, noting that she is sad to leave her current job but looking forward to the new opportunity, as noted by Awful Announcing.
“Since I started in this industry in 2004, I always promised myself that I would make it about the people,” Ponder wrote on Thursday. “The people I worked with, the people I covered and the people watching at home. College Gameday is special for a lot of reasons, but none more so than the group of people who make it run. It’s not just the special chemistry of the guys you watch on camera. That part is easy to see.”
The trio have some big shoes to fill replacing Chris Berman.
Berman, who has essentially been the face of NFL coverage at the network for 30 years, was rumored to be on the outs with his long-time employer. But, in January the network announced that Berman had signed a new, multi-year contract but in a seriously diminished role.
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