On Monday, Michelle Beadle can officially talk to other media outlets about leaving ESPN. Her contract with the network expires on May 31st, but from April 15th until that expiration date she has an open window in which to entertain other offers. And there will certainly be other offers.
CBS has a new 24-hour sports network, and already proved they’re willing to outspend ESPN when they signed away Jim Rome. Expect an overture from them. NBC Sports has had slow ratings out the gate, but the acquisition of Beadle would give them a much-needed injection of youth. Expect major interest from those folks, too.
There will be other potential suitors — some having nothing to do with sports — and Beadle will listen. She’s in no way married to the idea of staying in Bristol for another three or four years, where the career path pickings are slim, and the social life pickings are even slimmer.
We’ll have more details on Monday about the Michelle Beadle free agent frenzy, including info on where she might land, what she’s looking for, and why she’s likely to go. She’ll be hopping around on SportsNation through May, but if you’re a fan of the show we’d start DVRing her appearances now: one person with knowledge of the comings and goings in Bristol (who you’ll also hear more from on Monday) says her likelihood of staying at ESPN is “less than 50/50.”