Sportress of Blogitude

NBC reportedly traded Michelle Beadle to ESPN for Ryder Cup coverage


In what turned out to be one of the worst moves in sports media history, Michelle Beadle left ESPN to join NBC. To say things did not work out would be an understatement. It was a flat-out disaster.

With a disgruntled employee doing little to nothing for the network, reports now are surfacing that allege that NBC essentially traded Beadle to ESPN in exchange for broadcast rights to weekday coverage of the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Sports Business Daily reports that NBC and ESPN worked out an arrangement that allowed Beadle to negotiate a new deal with ESPN  while still under contract with NBC, allowing Beadle to return to where she became a bona fide sports media star.

As part of the deal, NBC assumed Friday coverage of the Ryder Cup, something that wasn’t supposed to occur until 2015 according to a deal negotiated between NBC and PGA of America.

NBC Sports Group announced on Tuesday that The Golf Channel will broadcast Friday’s matches and NBC will pick up coverage on Saturday and Sunday. The Ryder Cup will be held between Sept. 26-28.

But none of this would have happened unless ESPN and NBC worked out a way to get Beadle back in tWWL’s fold. Beadle’s tenure at NBC was marred by low ratings, rumors of infighting with colleagues and ultimately, the cancellation of her show, “The Crossover with Michelle Beadle,” in September, 2013. That show already had undergone rebranding, being previously known as “The Crossover with Beadle and Briggs,” starring Beadle and Dave Briggs.

For Beadle, the brief detour wasn’t fun, but she’s happy to be back where she belongs, rejoining ESPN in March.

“A lot of people get stuck in jobs that they don’t like and it’s horrible for them and I was fortunate to have people fight for me to get me out of it, so I can go back to being a happy, smiling person,” Beadle told the New York Post. “It was just a bad fit all around. That’s all I can say without getting into too much trouble.”

Beadle did elect to comment, however, on how she was traded for Ryder Cup coverage, taking to Twitter to respond to Sports Business Daily’s tweet on the story:

Don’t ever change, Michelle Beadle.