Behind the Mic: ESPN Mulls Over Moving Jessica Mendoza Off of SNB ; Sean McVay Joins Postseason NFL Countdown in Miami
Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, ESPN is thinking of changing its Sunday Night Baseball crew, ESPN’s Postseason NFL Countdown will be joined by an NFL head coach, NBC Sports adds a former Notre Dame wideout, Fox Sports sets up their NASCAR booth for the 2020 season, and the stage for Yordenis Ugas vs. Mike Dallas Jr. is set with the PBC Fight Night lineup.
According to the New York Post, ESPN is looking to remove analyst Jessica Mendoza from the Sunday Night Baseball booth. In June 2014, she became the first female television baseball analyst in history. In recent months, Mendoza has been in the news due to her comments on Mike Fiers’ role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. If Mendoza loses her role on the network’s primetime baseball broadcast, she could possibly be seen during in-studio programming or on the call for games scheduled during the week.
Mendoza isn’t the only SNB personality that has its position in jeopardy for the 2020 season. ESPN may also move on from lead play-by-play Matt Vasgersian. Potential replacements that have been discussed are Jon Sciambi and Karl Ravech…
…Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay will be a special guest analyst on ESPN’s four-hour Postseason NFL Countdown pregame show for Super Bowl LIV in Miami. McVay, who led the Rams to Super Bowl LIII a year ago, will join host Suzy Kolber, analysts Louis Riddick and Steve Young, and Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 2 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET, ESPN).
McVay, the 2017 NFL Coach of the Year, has led the Rams to a pair of division titles and a 33-15 record in his first three seasons as an NFL head coach. A year ago, his Rams represented the NFC against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
In addition to the stadium set led by Kolber, Sam Ponder will co-host Countdown from ESPN’s Lummus Park set location on South Beach with Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, and Rex Ryan. Reporters Sal Paolantonio (Chiefs) and Josina Anderson (49ers) will also have the latest updates on the teams…
…Former Notre Dame WR Corey Robinson has joined NBC Sports Group as a reporter and digital correspondent, beginning with NBC Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LIV this week in Miami.
Robinson will contribute to coverage to a wide variety of properties across the NBC Sports portfolio on linear, digital and social platforms, including NBC Sports’ comprehensive Super Bowl LIV coverage on PFT Live with Mike Florio and Chris Simms on NBCSN and content on NBCSports.com.
Robinson joins NBC Sports Group after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2017. He played for the Fighting Irish football team from 2013-2015, was named a first-team academic All-American, and was awarded the Notre Dame Rockne Student-Athlete Award in 2014…
…Fox Sports has confirmed that the network will go with a two-person booth for its primary NASCAR Cup Series coverage in 2020, with Mike Joy returning as play-by-play announcer alongside analyst Jeff Gordon.
The move comes after the retirement last year of longtime analyst Darrell Waltrip, who had been part of Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage since 2001.
Joy returns as NASCAR on Fox’s lead announcer for the 20th consecutive season, part of his 50 years of motorsports experience. This season will mark the 70-year-old broadcaster’s 45th Daytona Speedweeks as part of the TV or radio coverage team.
Gordon, 48, is back for his fifth straight season providing color commentary for Fox Sports. The four-time Cup Series champion joined the network after his retirement from full-time driving in 2015. Gordon was inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019…
…Fox Sports announced that former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman and former super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell join blow-by-blow announcer Ray Flores to call FS1 PBC Fight Night: Yordenis Ugas vs. Mike Dallas Jr. on Saturday, Feb. 1 (8:00 PM ET) live from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. In addition, Jordan Plant serves as reporter, while Marcos Villegas works as the Unofficial Scorer and Felix DeJesus is the translator. The same crew works the FS1 PBC Fight Night Prelims. On Fox Deportes, Jaime Motta and Alejandro Luna call the fights in Spanish.