Behind the Mic: Neil Everett May Be Next to Leave ESPN; Kenny Mayne, Cari Champion To Host Olympics Show on Peacock
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, Neil Everett could be the next big talent to leave ESPN, former ESPNers Kenny Mayne and Cari Champion will host an Olympics show on Peacock, and more.
Neil Everett Could Be Next Big Talent Leaving ESPN
According to Front Office Sports, Neil Everett, a staple at ESPN for 21 years, could leave the network this summer after the expiration of his current deal. He has been a fixture on the 1 a.m. ET SportsCenter with longtime partner Stan Verrett.
During his time with ESPN, Everett has interviewed many of the biggest names in sports, including the late Kobe Bryant.
Kenny Mayne, Cari Champion To Host Olympics Show on Peacock
One month after leaving ESPN, Kenny Mayne has secured another broadcasting gig. According to the New York Post, he and fellow former ESPN anchor Cari Champion will host a nightly show during the 2020 Olympics on Peacock.
The series will be a multi-faceted look at the Olympics, which will take place from July 23 to Aug. 8 in Tokyo after being postponed a year due to the pandemic.
NBC Sports Adds Vince Carter, Candace Parker, Kara Lawson to Olympic Basketball Coverage
Olympic gold medalists Vince Carter, Kara Lawson, and Candace Parker will join NBC Olympics as basketball analysts in Tokyo this summer.
Carter led the gold-medal winning Team USA in scoring (14.8 points per game) at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Lawson and Parker were teammates on the U.S. women’s team which won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with Lawson scoring a team-high 15 points in the gold-medal game. Parker won a second gold medal with Team USA in London in 2012, posting game highs in points (21) and rebounds (11) in the championship match.
Joining Carter, Lawson, and Parker in Tokyo will be NBC Olympics veteran Bob Fitzgerald (play-by-play) from NBC Sports Bay Area. Fitzgerald, who works his fifth Olympics, returns to handle basketball play-by-play, which he called in London in 2012.
In addition, Tokyo Olympic basketball will be called from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Connecticut by Kate Scott (NBC Olympics debut, play-by-play), Fran Fraschilla (second NBC Olympics assignment, analyst), and Monica McNutt (NBC Olympics debut, analyst). (NBC Sports)
Zora Stephenson Joins NBC Sports, To Debut as Basketball Reporter in Tokyo
Zona Stephenson, the sideline reporter for Milwaukee Bucks telecasts as well as a local radio voice in the city, will join NBC Sports, beginning as the basketball reporter at the Tokyo Olympics.
Following the Olympics, Stephenson will work across a wide range of NBC Sports properties.
Stephenson joins NBC Sports after two seasons as the sideline and digital reporter for Milwaukee Bucks games on Bally Sports/Fox Sports Wisconsin. In April 2021, she became the first woman to handle television play-by-play for a Bucks game. Since March 2020, Stephenson has also served as an on-air contributor for WTMJ-Radio, The Truth, and ESPN Radio in Milwaukee. Previously, she was an Emmy Award-winning news anchor and reporter at television stations in Denver, Colorado, and Greenville, North Carolina. (NBC Sports)
Fox MLB Analyst David “Big Papi” Ortiz” Steps to the Plate for Fox Bet Super 6
Boston Red Sox legend and current Fox MLB analyst David “Big Papi” Ortiz will join the Fox Bet team for the remainder of the 2021 season, offering his unique, playful and spot-on insight for the highly anticipated MLB All-Star game, and postseason this fall.
FOX Bet Super 6, a free-to-play app where users make six predictions about what they think will happen in live games, races or events, introduces the “Win Big Papi’s Money” contest this Saturday, June 19. Users will have a chance to win real cash via the “Win Big Papi’s Money” contest every MLB weekend for the remainder of the 2021 MLB regular season and postseason. Additionally, Ortiz will make contributions to the Fox Bet real-money Sportsbook app.
The in-game “Win Big Papi’s Money” contest poses 6 questions pertaining to what will transpire in innings 7, 8, and 9 of a given baseball game. Users compete for a guaranteed cash prize, that will range each week throughout the MLB season.
Ortiz is a three-time World Series Champion and former World Series MVP. Throughout his playing career, Ortiz earned 10 All-Star Game selections and seven Silver Slugger Awards, amassing 541 home runs, 2,472 hits and 1,768 RBIs. Ortiz retired in 2016 and as a tribute to his success in Boston, the Red Sox retired his jersey (No. 34) in 2017. He contributes to FOX Sports’ regular season, All-Star Game and MLB Postseason coverage. Ortiz made his broadcasting debut with FOX Sports as a guest studio analyst during the 2014 World Series and has continued to appear on the network since his retirement. (Fox Sports)