Behind the Mic: Turner Sports Releases Commentators for Capital One’s The Match; NESN Mourns the Loss of Jerry Remy
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, Turner Sports released commentators for Capital One’s The Match, ESPN brings back Jeff Passan on a multi-year extension, and more.
Turner Sports Releases Commentators for Capital One’s The Match
Turner Sports has announced commentators for Capital One’s The Match, featuring golf’s most intense and competitive rivals in a head-to-head showdown – Bryson DeChambeau vs. Brooks Koepka – to be televised live on TNT the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 26, at 4 p.m. ET. The latest version of the Sports Emmy-nominated, premier live golf event series will take place at the Wynn Las Vegas, home of top-ranked Wynn Golf Course, the only golf course on the Las Vegas strip. TNT’s live presentation of the event will also be simulcast on TBS, truTV and HLN.
World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, a two-time winner of Capital One’s The Match, will be providing commentary for the first time in association with the event, pairing with Sports Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Charles Barkley, who has previously competed in the event – teaming with Mickelson to win Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Change – and is returning for the third time as an analyst. TNT’s coverage will be hosted by play-by-play commentator Brian Anderson, with Amanda Balionis returning as the on-course reporter.
NESN Mourns the Loss of Jerry Remy
For 33 years, Jerry Remy’s familiar voice has been an integral part of the fabric of New England. His true impact as a broadcaster transcended his job to entertain and inform fans, as his true legacy will be how he brought the region together to become Red Sox Nation. Today, all of Red Sox Nation mourns the passing of Remy after a decades-long battle with cancer.
“It’s hard to put into words what Jerry meant to me, and to all of us who love the Red Sox,” said Tom Caron, NESN pre- and post-game host, and member of the NESN team since 1995. “He was one of us. His voice, his outlook, and his style were all uniquely New England, and that authenticity was what made him stand out as a broadcaster. I’ve never met anyone who loved baseball more. That passion for the game, combined with his knowledge and one-of-a-kind sense of humor made him one of the best in the business. It’s hard to imagine a Red Sox season without Jerry. We will all miss him terribly.”
The iconic broadcaster and Somerset, MA native played 10 years in Major League Baseball with the Angels (1975-77) and Red Sox (1978-84). Remy was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006, the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2017, National Sports Media Association’s Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year in 2004 and 2019, and was a 2019 New Englander of the Year. In January 2020, Remy was awarded the Judge Emil Fuchs Memorial Award for long and meritorious service to baseball by the Boston Baseball Writers Association.
“Red Sox Nation lost a beloved icon,” said Dennis Eckersley, Remy’s broadcast partner of 19 years. “I lost a longtime friend, teammate and broadcast partner. He will be missed by all. Fenway Park will never be the same again.”
Among Remy’s many legacies was his connection with the Boston fanbase. In September of 2007, Remy was elected the first-ever President of Red Sox Nation through a fan vote. He was adored by Red Sox fans across the world, and brought a sense of humor and knowledge of the game to NESN’s broadcast that will leave a lasting impact on Red Sox fans that will span generations.
“Jerry was one of the toughest people you’ll ever meet,” said Dave O’Brien, NESN play-by-play announcer since 2016. “He believed in playing the game the right way. He believed in being a great teammate. He dearly loved the Red Sox. And man was he funny. He could have you in tears. Rem was the voice of the Red Sox in every way. We miss him already.”
“I am heartbroken by the passing of my longtime friend and colleague, Jerry Remy,” said NESN’s President and CEO of nearly 37 years, Sean McGrail. “It is difficult to put into words how much Jerry has meant to all of us in Red Sox Nation. His storytelling, humor, and love for the game of baseball were unmatched, and it showed on our broadcast for the 33 years that he was a part of our NESN family. He connected with Boston fans in a way few have ever done. Jerry’s legacy as a phenomenal player, talented broadcaster, and passionate ambassador will live on in the hearts of Red Sox Nation. Our thoughts are with his wife, Phoebe, and the entire Remy family during this very difficult time.”
“Jerry and I connected immediately, and I considered it a great privilege to be a part of his inner circle,” said Mike Narracci, Coordinating Director for 21 years of the Red Sox broadcast. “Throughout my career, I needed to learn the game of baseball and there was no better teacher than The RemDawg, so I stayed close to him: sitting near him on the bus and the plane, having dinner with him almost every night. I absorbed it all, and learned so much. He made me a better director and shaped the broadcast that fans experienced for those years in so many ways. I will miss him greatly.”
Michelle Beadle Returns to the Air With New Podcast, Network in Partnership with The Athletic
Beginning on Monday, Nov. 15, Michelle Beadle will make her highly anticipated return to the air with the new podcast “What Did I Miss? with Michelle Beadle,” the first title on the “Beadle Podcast Network” in collaboration with The Athletic. The podcast, running three days a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, is a sports and pop-culture focused variety show that mixes comedy and analysis with Michelle’s unique point of view. The show will be available for free on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts as well as ad free on The Athletic App.
Beadle, known for being unapologetically outspoken, rose to stardom at ESPN as the former host of NBA Countdown and face of Get Up alongside co-hosts MikeGreenberg and Jalen Rose. She also fronted ESPN’s SportsNation and ABC’s Winners Bracket. Prior to ESPN, Beadle hosted her own show The Crossover on NBC, and worked on the network’s Triple Crown, Olympics and NFL Kickoff coverage. She also served as a correspondent for Access Hollywood during her time at NBC.
Her on-camera work extends beyond sports, reporting from the Red Carpet for the Golden Globes, Grammy Awards, SAG Awards, and the Tony Awards, and as a contributor for People Magazine on television. She also hosted the Animal Planet series Animal Planet Report; co-hosted the Travel Channel’s Beach Week series; hosted the Discovery Channel reality series Get Packing and the network’s one-hour specials Inside Orlando’s Resorts and Outrageous Room Service; and hosted I Want Your Job, an original series on the Fine Living Network.
The Athletic will provide production, development, and sales support for the Beadle Podcast Network. Other shows under the network will be announced in the coming months. The Athletic Podcast Network has experienced significant growth over the past year, approaching 15 million monthly downloads.
ESPN Brings Back Jeff Passan on Multi-Year Extension
ESPN has reached a multi-year extension with Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan. The acclaimed journalist will continue to serve as a lead reporter and commentator for ESPN’s multiplatform Major League Baseball coverage.
Passan, who joined ESPN in January of 2019, writes for ESPN.com and makes regular appearances on SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, plus Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown which leads into Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN podcasts and ESPN’s social media platforms. He is a leading voice of ESPN’s coverage of the most prominent MLB events all year long, including the regular season, postseason, baseball winter meetings and free agency.
Four-time WNBA All-Star, Olympic Gold Medalist and Former Blue Devil Chelsea Gray Joins ACC Network’s Women’s Basketball Team
Four-time WNBA All-Star, Olympic gold medalist and former Duke women’s basketball standout Chelsea Gray has signed a deal to join ACC Network (ACCN) as a college basketball analyst. Gray will appear weekly as part of ACCN’s “Ladies Night” coverage and serve as an in-game analyst as well.
Gray, the 11th pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft by Connecticut, played one season with the Sun before five with Los Angeles where she helped the Sparks to the 2016 WNBA title. Gray signed with the Las Vegas Aces prior to the 2021 season as an unrestricted free agent. She started in all 32 games and averaged 11.2 points and 5.9 assists per games last season while helping to lead the Aces to the WNBA Playoffs Semifinals. Gray was named to the WNBA All-Star Team in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021, earned first team All-WNBA honors in 2019 and second team honors in 2017. She owns career averages of 11.6 points, 4.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game.
At Duke, Gray was a highly decorated player whose college career was cut short due to injury. Prior to injury, Gray earned All-America honors her sophomore and junior seasons, and was named the ACC Co-Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season. She helped guide Duke to three ACC regular season titles (2011, 2012, 2013) and two ACC Tournament Championships (2011 and 2013). Gray finished her career as a Blue Devil ranked second on Duke’s all-time career assists list and third on its all-time steals list.
ESPN’s Ryan McGee Signs Multi-Year Contract Extension
ESPN has reached a multi-year contract extension with award-winning ESPN senior writer and SEC Network and ESPN Radio co-host Ryan McGee. McGee will continue his role with ESPN.com and as the co-host of SEC Network and ESPN Radio’s hit show, Marty & McGee Presented by Old Trapper.
McGee co-hosts SEC Network’s and ESPN Radio’s Marty & McGee alongside his close friend Marty Smith, while contributing across high-profile studio programming, including SportsCenter, SEC Nation, SEC Now, College Football Live and more.
McGee is the author of Sidelines and Bloodlines: A Father, His Sons, and Our Life in College Football, The Road To Omaha: Hits, Hopes and History at the College World Series and ESPN Ultimate NASCAR: 100 Defining Moments in Stock Car Racing History. He also collaborated with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his New York Times bestseller, Racing to the Finish: My Story.
McGee started with ESPN in 1994, working on the production staff of the show rpm2night, during which time he also began contributing to ESPN The Magazine. From 2001-03, he produced Totally NASCAR on FOX Sports Net and for five years served as editor in chief at NASCAR Media Group, winning two Sports Emmys and penning the script for the documentary film Dale. He has five Sports Emmys in all, been named National Motorsports Press Association’s Writer of the Year six times, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), National Collegiate Baseball Writers (NCBWA) and national board member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA).
McGee will have a homecoming of sorts this weekend when SEC Nation and Marty & McGee hit the road to Knoxville for Week 11. A proud University of Tennessee alum, McGee graduated from UT’s College of Communication and Information in 1993. Marty & McGee will air live from outside Ayres Hall on the UT campus Saturday morning (9 a.m. ET, SEC Network & ESPN Radio).
ESPN Signs JJ Redick as NBA Analyst
ESPN has signed JJ Redick as an NBA analyst. Redick will regularly contribute to a wide array of ESPN NBA studio programming, including, but not limited to, Get Up, First Take, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio shows and NBA Today. Additionally, Redick will also serve as an analyst for select NBA games on ESPN.
ESPN Hires NFL Draft Expert Jordan Reid, Adding More Robust Coverage to ESPN+ Premium Editorial Content
ESPN has hired Jordan Reid as a multi-platform contributor for its year-round NFL Draft coverage. Reid’s addition further amplifies the comprehensive information and deep-dive analysis available to ESPN+ Premium Editorial Content subscribers, where the vast majority of his original content will be found.
The former starting college quarterback and coach will cover the NFL Draft from many angles, including around marquee games throughout the college football season, deep dives leading up to, during and following college all-star games and the NFL Scouting Combine, in the midst of breaking news time periods, and adding mock drafts leading up to the annual event each year.
Reid has been a writer and scout for The Draft Network since 2019, contributing on multiple platforms. Prior to his shift to media, the newest ESPN contributor was coach at his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, from 2014-18, helping the Eagles win three MEAC titles. His move to coaching followed his playing career at the school (2010-13), where he started for three seasons at quarterback and achieved the school record for completion percentage, a mark he still holds today.
Veteran Sports Editor Ed Guzman Joins The Undefeated as Deputy Editor for Sports
Ed Guzman, an award-winning sports editor with 20 years of experience in newsrooms such as The Washington Post and New York Times, has joined ESPN’s The Undefeated as deputy editor for sports. Guzman will lead the sports vertical at The Undefeated and will be responsible for the platform’s coverage of major professional leagues – NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Major League Soccer, the PGA, WTA, the ATP, and more – as well as the Olympics, and FIFA World Cup events.
Guzman joins The Undefeated after four years in communications leadership roles with government and non-profit entities focused on policies that impact people from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds. He held senior positions at Seattle-based Sightline Institute – an independent, non-profit think tank focused on sustainable environmental solutions from 2017-2020.
Guzman served as assistant sports editor at The Seattle Times (2013-2017), where he helped oversee the paper’s award-winning sports department for the coverage of Seattle’s most successful sports era. He was part of the editorial leadership team that covered the Seahawks’ back-to-back Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX campaigns; the Seattle Sounders’ first MLS Cup victory in 2016; the University of Washington women’s basketball team’s run to the Final Four in 2016; and the University of Washington Huskies College Football Playoff berth in 2016.
Guzman spent seven years at The Washington Post (2006-2013), primarily on the copy desk. He was running the sports copy desk on the night of November 9, 2011, when Penn State fired coach Joe Paterno, and Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Valencia, Venezuela. Guzman joined the Post from the New York Times, where he was a staff editor from 2002-2005. He edited the copy for many Times stories about the 2004 American League Championship Series – the New York Yankees’ historic loss to the Boston Red Sox after a 3-0 series lead. He began his journalism career in 1999 at The Oregonian in Portland.
A native of East Los Angeles and the son of Mexican immigrants, Guzman graduated from Stanford University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He is a 1998 Sports Journalism Institute class member – a training and internship program for college students interested in sports journalism careers. Guzman also participated in the Poynter Institute Leadership Academy in 2017, an acclaimed journalism leadership training program.