Longtime ESPN host announces she is leaving network
For more than seven years, Cari Champion was a fixture on some of ESPN’s most popular shows. However, her time at the network has come to an end.
On Thursday, Champion announced on Twitter that she is leaving ESPN. However, she didn’t give an indication of what will be her next step in her professional career:
After consulting with mentors, family and friends, I have come to the decision that it’s time to leave ESPN. Over the past 7 years, I’ve grown from hosting First Take to having my own show on SportsCenter, and experiencing so much more in between.
— Cari Champion (@CariChampion) January 9, 2020
Champion joined ESPN in October 2012 as the host of “First Take” on ESPN2, as she moderated debates between analysts Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. She began hosting SportsCenter in 2015, while also spending some time hosting SportsNation, which has since been cancelled.
Prior to her departure, Champion had been hosting the noon ET broadcast of SportsCenter alongside David Lloyd. That show will now be hosted by Matt Barrie and Elle Duncan, although Lloyd will remain with the network, per The Big Lead.
According to The Big Lead, ESPN released the following statement:
“Cari has been a valued member of the ESPN family beginning with her time on First Take, then on SportsCenter and through her podcast. When she came to us asking to pursue opportunities outside ESPN, we were happy to support her and we wish her the best moving forward.”