ESPN said today that it is expanding the roles for on-air veterans Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap as it boosts the profile of their respective long-running shows.
The Worldwide Leader also said The Sports Reporters will bow out May 7 with a special episode after nearly 30 years on the air.
Lee’s issues-oriented Outside the Lines — which he premiered in May 1990 — will get a year-round home on ESPN, airing at 1 PM ET Monday through Friday. The network’s long-serving commentator, who joined on its third broadcast day in September 1979, also will join Schaap for a live Sunday morning edition of E:60 that will include stories from the Outside the Lines team. Schaap has been hosting E:60 since 2007.
“ESPN has always been distinguished by its unforgettable news reporting and storytelling,” said Rob King, ESPN SVP SportsCenter and News. “And now we have a new, wonderful story to tell: a renewed commitment to the growth of the award-winning Outside the Lines and E:60 brands. It’s both a joy and a privilege to announce that Bob Ley, Jeremy Schaap and our entire community of enterprise journalists will enjoy even more opportunities to inform, enthrall and delight our audiences.”
Meanwhile, the Worldwide Leader also said today that its roundtable program The Sports Reporters will hang ’em up at nearly three decades with a two-hour special airing May 7. The Sunday edition of Outside the Lines no longer will air after May 7.
“Sunday mornings may look, feel and sound different than they have for the past 29 years,” King said. “But we’ll always be warmly indebted to the brilliant, thoughtful, fearless men and women who graced the set of The Sports Reporters and enlightened fans everywhere.”