ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt will leave his afternoon show late this summer to solo anchor the midnight version of the network’s signature TV program “SportsCenter.” ESPN says Van Pelt will borrow elements from “SVP & Russillo,” the radio show he currently co-hosts with Ryen Russillo.
“It was going to take something remarkable for me to consider a day that didn’t include radio, and this would qualify,” said Van Pelt, who joined ESPN in 2001. “To be allowed and empowered to bring some of the sensibility of radio to this space is fantastic.”
In addition to his unique spin, the midnight edition of “Sports Center” will include commentary, guests, interviews and insight. Popular elements from “SVP & Russillo,” like “One Big Thing,” will be incorporated into the hour-long telecast. As part of a multiyear extension, Van Pelt will continue to host ESPN golf coverage.
ESPN hasn’t said whether Russillo will host afternoons solo or if it has other afternoon plans for ESPN Radio.
It made the announcement at its annual Upfront presentation in New York City, where the network showcases upcoming programming in front of an audience of advertisers and media buyers.
“Placed between the 11 pm and 1 am editions of ‘SportsCenter,’ Scott will have the freedom to focus on the day’s most compelling storylines and offer his own imprint, in addition to the perspective of his assembled cast of characters,” ESPN SVP of SportsCenter and news Rob King said in a statement.