- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2007

ESPN has been doing a lot of new things recently. They’ve given the “Cold Pizza” morning show a facelift, moving the crew back to ESPN headquarters in Bristol and changing the name to “First Take.” The company also moved “Mike and Mike in the Morning” to a spiffy new studio, and began doing Sportcenter updates in the morning with Comcast SportsNet alum Sage Steele. Morning Sportscenter segments now feature something called the “Rundown” showing a graphical listing of all the topics coming up on the show.

Meanwhile, ESPN is doing a few new things online, rolling out video podcasts.

But the most interesting things are yet to come.

Apparently, ESPN this fall will debut a new show called “ESPN Reports” featuring top journalists doing investigative reports on athletes, similar to “Real Sports” on HBO.

If ESPN is indeed busting out a show with hard sports news, that will be a great foil to a lot of the much-criticized “infotainment” programming that appears on the network and a nice complement to “Outside the Lines.” And if they do it right, it will mean many of their best reporters — Michael Smith, Rachel Nichols and a few others — will be spending less time chasing down trade and injury rumors and more time on substantive journalism. And we’ll probably see more of Jeremy Schaap, which is a good thing.

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