One of the elements of SportsCenter that hasn't been as prominent in recent years are the consistent pairings of anchors. Much of this theoretically goes back to the network trying to corral the fame and success of anchors like Dan Patrick & Keith Olbermann. With less emphasis on the individual personalities, the SportsCenter brand remains supreme. There have been a few pairings since throughout the years that resonated with viewers like Rich Eisen and Stuart Scott with perhaps the most notable one currently is the West Coast pairing of Neil Everett & Stan Verrett.
More recently, with the expansion of live SportsCenters into the morning and afternoon hours, the show seems to be returning to more consistent anchor pairings in respective timeslots. Hannah Storm has been featured in the mornings, Chris McKendry in the afternoons, Jay Harris & John Anderson in the early evenings, and the late night pairing of Everett & Verrett as previously mentioned. This week, ESPN announced a couple moves to the SportsCenter anchor lineup that will have a ripple effect throughout ESPN.
First, John Buccigross moves from his 12-3 slot alongside Chris McKendry to the primetime rotation amongst SportsCenter's biggest stars. The shift for Bucci into primetime comes on the heels of a nice extension with the network and the play by play job for the NCAA hockey championship. Although it's an upward move for Buccigross, I'll miss his pairing with McKendry as one that really worked. They had great chemistry together and both were equally adept with the diversity of demands for the live afternoon SC - highlights, interviews, panels, etc.
The second SportsCenter move may be more interesting though. Jay Crawford is leaving the torture chamber of First Take to take Buccigross' spot alongside Chris McKendry from 12-3 in the east. Crawford leaves the show as did former host Dana Jacobson and has been at First Take/Cold Pizza since 2003. (Cold Pizza has survived 8 years?? Is this the greatest surprise in the history of sports television shows?)
With those moves, here's the updated weekday SportsCenter lineup as of July 9th...