Mon Jul 12 09:29am EDT
The Saturday morning show, which began 24 years ago as an hour-long studio show from ESPN's Connecticut studio but now attracts thousands as it airs at college campuses hosting big games, will run three hours starting at 9 a.m. ET, up from two hours and a 10 a.m. ET start last season. It also will be simulcast for the first time on ESPN Radio. The show will also allow Andrews, who is America's most-famous TV sideline reporter and who recently signed a new contract to stay at ESPN/ABC, to appear as a part-time host and feature reporter.
"The biggest reason I wanted to stay was because they'd expand my role," Andrews said Sunday in her first interview about her new contract. "It's time for me to try new things. … The hosting stuff is what I'm really looking forward to."
That hosting will come during GameDay's first hour, which will air on ESPNU. The final two hours, when Andrews will serve as a reporter, will remain on ESPN — with Andrews also working the sidelines at the game being played at the GameDay site.
The regular Saturday morning gig (along with the occasional non-sports-related spot for "Good Morning America") means Andrews, a Thursday night mainstay for the past six years, will no longer be pulling weeknight duty. Her adoring fans in New Brunswick will be devastated, I'm sure, especially Little Jovi.
Regular "GameDay" host Chris Fowler is finished with the Thursday night gigs, too, yielding his frequently awkward play-by-play duties to his studio understudy, Rece Davis, aka "Fowler Jr." Yes, Craig James remains on board in the color department. If they drop the fake country music from the proceedings, consider it a wash.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.