Cari Champion, the co-host of the ESPN2’s “First Take” for almost three years has been named the newest anchor of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” TheWrap has learned. Champion joins “SportsCenter”s’ impressive stable of female anchors, including Hannah Storm, Linda Cohn, Sage Steele, Lindsay Czarniak, Jaymee Sire, Sara Walsh, Jade McCarthy and Nicole Briscoe.


She is expected to work on morning segments of the broadcast beginning in mid-July, particularly a series of upcoming “interactions” about sports and entertainment with members of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ABC and ESPN are both divisions of Disney.

“I grew up watching ‘SportsCenter’ — it is the flagship show so I am living the dream,” Champion told TheWrap. “When I first started working here, I would casually petition for it — but there’s always a long line.”

While working at ESPN2’s “First Take” desk, she found herself moderating heated debates between outspoken co-hosts Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. “I realized that it was going to be a tough gig as I had the biggest, strongest personalities in the building,” she said.

Friday will be Champion’s last day on “First Take,” and while she says she’ll miss the camaraderie (and conflict), she is looking forward to “getting her feet wet over the summer” on “SportsCenter”. No word yet on who will be named to replace her as host of First Take.