Behind the Mic: ESPN Re-Ups John Saunders; Jon Stewart To Host WWE SummerSlam

John Saunders has reached a new multi-year agreement with ESPN. Saunders, who joined ESPN in 1986, will continue to appear on college football studio coverage, including anchoring regular-season Saturdays on ABC alongside Mack Brown and Mark May, and a hosting role on the College Football Playoff on ESPN. He will also call play-by-play on select college basketball games and will remain host of The Sports Reporters. Since joining ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor, Saunders has hosted and/or provided play-by-play for a variety of sports – college football, college basketball, NHL, NBA, MLB, WNBA and more.  In his role, he has traveled to many of the top sporting events, anchoring on-site coverage. In his role, he has traveled to many of the top sporting events, anchoring on-site coverage.

He came to ESPN from WMAR-TV in Baltimore, where he had worked since 1982 as an anchor of three daily sports reports, hosted the Baltimore Orioles pre-game program Orioles on Deck, and provided analysis for Baltimore Colts preseason games. Prior to that Saunders, a native Canadian, called play-by-play for the Toronto Raptors on CKVR-TV and CITY-TV (1995-2001), was the main sports anchor for CITY-TV in Toronto (1980-82), ATV News in New Brunswick (1979-80) and CKNY-TV in Ontario (1978-79)…

…Just weeks after retiring from the Daily Show, Jon Stewart will host WWE SummerSlam, which will be held Sunday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Stewart, a long-time wrestling fan, has appeared on WWE television before, as he took part in a mini-Daily Show on Monday Night Raw with current WWE World Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins. The segment was the culmination of a feud between the two that included challenges being slung over the Internet and Rollins even appearing on The Daily Show. (New York Times)…

…Dan Le Batard’s appears set to move his radio show with Jon “Stugotz” Weiner from late afternoon to Colin Cowherd’s old slot at 10am-1pm Eastern time  on ESPN radio, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Le Batard has been a sports columnist for the Miami Herald since 1990 and has been associated with ESPN since 1998, when he began writing for ESPN the Magazine. ESPN Radio has broadcast his Miami-based radio show since 2013, and he hosts the “Highly Questionable” studio show on ESPN2 weekdays at 4 p.m. (Washington Post)..

…Fox Sports 1 has lost one of its charter members, as former US Open tennis champion Andy Roddick has left the network. Roddick was one of the feature personalities in the launch of Fox Sports Live and dabbled in some other presentations at the network.  He was one of the faces of FS1 when it launched in 2013 as the network attempted a Best Damn Sports Show Period type all-sports panel. Roddick’s role at Fox Sports 1 has dwindled since and now he’s moved on. (Awful Announcing)…

…Long-time San Francisco Giants third base coach Tim Flannery has joined MLB Network’s stable of talent. Flannery retired following the 2014 season after eight seasons and three World Championships with the club. Flannery worked as a TV and radio broadcaster for the Padres from 2004 through 2006, and after retirement, he joined CSN Bay Area as a Giants analyst. His role at CSN will continue as he joins MLB Network. He will make appearances on a variety of MLB Network programs, including MLB Central, MLB Tonight, The Rundown, and MLB Now. (Awful Announcing)…

…SEC Network has set its studio and game commentator roster for the 2015 season, adding former Southeastern Conference standouts Chris Doering, Jabari Greer and Clint Stoerner as in-studio analysts on Saturdays and throughout the week in SEC Now. Chris Doering was Florida Hall of Fame wide receiver with three SEC Championships (1993, 1994, 1995) and seven years in the NFL. Jabari Greer was a two-sport athlete at Tennessee, breaking Volunteer records in both football and track & field; played ten years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2010. Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner played in the NFL for five years for the Dallas Cowboys (4) and Miami Dolphins (1). The trio will join a rotation of studio commentators that includes returning analysts Booger McFarland, a two-time Super Bowl winning defensive lineman and first team All-American at LSU, and Matt Stinchcomb, first round draft pick and two time All-American at Georgia. The line-up will rotate throughout the week on the network’s news & information show SEC Now, and for halftime shows and wraps on football Saturdays, all from the Charlotte, N.C. studios.

SEC Network’s traveling pregame show SEC Nation returns for its sophomore season Saturday, Sept. 5, at Arkansas, with host Joe Tessitore, second-year analyst Marcus Spears, radio host Paul Finebaum, reporter Kaylee Hartung and the addition of the 2010 BCS National Championship quarterback Greg McElroy (previously providing commentary in-studio). In addition to their traveling role on SEC Nation, McElroy and Spears will also appear regularly on SEC Now and The Paul Finebaum Show. Legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger, ESPN analyst and Good Morning America contributor Jesse Palmer and sideline reporter Maria Taylor continue as the network’s lead commentating team for a second season. Analysts Andre Ware and Stinchcomb are set to switch booth partners, with Missouri alumni Tom Hart calling games alongside Heisman Winner Ware, and play-by-play veteran Dave Neal with Stinchcomb…

…Longhorn Network has hired former ESPN host Alex Loeb to join the Austin-based studio team of Lowell Galindo and reporter Jane Slater beginning August 31. Loeb joins the network after spending the past two years hosting a daytime sports show on The Horn 104.9 in Austin, Texas. Before that, Loeb spent four years as a commentator at ESPN, working on numerous shows and platforms. He brings an in-depth of knowledge of Texas sports and television experience. Among his responsibilities at LHN, Loeb will host Longhorn Extra: Upon Further Review, the network’s Monday evening football show that provides a comprehensive breakdown of the previous Saturday’s game. The show teams Loeb with analysts Dan Neil and Ahmad Brooks. Loeb will also handle play-by-play for many of LHN’s 175 live events, a role he is familiar with after contributing to LHN softball games for the network in the past.