ESPN has recently been plagued with on-air layoffs, but the network is attempting to bounce back with Sage Steele returning to her roots on “SportsCenter” in Bristol, Connecticut.
“There’s been a lot of changes at our network, and frankly I am happy to be part of them,” the TV anchor told TheWrap.com. “None of the wonderful things in my career would have happened if not starting in Bristol… I am just pumped.”
The entertainment news site added the 44-year-old will continue her “SportsCenter on the Road” gig. Steele, who made her ESPN debut in March 2007, revealed her new deal “has been in the works for a few months,” but “there was a lot that the network [has] needed to work out” before the announcement.
Steele also acknowledged the troubles ESPN and her colleagues have faced.
“I am a little nervous to go back for that reason because I have a lot of friends who are no longer there,” she explained. “I almost feel a little guilty for not having felt what it was like there… I just want to go and kick butt.”
Steele also commended how many of the remaining hosts tackled the numerous changes.
“I was very moved by how everyone handled it when it was taking place around it,” she said. “Every corporation in America has been through this — the difference is that we are in the spotlight because of what we do. For most people when this happens, the rest of the world is not talking about it. It was really difficult to watch from afar and keep all of those friends of mine in my thoughts, so you do get survivor’s guilt.”
“SportsCenter” will return in August.