Wednesday November 29, 2023

NBA Countdown Producer Amina Hussein May be Next to Leave ESPN

  • Hussein has run ‘NBA Countdown’ since 2012.
  • She’s one of ESPN’s highest-ranking female executives and journalists of color.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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ESPN is suffering talent defections in front of and behind the camera. 

Amina Hussein, the Emmy Award-winning NBA senior coordinating producer, could be leaving the network, said sources. 

Hussein is one of the top-ranking female executives and journalists of color at ESPN. She’s overseen the production of the national “NBA Countdown” pregame show on ABC and ESPN since the start of the 2012-2013 season. 

Sources said Hussein could be headed to fitness company Peloton. ESPN declined to comment. Peloton did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

Over the years, Hussein has managed the large cast of “NBA Countdown,” ranging from Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, and Michelle Beadle to the current cast of host Maria Taylor, analysts Jalen Rose and Jay Williams, and league insider Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Before taking over “Countdown” Hussein managed ESPN’s NFL pregame show “Sunday NFL Countdown.” She also worked on “SportsCenter, ” “NFL Live” and college football, winning an Emmy for her work on ESPN’s 2016 college football MegaCast. The Oakland native originally joined ESPN in 2003.

Reports of the 17-year veteran’s possible departure come only days after news that ESPN correspondent Tom Rinaldi is jumping to Fox Sports.  

ESPN wanted to retain Rinaldi, who’s known as one of the best interviewers and essayists in the business. 

However, ESPN has been scrutinizing every talent contract carefully while announcing the largest series of job cuts in its 41-year history. After Fox offered to nearly double Rinaldi’s salary to over $2 million per year, ESPN walked away from the negotiating table, sources said.


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Rinaldi will follow other ESPNers who’ve recently announced their departures, including TV and radio star Dan Le Batard and senior content executives Connor Schell and Libby Geist

Meanwhile, ESPN has declined to renew the contract of longtime stars Mike Golic Sr. and Trey Wingo. Golic is hosting a national sports trivia show created by Learfield IMG College and SIDEARM Sports. 

Sister Walt Disney Co. networks ESPN and ABC will combine to exclusively televise all five NBA games on Christmas Day.

The two networks will combine for 13 consecutive hours of live coverage, including special editions of “NBA Countdown” and “First Take,” with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim Rose.

Both ABC and ESPN will televise LeBron James and the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Dallas Mavericks at 8 p.m. ET.

FOS senior reporter A.J. Perez contributed to this story.

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