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WHY JONATHAN COACHMAN WAS PULLED FROM SMACKDOWN AND HIS NEW NATIONAL GIG

By Mike Johnson on 2008-05-05 12:03:07

Last week on the PWInsider.com Elite Hotline, I exclusively reported that Jonathan Coachman was in the midst of the interview process for an on-air position with ESPN and that WWE put Mick Foley into his Smackdown color commentary role as they wanted someone who would be able to put the company first and foremost on their list of responsibilities.

Coachman, who sources indicate has been quietly discussing leaving WWE for some time, had been doing additional broadcast work for both the MSG Network and CBS' College sports broadcasts of late.

PWInsider.com can confirm Coachman has been hired by ESPN as an anchor. There's no word on when Coachman will debut for the cable sports network, but internally, WWE sources believe Coachman will be finishing up shortly, if he isn't done already with the company.

Coachman had been with WWE since December 1999, working as an announcer and on-air heel persona. Prior to his work with WWF/E, Coachman was a sports writer and sports anchor in his native Kansas.