ESPN reportedly has promoted some internal veterans to the lead Monday Night Football booth for the 2020 season.
James Andrew Miller - author of "Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN" - was the first to report Friday morning that Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick are expected to make up the No. 1 booth for Monday Night Football in 2020. Sports media insider Richard Deitsch and Bobby Burack of Outkick have since confirmed the report as well.
There is one catch here - the iconic college football booth of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the second Monday Night Football contest in Week 1, a matchup between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. Miller suggests that ESPN's plan for the No. 1 booth on Monday Night Football could potentially change if the NCAA Football season is ultimately cancelled or moved to the spring.
Joe Tessitore took over as the play-by-play man on Monday Night Football ahead of the 2018 season, leading a booth that initially included Jason Witten and Booger McFarland. Witten, though, was much-maligned in his first season as an announcer, and elected to resume his playing career with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. ESPN pivoted to just Tessitore and McFarland in 2019, but reviews weren't much better and the two were re-assigned within the company after their second season together.
Before landing on Levy, Griese and Riddick, ESPN made well-publicized attempts to land two former star quarterbacks - Peyton Manning and Tony Romo. Manning, a five-time NFL MVP, reportedly turned down an offer to be the lead color commentator for Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, CBS inked Romo to a new deal that will pay him $17 million annually to remain with Jim Nantz on the network's No. 1 booth. Additionally, NBC balked at the idea of letting broadcasting icon Al Michaels leave Sunday Night Football to take over at ESPN.