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TBS' Lauren Shehadi helping shape net's MLB studio shows

Shehadi has been a feature of TBS’ postseason coverage for several years as a sideline reporter, and now hosts pre- and postgame showsGetty Images

TBS' Lauren Shehadi for three months has been the "center of gravity of the Tuesday night baseball package" on the network’s "first foray into prime-time, regular-season MLB programming," according to Zach Buchanan of THE ATHLETIC. Shehadi has been a "feature of TBS’s postseason coverage for several years as a sideline reporter," and now she is "in the host’s seat for a prime-time, nationally televised baseball show." She hosts the pre and postgame shows -- formally named “MLB: Leadoff” and “MLB: The Closer” -- where she "facilitates the discussion like a point guard," with a "sixth sense of when and how to set up" analysts Jimmy Rollins, Pedro Martínez and Curtis Granderson. Fans "come for the game," but the studio show is "where a network makes its mark." Turner Sports Exec VP & Chief Content Officer Craig Barry said, “Your pre and post is always your signature." That is why the network "thought carefully about who should anchor its MLB show, testing out a variety of candidates before the season." Shehadi, who has hosted studio shows on MLB Network for the past decade, "stood out." TBS "doesn’t want an 'Inside the NBA' clone," but it "does want a show that is good for the same reasons." After a "post-basketball break," Ernie Johnson will join as the "host the majority of Tuesday nights and Shehadi will be the host some and serve as an on-site reporter for others" (THEATHLETIC.com, 6/29).

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