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Jeremy Schaap says goodbye to ESPN’s ‘The Sports Reporters’

Jeremy Schaap, television reporter from ESPN, moderates a

Jeremy Schaap, television reporter from ESPN, moderates a congressional round-table on college sports on current state of NCAA athletics, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Jeremy Schaap eagerly is anticipating the premiere of the new, Sunday morning edition of ESPN’s “E:60” news magazine show on May 14, which he will host. But first there is the matter of saying goodbye to the show it will replace, which also has a place in his heart.

“It is weird for me,” he said of the fact that this Sunday will be the final edition of “The Sports Reporters,” at 9:30 a.m., featuring longtime panelists Mike Lupica, Bob Ryan, Mitch Albom and Bill Rhoden.

Schaap’s father, Dick, hosted from 1988 — soon after it premiered — until his death in 2001. John Saunders succeeded him until his death last year.

“I was in college when the show went on the air,” the younger Schaap said. “I would come home on break and want to be there on Sunday morning watching. I spent many a Sunday morning eating their bagels and cream cheese and sitting on the couch in the control room, because it was exciting for me to be there and to see Mike and my dad and Bob and the guys back then, like (Tony) Kornheiser, all these guys together.

“It’s been a part of my life for 29 years, and I’ve also hosted a lot, and I’ve been a guest a lot. I’m probably in the top 20 in appearances, maybe just outside of that. And Joe Valerio, who’s been the producer for 28 of those 29 years, something like that, is one of my closest friends.

“So it is complicated. But what we’re going to be doing starting the week after that is exciting.”

Sunday’s half-hour finale will feature a “Parting Shots” segment in which the panelists share their memories of the show, which was among the first of its kind when it began but since has been eclipsed by other debate-oriented shows, including Kornheiser’s own “Pardon the Interruption.”

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