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[05/01/07 - 03:53 PM]
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts to Host "The 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee" Final Rounds When They Air on ABC Live in Primetime, Thursday, May 31
Preliminary championship rounds will air live earlier in the day on ESPN, which has televised the Bee in its entirety since 1994.

[via press release from ABC]

"GOOD MORNING AMERICA'S" ROBIN ROBERTS TO HOST "THE 2007 SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE" FINAL ROUNDS WHEN THEY AIR ON ABC LIVE IN PRIMETIME, THURSDAY, MAY 31

"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts hosts live television coverage of the final championship rounds of "The 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee," THURSDAY, MAY 31 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), live from Washington, DC. Preliminary championship rounds will air live earlier in the day on ESPN, which has televised the Bee in its entirety since 1994; the ESPN broadcast is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., ET.

Robin Roberts is an especially fitting host for the Bee, as she helmed the first telecast on ESPN in 1994, and then returned in 2006 to host the Bee's first foray into primetime on ABC. "SportsCenter" anchor Chris McKendry returns to host the ESPN portion of the broadcast again this year.

Robin Roberts' first book, From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By, was recently published by Hyperion Books. She was named co-anchor of "Good Morning America" in 2005, capping off a long career with the show to which she has contributed since June 1995. She has worked in broadcasting for more than 20 years; her other ABC assignments have included hosting segments of "Good Morning America" and "PrimeTime." From 1990-2005 she was a contributor to ESPN, where her assignments included hosting "SportsCenter," contributing to "NFL Prime Time," working as a play-by-play commentator and hosting ESPN's coverage of the Winter and Summer Olympics.

Chris McKendry has served as an anchor for "SportsCenter," ESPN's flagship news and information program, since joining the network in July 1996. She has also worked on a variety of other assignments, such as hosting ESPN's coverage of X Games and sideline reporting for ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports' telecasts of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, the nation's largest and longest running educational promotion, is administered on a not-for-profit basis by Scripps and 280 local sponsors. The majority of local spelling bee sponsors are daily and weekly newspapers. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve spelling, increase vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all of their lives.

Some 286 champion spellers, ranging in age from 9 to 15, will be competing this year for the National Spelling Bee Championship. Spellers participating in the national competition qualify by winning locally sponsored spelling bees in their home communities.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is held each year in Washington DC, will begin on Wednesday May 30, featuring top spellers from across the U.S. and including competitors from Europe, Guam, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, American Samoa, Canada and New Zealand. The opening rounds of the Bee on May 30 are not televised, but real-time results are provided via the Internet at the Bee's official website, www.spellingbee.com.

"The 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee" is a production of ESPN, in association with ABC Entertainment. The executive producer is Jed Drake, senior producer is Bob Toms, and the director is Doug Holmes. The producer is David Winner, and the coordinating producer is Tim Weinkauf.

The program will be broadcast in HDTV with 5.1-channel surround sound. A TV parental guideline will be posted closer to airdate. (CLOSED CAPTIONED)





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