ESPN personality and First Take mainstay Skip Bayless will be leaving ESPN when his contract ends in August, according to a Tuesday press release shared by Dave Nagle of ESPN MediaZone.
He will appear on First Take for the final time the day after the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reported that ESPN wanted Bayless to return, but he chose to “go in another direction.”
According to Kevin Draper of Deadspin, Bayless is expected to sign with Fox Sports, per an industry source. Deitsch reported Bayless “is looking at $5 million or so per year” to join Fox, according to a source.
Jamie Horowitz, the president of Fox Sports National Networks, told Michael McCarthy of Sporting News in March that he was interested in bringing a personality like Bayless into the Fox family:
I look at these “opinionists” like superstars in the NBA. You can probably name the dozen superstars who are out there. It’s like asking the (Boston) Celtics, “Are you interested in Kevin Durant?” Yes, we’re interested in all the superstars. Of course, I’m interested in Skip. I’m interested in Stephen A. and Michael (Smith) and Jemele [Hill] and (Tony) Kornheiser and (Michael) Wilbon. Just like ESPN and Fox were both interested in Colin [Cowherd].
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