April 26, 2016
The landscape of sports media truly is ever-changing. One day after it was reported that Mike Tirico will bolt ESPN for NBC, another high-profile employee is departing the WWL. Here is ESPN’s statement:
Skip Bayless has decided to leave ESPN when his contract expires at the end of August. His final appearance on First Take will be the day after the NBA Finals conclude.
We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN. His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.
Don't worry, folks. The hot takes will live on, possibly on multiple networks:
I'm told First Take will continue and they already have some finalists for the Bayless position.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 26, 2016
In other news, another former ESPN staple is set to debut his new show. From The Wrap:
HBO has announced the title and premiere date of its long-gestating Bill Simmons talk show. “Any Given Wednesday” will premiere on June 22 and cover sports and pop culture on a weekly basis. The half-hour talk show will feature interview segments with guests, as well as field segments and Simmons’ commentary on current events.
“I’m excited about the show, I’m excited about the title and I’m really, really excited to drop my first F-bomb on TV,” the host said. “We are going to figure out nudity down the road, as long as it’s tasteful.”
So, there you have it. Later this year, ESPN should look quite a bit different after losing some of its most recognizable faces of the past decade.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann