According to an ESPN MediaZone Tuesday press release, Skip Bayless, a mainstay of First Take will be leaving ESPN after his contract expires in August.
After the NBA Finals, he will be on First Take one last time.
Richard Deitsch from Sports Illustrated reported Bayless wanted to return to ESPN, but he decided to “go in a different direction.”
According to Kevin Draper, Bayless is likely to sign with Fox Sports. This according to an industry source. Deitsch stated that Bayless is looking to join Fox Sports at $5 million per year, according to a source.
Jamie Horowitz, president of Fox Sports National Networks told Michael McCarthy in March that he was open to the idea of bringing Bayless into the Fox family.
Bayless is a controversial figure in journalism circles, but it’s not hard to see the appeal of First Take and the positive impact it had on the sports media landscape. McCarthy stated that the program was No. McCarthy stated that the program was the No. 1 studio show on ESPN2 with an average of 413,000 viewers in February.
First Take has remained a strong morning powerhouse at ESPN thanks to Bayless’ tendency to make unpopular arguments and his emotional and high-strung discussions with Stephen A. Smith.