Arguably ESPN’s most recognizable face, First Take co-host Skip Bayless will be leaving the network and reportedly be joining Fox Sports. ESPN issued a statement regarding his departure.
“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.”
According to Deadspin, Fox Sports’ Jamie Horowitz told Sporting News last month that they were definitely interested in having Bayless. Fox Sports has yet to confirm that Skip will be joining them. Per the announcement via ESPN, Skip’s final day on air will be the First Take episode after the end of the NBA Finals, though his contract is not up until August of 2016. Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch shared that ESPN was prepared to offer Bayless an annual salary of roughly $4 million.
In his time as the co-host of First Take, Bayless became a household name due to his often radical perspectives and verbal spats with pro athletes on air.