Max Kellerman bid farewell to ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday, culminating a five-year run that ended with co-host Stephen A. Smith driving him off the day by day morning sports activities debate TV present.
Extensively thought-about to be the face of the community, Smith had ESPN executives take away Kellerman from this system as a result of he didn’t consider the pair labored that properly collectively, The Put up’s Andrew Marchand reported.
Neither Smith nor Kellerman made point out of the rationale for his or her breakup throughout Wednesday’s present.
“I’m actually sorry I couldn’t be there to inform you face-to-face to thanks for all the pieces you probably did for the present,” mentioned Smith, who referred to as into the present as a result of he’s recovering from sleep apnea surgical procedure. “You’re going to be doing large issues such as you’re all the time doing large issues.”
The 48-year-old Kellerman, who’s transferring to mornings on ESPN Radio and can have his personal afternoon TV present on the community, thanked Smith for calling in and alluded to Smith’s outsized affect on the present’s make-up.
“Stephen A. had quite a lot of say in who was going to be his accomplice after Skip [Bayless] left the present,” mentioned Kellerman, who was born in The Bronx and started his profession broadcasting boxing. “And I used to be honored to have been chosen and wouldn’t commerce the final 5 years for something.”
In March, the 53-year-old Smith pushed for ESPN to reunite him with Bayless earlier than Bayless re-signed with Fox Sports activities on a four-year, $32 million deal.
Bayless is the co-host of FS1’s “Undisputed,” one other day by day morning sports activities debate present within the mildew of “First Take.”
Smith, a former newspaperman whose $60 million contract makes him the highest-paid ESPN persona, will stay on “First Take” with a rotation of friends to debate.