Veteran Host Colin Cowherd Is Leaving ESPN

© Provided by Variety
© Provided by Variety

Colin Cowherd, a top voice on ESPN’s radio network, is leaving the sports-media juggernaut, the latest prominent member of it talent pool to do so as the Disney-owned outlet seeks to make its way on a difficult and more costly playing field. 

“We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade. He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society,” said John Skipper, ESPN’s president, in a prepared statement. “Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”

Cowherd, who rose to greater fame by replacing Tony Kornheiser in a late-morning shift on ESPN Radio and then by hosting an ESPN2 talk show with Michele Beadle with a decidedly brash tone, follows two other top ESPN personalities who have parted ways with the company in recent weeks. ESPN said it would not renew Keith Olbermann’s contract last week. ESPN said in May it would cut ties with Bill Simmons, one of the best-known voices in sports journalism and a founder of the company’s Grantland digital culture-and-sports site.

ESPN tried to keep Cowherd on staff, according to people familiar with the situation and made an aggressive bid to do so, including a raise in compensation. The company believes a competitor likely made a more compelling offer, these people suggested. Spokespersons for Fox Sports and NBC Sports could not be reached for immediate comment.

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Source: Variety | Brian Steinberg

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