The year 2016 has represented some monumental changes at ESPN. The network has seen a number of high-profile on-air personalities depart for other television homes while also reshuffling some of their long-running announcing teams and studio programs. But for longtime ESPN viewers (and that means the wide majority of American sports fans) there could be a decent case made that no departures would hit closer to home than the duo of Chris Berman and Tom Jackson.
As we approach the eve of the 2016 NFL season, the futures of both men in Bristol now seem uncertain.
Earlier this year, Chris Berman was the subject of reports that his contract would not be renewed and this would potentially be his last year in his current hosting role. Questions still remain around whether Berman will in fact re-sign with ESPN, move into an emeritus role at the network, move somewhere else or just retire.
Now Berman’s longtime partner on NFL Primetime, former Denver Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson, could also be leaving the network.
Over at the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman reports that Jackson could be on his way out at ESPN or moving to a more diminished role off of Sunday NFL Countdown.
“He’s still weighing his options,” an NFL TV source said. “This will be Tommy’s call. It’s up to him. Tommy’s driving the train on this one. The situation is fluid.”
The source said Jackson, 65, has been contemplating his TV future for quite awhile.
Another industry source said the odds of Jackson returning to ESPN are long.
“My guess is he is going to leave,” the source said.
The sources could not confirm if ESPN brass want to remove Jackson from his “Sunday Countdown Post” and ask him to move to another platform. Considering his stature at ESPN, and the respect and acclaim he has received, it stands to reason he could be given a role on another ESPN NFL show.
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SOURCE: YardBarker, Matt Yoder