Chris Berman, who joined ESPN a month after it launched in 1979, has signed a new multi-year deal with the sports TV giant.
The deal, announced on Berman’s 66th birthday Monday, includes a new gig hosting NFL PrimeTime on ESPN Plus, a weekly highlights show.
Meanwhile the final whistle was blown on another ESPN veteran. SportsCenter anchor Kenny Mayne tweeted that he is leaving ESPN, calling himself a “salary cap casualty.”
Mayne has been with ESPN for 27 years. For many years he provided comic relief at ESPN’s upfront presentation, making fun of his revenue conscious colleagues and the people who spend money on advertising. That didn’t make Mayne unpopular with advertisers: he appeared in many branded-content campaigns for ESPN clients.
Berman will host NFL PrimeTime on ESPN after the Super Bowl and NFL Conference Championship games. He will also continue to contribute commentary, features and interviews across ESPN platforms and shows including SportsCenter.
“Quite simply, Chris Berman has personified ESPN’s success for more than four decades,” said Norby Williamson, executive VP and executive editor at ESPN.
“Fans respond to his authentic love of sports, his ability to savor and capture the big moments, and his on-air style that reminds us how live games can truly be equal parts essential and fun. We are delighted Boomer’s magical ride at ESPN will continue for years to come,” Williamson said.
I am leaving ESPN.Salary cap casualty.Thanks for the opportunity Vince Doria & Al Jaffe & for taking my solicitationsHerman/Stinton/Lynch.I will miss the people.I will miss the vending machine set up over by the old Van Pelt joint.We had everything.IntoTheGreatWideOpen#May 10, 2021
Berman was an original SportsCenter anchor and was the face of ESPN’s NFL Countdown for 31 years. He’s also known for the “Fastest Three Minutes in Television” halftime highlights segment and his appearance as “Swami” on SportsCenter.
He began his career as a disc jockey at WERI in Westerly, RI, hosting a news-oriented talk show and covering high school football and basketball games on the radio.
“Working at ESPN has been nothing short of a fairy tale for me. We all love sports and the excitement they bring us on a daily basis,” Berman said. “I’m thrilled to be able to continue this journey and share it with so many talented folks ‘in the building,’ and best of all, countless viewers who share the very same passion. I’d like to say it’s put me over the moon, but I’d better bring it up to date. It’s put me over Mars.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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