Skip to main content

ESPN On-Air Personality Skip Bayless Leaving Network

ESPN's First Take co-host Skip Bayless will leave the network when his contract expires at the end of August, the 24-hour sports network confirmed Tuesday.

Bayless, who joined ESPN in 2004 and currently co-hosts ESPN’s daily talk show First Take with Stephen A. Smith, is reported to be moving to Fox Sports, according to published reports. Bayless’ last appearance on First Take will air the day after the NBA Finals conclude someitme in June, according to ESPN.

“We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN,” the network said in a statement. “His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.”

The announcement follows the reported departure of longtime ESPN on-air voice Mike Tirico, who is expected to join NBC when his contract runs out this August, according to published reports. 

Bayless joins an expanding list of ESPN on-air personalities to leave the organization over the past year, including Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann and Colin Cowherd.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.