Stephen A. Smith is losing yet another sparring partner across the table from him.
News comes from ESPN that Max Kellerman is leaving the network’s flagship show ‘First Take’ after five years.
Kellerman, however, is not leaving the ESPN empire. Instead, he is getting other roles on television and radio.
“Kellerman will host a new ESPN television series (more details to follow), after serving on ESPN’s popular First Take program alongside Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim Rose since July 2016. More information on the new Kellerman show and on First Take’s updated format will be announced soon. Kellerman will also continue to host his weekly boxing show, Max on Boxing on ESPN2,” says the network in a press release.
He will also replace Zubin Mehenti on an ESPN radio show with Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams.
Reports of Kellerman’s departure from First Take surfaced last week, with the popular sports debate show said to be taking on a format in which a source told Front Office Sports was being dubbed “Stephen A. vs the World,” featuring a rotating cast of guests.
No word on who will join Smith on ‘Take’ as of right now.
It pretty much is “Stephen A. vs the World” or at least “Stephen A. vs Max” as Smith reportedly wanted some changes to take place:
According to a new column from New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Smith was the person who requested that Kellerman be removed from First Take. The column goes on to speculate that Smith’s ultimate goal is to host a late-night talk show.
Now, Smith is getting his wish!
This latest shake up on ‘Take’ shows how much power Smith has at ESPN as he is “the network’s premiere on-air talent,” earning $8 million a year, plus $4 million extra thanks to a “production agreement.” He is in the middle of a five-year deal that Smith had signed in 2019 with the sports giant that is worth $60 million!
Kellerman took over the spot that Skip Bayless occupied until he left for FS1 to get the similar show ‘Undisputed’ with Shannon Sharpe on the air in 2016.
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