Skip Bayless Leaving ESPN

Skip Bayless Leaving ESPN in August, Reportedly Joining Fox Sports

First Take co-host Skip Bayless, an ESPN staple since coming on full-time in 2004, is leaving the network — allegedly for a new gig at Fox Sports.

Per a statement from Bayless’ soon-to-be-former employer on Tuesday: “Bayless has decided to leave ESPN when his contract expires at the end of August. His final appearance on First Take will be the day after the NBA Finals conclude. We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN. His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.”

Fox Sports boss Jamie Horowitz, who worked with Bayless while he was at ESPN, told Sporting News last month that he’s “interested” in having Bayless join his team; Deadspin is reporting, via an insider, that Horowitz’s hopes will soon become reality. No details about Bayless’ potential position at Fox Sports are available as of yet.

Your thoughts on this power play, sports fans? Will you miss seeing Bayless on ESPN? Would you follow him to Fox Sports? However you’re feeling, let us know with a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jericho says:

    And ESPN will be all the better for it.

  2. SHONDA LAUREL says:

    What is happening at ESPN? That place is losing people like crazy.

    • Patrick says:

      They overpaid for content, and now they have to cut costs. On air personality is the easiest cut. They’ve learned that people will watch espn, without caring too much about what talking head is blabbering on.

      • Walter Freeman says:

        It’s not just overpaying for content in a vacuum though. ESPN corporate grossly underestimated the number of cable subscribers who have or will “cut the cord.” Almost 70% of ESPN’s $10 billion dollars or annual revenue comes from cable subscriber fees, and the number of subscribers is down almost 15% from a peak in 2011. A missing billion here, another missing billion there, and suddenly you’re talking about real money.

      • KeithH says:

        What’s wrong? ESPN is starting so seem like it’s the Espousing Spurious Politics Network…

    • Gern Blanston says:

      Fox Sports is overpaying for people because their ratings are almost non-existent and they are trying to get viewers. Also, the guy in charge at Fox Sports used to be in charge over at ESPN and originally hired a lot of the people that are now jumping ship so, he has preexisting relationships with these people.

  3. kitsunesaru says:

    I’m sorry, “talent”?

  4. BenM says:

    Now if they could just get back to sports highlights and actual coverage. Instead trying to be the E! Of ‘sports. ‘ Gossip BS =/= sports news, even if it’s about athletes.

  5. PDC says:

    Wow! Suggest he stay far away from Aikman.

  6. no to get rid of the other idiot on first take

  7. datdudemurphy says:

    Tirico is the one I’ll miss….
    Disney is going to have to take a long hard look at how they sell ESPN…. Cordcutting is increasingly popular. The biggest drawback to cutting the cable cord is the lack of live sports.
    Disney should find a way to bundle with Netflix/Hulu/Prime….or outright buy Netflix.
    The purchase of Netflix would not be cheap, but the Disney/Marvel/ESPN/ABC content could bolster the dwindling Netflix library….mutually beneficial from where I sit.

  8. Ram510 says:

    Maybe now they’ll give Sportsnation some love again, cause they’ve all but bumped that show off the air

  9. Charles g says:

    Oh I’m so sorry… for Fox Sports

  10. Lauren says:

    Best news I’ve heard in a while! Go ahead and take Stephen A. Smith with you! Then all the yellers will be gone.

  11. Team Sports says:

    There will be a great comeback of turning sides on the social studios. It will be very delicate and to be inspired by our best commentator Skip Bayless of every sports at ESPN. Maybe there will be a big catch upon changing sides and making it more fun to live with.