Official: Max Kellerman Is Replacing Skip Bayless On “First Take”
Skip Bayless is gone (but unfortunately not forgotten) from "First Take". As we told you, he is headed to FS1 to basically host "First Take" with Shannon Sharpe. Well the original found their new co-host today when they made the seemingly inevitable announcement that Max Kellerman will join Stephen A. Smith. Kellerman, who has been a co-host of "SportsNation" since 2013, will begin on "First Take" on July 25th, with his last day on SportsNation being this Friday.
Kellerman will move back to New York from Los Angeles for hosting duties and will be paid several million to make sure the move goes smoothly. Kellerman, who was born in Manhattan, hosted a local ESPN New York radio show for years. He was also the original host of "Around The Horn", before leaving ESPN altogether following a contract disagreement. Kellerman wound up at Fox Sports, before returning to ESPN to host a radio show and then later SportsNation.
— First Take (@FirstTake) July 11, 2016
“I’m thrilled to join the excellent team at First Take,” said Kellerman. “Years back, on-the-air and in the hallways of ESPN Radio New York, Stephen A. and I would engage in detailed and thoughtful discussions on sports and every other topic you can imagine. To do that again, now for the First Take audience, is going to be a lot of fun.”
Stephen A. Smith added, “I’m ecstatic to have Max on board. We’ve known one another for years. We worked at ESPN New York together and we both love our boxing. More importantly, Max is smart, quick on his feet and is never — ever — afraid to go at anyone. Just the kind of partner I wanted. It’s time! Let’s go! Can’t wait!”
With Kellerman officially on board, it will interesting to watch the viewership moving forward. Is Stephen A. enough of a wildcard to keep the brand as strong as ever, despite the Bayless departure? Is Kellerman too logical for such a nonsensical show? Will Molly Qerim ever get more responsibility?
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