Colin Cowherd Is Latest Top Name To Depart ESPN

Colin Cowherd ESPN
Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

Colin Cowherd, a top voice on ESPN’s radio network, is leaving the sports-media juggernaut, the latest prominent member of it talent pool to do so as the Disney-owned outlet seeks to make its way on a difficult and more costly playing field.

“We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade. He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society,” said John Skipper, ESPN’s president, in a prepared statement. “Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”

Cowherd, who rose to greater fame by replacing Tony Kornheiser in a late-morning shift on ESPN Radio and then by hosting an ESPN2 talk show with Michele Beadle with a decidedly brash tone, follows two other top ESPN personalities who have parted ways with the company in recent weeks. ESPN said it would not renew Keith Olbermann’s contract last week. ESPN said in May it would cut ties with Bill Simmons, one of the best-known voices in sports journalism and a founder of the company’s Grantland digital culture-and-sports site.

ESPN tried to keep Cowherd on staff, according to people familiar with the situation and made an aggressive bid to do so, including a raise in compensation. The company believes a competitor likely made a more compelling offer, these people suggested. Spokespersons for Fox Sports and NBC Sports could not be reached for immediate comment.

ESPN finds itself in 2015 in a tricky position. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, the company lost 3.2 million subscribers in little more than a year, owing to more consumers using streaming video rather than cable to gain access to their favorite programs. But the fees ESPN must pay to various sports leagues for the rights to broadcast their games continue to rise. That means Skipper must navigate carefully, ensuring coverage of the bread-and-butter sports matches fans want but figuring out how to spotlight other talent who may not have the visibility or experience of the sportscasters who are leaving.

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  1. sam america says:

    I agree with Mike! I got rid of cable after I was laid off and I don’t miss it at all! especially all the left
    wing liberal politically correct crap that every fing network seems to be spewing even sports channels!
    I stopped watching ESPN years ago except for college football which I will watch local channels to
    catch football games after they took over the championship games and NBA playoffs off regular TV!
    everything will be pay to view in years to come if people don’t get fed up with this crap! boycott!

  2. Mike says:

    I stopped watching and listening to ESPN because they became sort of a People Magazine for Sports. The celebrity cultuture they’ve been trying to force feed us, the weird fixation on a few people – Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel come to mind – to the detriment of actual teams playing actual sports. The NFL coverage uber allies, might be expected, but 90 percent of it about Quarterbacks, and not a lot about actual teams makes for uninteresting listening.

    Even their SEC football alliance smakes of their approach, although it looks like they missed the SEC’s ascendency, and are on teh other side of that Bell curve now

    If they think that sports Celebrities only, teenager crush reporting is the way to go, interspoersed with Poker tourneys, is the way to have a strong network then have at it. I’m not certain the viewers they’ve lost would agree/

  3. Charlie says:

    I believe the reason people are leaving ESPN and why they will continue to lose money is that the’re to busy tackling social issue’s that are popular not sports ( Michael Sams and the Jenner person) Men want to here about sports not social issue that why we have the evening news I’m changing to the other guys until they follow ESPN’s lead then I’ll just give up on all sports

  4. rhughsirius says:

    Colin Cowflop takes his cow patty program elsewhere.

  5. they should be cutting guys like Chris Broussard – who said Howard was 50:50 on LA when he was on the plane to Houston to sign his contract and who also said Mark Cuban was driving around Houston looking for DJordan’s house texting people aimlessly when he was in Dallas at home. His sources are horrible and he is a joke on the internet.

    Or. Stephen A Smith / Skip Bayless – who said whatever garbage they want just to sound “edgy”

  6. JP says:

    Ugh! Been dreading this announcement, but it’s been crystal clear it was coming. I don’t watch FOX Sports, not sure I’ll start. They need to pay providers more for better placement on the channel guide. I wish Colin the best, maybe they’ll offer his show as a podcast that will be easy to find and listen to. At the very least I hope his show is on the main FOX Sports channels, because their ESPN2 and ESPNU equivalents are buried even more than their big brother.

  7. Gin Brekah says:

    #Disney will shrug off this departure as all others. CC offered a unique slant on sports and will be missed on my AM radio dial.

    • Celeste McMagany says:

      Jim Rome. Nobody can touch his spot-on takes. Cowherd was such a hack…always over-generalizing and never willing to see the other side of an argument. Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya…

      • Mike says:

        I like Jim Rome also. Some times some goofieness on his show, but he is knowledgable, and doesn’t spend all his time talking about The Patriots or Cowboys. Or whatever Quarterback is the next big thing.

        If you want to see the way Disney is taking ESPN, just watch their Kids channel. Celebrity is always more importnat than talent and excellence.

        And it’s backfired on them. Some years ago, there was a couple classes of top notch Quarterbacks. So all of a sudden, In true Disney fashion, they became Gods among men, to be talked about and worshipped like Disney princesses.

        But they will hire bland announcers to spew out pap about “The Next Big Quarterback!”

        But something happened along the way to celebrity driven Quarterback worship football.

        The quarterbacks coming up became mere mortals once more. This is why while we’re trying to find out about actual elite athletes, we’re getting force fed never interesting stories about Tem Tebow’s bowel movements, and whether Johnny Manziel mixes bourbon with his protein shakes.

        Elite level coverage of barely average athletes. And Colin Cowherd was a big part of that. Inventing strawmen to knock over, telling us obvious things in a manner that was condescending, like he was schooling the gerat unwashed.

      • sam america says:

        Jim Rome SUCKS! BIG MOUTH ARROGANT GQ HACK! COWHERD WAS WITTY FUNNY AND
        WASN’T SCARED TO TELL IT LIKE HE SEES IT OR THE TRUTH! HOPE HE STAYS ON RADIO!

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