×

Colin Cowherd Is Latest Top Name To Depart ESPN

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.

More TV

  • Another Drama Series About Austrian Empress

    Another Period Drama Series About Austrian Empress Sisi Is in the Works

    Another TV head-to-head is brewing with the announcement of a second period drama series about Austrian Empress Elisabeth II – known as Sisi – in the works. Germany’s Story House Pictures and Austria-based Satel Film, which made Netflix’s “Freud,” are collaborating on “Sisi,” a six-part drama that goes into production in 2020. News of the project [...]

  • Disney Plus Launches; Two Episodes of

    Two Episodes of 'The Mandalorian,' Other Originals to Drop This Week as Disney Plus Goes Live

    New episodes of Disney Plus original series dropped Tuesday as the streaming service went live in three countries, with second installments of “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian” and other shows set to become available just a few days later. Disney’s new direct-to-consumer service launched Tuesday in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, with company chief [...]

  • Carolyn McCall

    ITV Revenues Dip in ‘Uncertain Environment,’ but Content Sales Rise

    ITV revenues were down by 2% in the first nine months of 2019. CEO Carolyn McCall, who has set a strategy refresh in motion, said the U.K.-based broadcaster’s performance was in line with its expectations, adding that, “although the economic environment continues to be uncertain, we are making good progress in executing our strategy.” Total [...]

  • DANCING WITH THE STARS - "Boy

    Sean Spicer Voted Off 'Dancing With the Stars'

    Sean Spicer will no longer appear on America’s television sets every Monday evening, at least as part of “Dancing With the Stars.” The former White House press secretary was voted off “DWTS” Monday night despite President Donald Trump’s earlier tweet urging the American people to vote for Spicer on ABC’s dancing competition show. The tweet [...]

  • US game show host Alex Trebek

    Alex Trebek Gets Emotional on 'Jeopardy!' After Contestant's Heartfelt Message

    Alex Trebek appeared to tear up on Monday’s episode of “Jeopardy!” after a contestant used his response to a prompt to convey the message “We love you, Alex.” As his answer to one of Monday’s questions, Tournament of Champions semifinalist Dhruv Gaur penned the message with a heart in place of the word “love,” betting [...]

  • Seinfeld

    Alan Horn Remembers How Rick Ludwin Saved 'Seinfeld'

    Rick Ludwin was the unsung hero of “Seinfeld.” That’s how Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman and former head of “Seinfeld” producer Castle Rock Entertainment, remembered the longtime NBC executive who died Nov. 10 at the age of 71. Ludwin was instrumental in getting the beloved “show about nothing” on to NBC as a regular [...]

  • Kristen Bell Pandas

    Why Kristen Bell Is 'Excited' About Returning as Narrator for HBO Max's 'Gossip Girl' Reboot

    Kristen Bell received an email a couple of months ago from “Gossip Girl” co-creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. “They just said, ‘We’ve got really good news. It’s looking like we’re going to do another version of ‘Gossip Girl’ and we would for you to return,’” Bell told Variety while promoting “Frozen II.” “I was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content