In the latest high-profile departure from ESPN, “First Take” co-host Skip Bayless is departing the network after 12 years, Deadline.com reports.
“The news comes the day after the sports giant confirmed the exit of its longtime ‘Monday Night Football’ play-by-play man Mike Tirico for NBC and less than a week after it fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling for an anti-transgender posting on social media,” the story reports.
Bayless has been the frequent foil for ESPN fixture Stephen A. Smith on the “First Take” debate desk for years. “The two often get into loud arguments as they debate hot-button sports topic,” Deadline notes. “ESPN said Bayless’ final appearance on the program will be the day after the NBA Finals conclude in June.”
In a statement, the network said: “Skip Bayless has decided to leave ESPN when his contract expires at the end of August. We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN. His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.”