Could the old crew be getting back together??
That may be the case when Front Office Sports reported that Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith could potentially reunite as the co-hosts of First Take.
The report notes that Skip’s contract is up with Fox Sports in 2020, and Bayless is expected to shop himself to potential suitors including former employee ESPN.
“They both want to make it happen. I’m just not sure ESPN will hit Fox’s number,” said one source.
However, another source said the mantra of Mark Silverman, Fox’s president of national networks, has been cost control. Disney’s ESPN, on the other hand, is still willing to break the bank for on-air talents who move the needle.
Warned one TV executive: “The era of modern sports talent is here. The top 1% will make the big money. The middle will go away. And low paying talent will fill out the grid.”
It was back in 2016 when Bayless teamed up with Shannon Sharpe and Joy Taylor to launch FS1s “Undisputed,” with the hit show averaging around 150,000 to 180,000 daily viewers.
As far as Smith goes, he teamed up with Max Kellerman and “First Take” has set audience records repeatedly, with the show averaging 400,000 to 500,000 daily viewers, more than double the audience of “Undisputed.”
The 52-year-old Smith has emerged as the face of ESPN, with him recently receiving a lucrative contract that pays him around $8 million per year.