Pro Football Hall of Famer-turned-talking head Shannon Sharpe shocked the sports world after he reached a contract buyout agreement with Fox Sports to end his seven-year run alongside Bayless on Fox Sports 1’s “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.”
Reports state Sharpe’s final show will be after the NBA Finals end in June. He will also reportedly be taking his “Club Shay Shay” podcast with him from Fox Sports.
The development ends what had been a successful partnership for Fox Sports since it poached Bayless from ESPN’s “First Take’ in 2016 and paired him with Sharpe. However, it seems like there was a lot going on behind the scenes.
According to the latest report from Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, there could be issues finding a new co-host because of Bayless’ demanding and “micromanaging” style, “few people” are willing to work with him.
“Bayless fancies himself the King of Embrace Debate. He’s never really gotten along with his debate partners, except for his ‘brother from another mother’ Stephen A. Smith, at ESPN,” McCarthy writes.
The 71-year-old is expected to have the “final say” in whoever replaces Sharpe.
Issues between them are clear after the Hall of Fame tight end “liked” a tweet suggesting that his co-host might be jealous of the personal brand he was building.
Bayless is in the middle of a four-year, $32 million extension he inked with Fox in 2021.
A source also told McCarthy that Bayless will not approve of hiring someone “who challenges him.”
“And here’s the kicker: you have to be willing to work with Skip, you’re going to have to put up with some s–t, he has to approve of you. And you have to get up at 3:30 in the morning,” McCarthy quoted the unnamed source as saying.
Sharpe dealing with that shit was enough for seven years and now he heads off into the sunset.
There was some very public friction between Sharpe and Bayless in the fallout of the Damar Hamlin incident. While Sharpe was disturbed by what he saw, Bayless asked if the NFL could really postpone the rest of the Monday night game, given its timing and stakes in the playoff race.
Sharpe missed the following day on Undisputed only to return and get into a big argument with Bayless.
Less than half a year later, Sharpe will be looking for any network to take his talents to.
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