Skip Bayless, First Take host, leaving ESPN | EW.com

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First Take pundit Skip Bayless leaving ESPN

(Christopher Capozziello/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

ESPN is losing one of its biggest personalities. Skip Bayless, best known for being one of the commentators on ESPN2’s First Take, is leaving the network.

“Skip Bayless has decided to leave ESPN when his contract expires at the end of August,” the network said in a statement. “We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN. His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.”

Bayless’ final appearance on First Take will be the day after the NBA Finals conclude in June. His next job has not been announced yet. 

Bayless was a sports newspaper reporter before transitioning into more broadcast gigs when he joined ESPN in 2004. He starred on an early incarnation of First Take called Cold Pizza, where he debated the sports news of the day.

His current debate partner on First Take, Stephen A. Smith, joined the program full time in 2012. The show’s current moderator Molly Qerim signed up in September.

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