ESPN declined to comment, and it’s unclear when such a move could officially happen.
Front Office Sports reported ESPN to move Max Kellerman off 'First Take,' leaving Stephen A. Smith solo
Max Kellerman is expected to be removed from ESPN’s “First Take,” the show in which he and Stephen A. Smith verbally battle each day, going hot take for hot take, Front Office Sports confirmed on Wednesday.
For now, ESPN does not plan on replacing Kellerman with anyone in particular. Instead, a rotation of verbal sparring partners will likely make the short walk over each morning from another ESPN show, “Get Up,” which is located in the same Seaport studios. Molly Qerim is expected to continue to host, but Smith is the undisputed star.
Although he will reportedly be leaving First Take, Kellerman, who hosts the Max Kellerman Show onESPN Radio, is expected to stay on with ESPN. Kellerman also hosts a boxing show on ESPN2.
Smith, perhaps the most recognizable face at ESPN, reached a massive five-year contract extension with the network in 2019 that reportedly pays him about $8 million each year. The deal made him the highest-paid ESPN sportscaster, surpassing Mike Greenberg’s reported $6.5 million per year deal.