Within the wake of large layoffs at ESPN which have seen greater than 20 well-liked on-air skills relieved of their duties, the face of The Worldwide Chief says that he could possibly be the subsequent Bristol fixture to lose his job. Stephen A. Smith, who’s seemingly on the air 24-7 giving scorching takes and random courting recommendation, stated on The Stephen A. Smith Present that his former colleagues “deserved higher” and that it’s totally potential his livelihood is in danger as properly.
“ESPN laid off about 20 members of its on-air expertise…buddies of mine, truly, positively revered colleagues who’d achieved an exceptional job and deserved higher,” Smith stated. “It’s not Disney or ESPN that they deserved higher from, they deserved higher than the instances we’re dwelling in. If we’re going to be actual about it, let’s take care of actuality. This ain’t the top, extra is coming. And sure, girls and gents, I could possibly be subsequent.”
It’s very arduous to think about ESPN would truly do away with Smith, as he anchors a lot of the community’s protection of the NBA and can also be an vital voice in relation to the NFL. That stated, it’s additionally arduous to think about ESPN would let go of longtime on-air faces together with Jalen Rose, Jeff Van Gundy, Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, Matt Hasselbeck, Suzy Kolber and Steve Younger earlier than that occurred final week.
The explanations for the deep cuts are myriad, however one in all them is actually the $85-million contract ESPN gave Aaron Rodgers’s buddy Pat McAfee to convey his well-liked podcast/radio present to the community for the subsequent 5 years. Blamed on-line for the position his contract doubtless performed in ESPN chopping so many well-liked personalities, McAfee addressed the state of affairs with a prolonged tweet after the cutbacks have been introduced earlier than the Fourth of July.
McAfee can’t be blamed for taking the cash, neither is it his fault that ESPN supplied it, however it’s additionally pure for his deal to be considered with skepticism by some — and even anger by others. It will be actually attention-grabbing to listen to Smith’s sincere opinion concerning the subject, however he’s most likely not ready to make his true ideas on the matter public if he’s truly apprehensive about protecting his job. Smith might not truly be involved, however it actually sounds as if others ought to be.
Thanks for studying InsideHook. Join our day by day publication and be within the know.