Stephen A. Smith has been one one of the most recognized sports anchor for longer than a decade now. All of his hard, and honest work coming to fruition in a new payday.
This deal makes Smith the highest paid sportscaster at ESPN. The sports channel reportedly gave Smith some of that new salary upfront in an effort to bring him to the negotiating table, despite having one year remaining on his current deal.
The 51-year-old has been with the network since 2005, making waves with his involvement on First Take, The Stephen A. Smith Show, ESPN’s NBA coverage and more. According to the Post, Smith will remain on First Take each morning and expand his role on SportsCenter — including hosting a special Wednesday night edition ahead of their NBA slate that night throughout the season. His radio show, however, is reportedly set to end next year.
ESPN is also exploring ways to involve Smith with its subscription service “ESPN+, according to the report.
According to the New York Post, Smith will continue hosting First Take while adding more appointment viewing opportunities on SportsCenter. ESPN already announced that Smith will host his own edition of the program at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays before NBA games. The network is also reportedly interested in finding a way to utilize Smith on its subscription platform, ESPN+.
Smith joined ESPN in 2005, working as a weekday radio host while writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer.