The Big Lead is reporting that ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd will be leaving the company. The Hollywood Reporter says Cowherd’s last show will air next Friday, July 24. All indications are that he’ll move to the West Coast and join Fox Sports for a reunion with former ESPN producing wunderkind Jamie Horowitz who created SportsNation and Colin’s Football Show.
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) July 16, 2015
ESPN President John Skipper confirmed Cowherd’s departure in a statement:
“We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade.He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society. Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”
It marks the third high profile personality to leave ESPN after Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann. It also leaves ESPN Radio in transition with Scott Van Pelt leaving and now Cowherd.
The Big Lead cites that Cowherd was frustrated over his radio simulcast on ESPNU and wanted it to be on either ESPN or ESPN2 but it wasn’t going to replace either SportsCenter and First Take.
Cowherd began at ESPN Radio in 2003 replacing Tony Kornheiser in the midday slot. With Michelle Beadle and then Charissa Thompson, he co-hosted SportsNation from 2009-2012 and began hosting Colin’s Football Show on Sunday mornings during NFL season during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
If Cowherd goes to Fox and does a radio simulcast on Fox Sports 1, will he run into the same issues that have befallen Mike Francesa with soccer and NASCAR pre-emptions or will he get a guarantee of airtime? That’s something that has to be worked out before he hits the air.
But in the meantime, ESPN has to deal with another high profile departure.