First Take has reportedly landed a new co-host and the news comes from an unlikely source.
Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd was doing a Periscope broadcast on Monday, where he started to talk about SportsNation, which he co-hosted from 2009-2012. Cowherd nonchalantly said SportsNations Max Kellerman will replace Skip Bayless on First Take and that the deal was pretty much completed.
“Thoughts on SportsNation. Michelle Beadle’s a friend, Max Kellerman is leaving that show, he’s going to be on First Take.” “It’s a done deal,” Cowherd told someone off-camera, “well pretty much, yeah.”
Cowherd said the change was going to upset Beadle and that she was “pissed off.”
“Beadle likes Kellerman, that’s not going to play well for Beadle, she’ll be upset. “
Cowherd also claims that Kellerman and ESPN were $100,000 apart in negotiations for the deal.
The information might seem bizarre coming from a personality at ESPN’s direct competitor, but considering Cowherd used to host SportsNation alongside Beadle, I’m betting the information is legit. It’s interesting how he knows about contract negotiations, however. You’d think that would come from Kellerman himself or someone close to First Take. Perhaps Skip Bayless? Although, I’m not sure why he’d be privy to those details.
As for Cowherd’s comments that Beadle’s upset with Kellerman’s potential departure, I wouldn’t blame her. She’s worked with Kellerman since 2014 and I’m sure they’ve become close colleagues. You never want to see someone you like leave your work, and with Beadle, it’s probably no different.
Kellerman was “the first choice” among candidates for the job according to The Big Lead in mid-June, so ESPN seems to have made up their mind that he’s the man to replace Bayless. That’s no small task – but it’s definitely an improvement and should signal a change (even a small one) in the dynamics of First Take. Time will tell if anybody is actually upset with Kellerman’s departure, and if ESPN decides to replace him or just roll with a two person SportsNation with Beadle and Marcellus Wiley.
You can see Cowherd’s comments at about the 9:20 point in the video below.
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) June 27, 2016