In the eight years since Colin Cowherd departed ESPN, the Fox Sports Radio host says he’s been approached about a possible reunion.
Cowherd joined the latest episode of The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast. During the podcast, Cowherd discussed a wide range of topics, including his move from ESPN to FS1 in 2015. Even though his ESPN tenure ended unceremoniously after he made controversial comments about Dominican Republic baseball players, Cowherd says the Worldwide Leader has reached out on occasion.
“10 years is a lot to do the ESPN treadmill, the car wash,” Cowherd told the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand. “I enjoyed it. I hopefully don’t have any enemies there, I really enjoyed it. They circled back a few years later and came after me and I said, ‘I really appreciate it, but I’m part of a new family.’ But it wasn’t for any other reason than my wife and I, we wanted new adventures.”
Cowherd said he informed Fox about his meeting with ESPN, which took place at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT in Beverly Hills. During the dinner, Cowherd says he told the unnamed now-former ESPN executive he wasn’t interested in coming back. [It seems likely that was Traug Keller, the former senior vice president of ESPN Audio who retired from the company in 2020. Keller discussed his disappointment in being outbid for Cowherd in 2015, expressed interest in bringing him back in 2018, and said in 2020 he regretted letting Cowherd get away.]
It’s no secret that ESPN Radio has struggled to fill Cowherd’s void since departing for Fox Sports. Once a highly respected brand featuring significant sports media personalities, ESPN’s national radio network has since morphed into a revolving door of shows. and was recently hit hard by layoffs.
“They’ve reached out since,” Cowherd added of ESPN. “I’m at a different place in my life. They’ve done a great job, I’m happy where I am…I love The Volume, I love my team. They’re great. We’re pretty low maintenance. We come in, we prep, we have breakfast, I put on makeup, we do the show, we go home, I’m out the door two minutes after the show is done. I don’t need anybody to hold my hand, I’ve been doing this a long time.”
Cowherd did not say ESPN attempts to do a little more hand holding of their employees than Fox does. But that narrative does exist, which is some people are so concerned about Pat McAfee’s new partnership with ESPN. Cowherd, however, lauded McAfee’s reported five-year, $85 million dollar contract with ESPN.
“I think Jimmy Pitaro is doubling down on opinion,” Cowherd said of ESPN acquiring McAfee’s show. “What Jimmy Pitaro is saying is there are a few voices out there that really matter and we want them. And I appreciate that. It would be very easy to just cut jobs, but what he’s saying is, we’ll pay if it’s the right [fit].”
And while ESPN might similarly consider Cowherd someone worth investing in, the fit no longer appears to be mutual.