ESPN’s John Buccigross has been with the Worldwide Leader dating back to the late 1990’s. As one of the NHL mavens at ESPN, he’s been beloved by hockey fans as being one of the torchbearers of the sport in Bristol. But as he continues to be one of the main anchors for the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter, Buccigross’ contract expires on July 1. And as the Sporting News’ Mike McCarthy writes, Buccigross would prefer to remain with ESPN rather than leave.
And as ESPN has stated, most of its staff prefers to remain there despite Colin Cowherd’s contentions that its location is a hinderance. Buccigross tells the Sporting News that with his contract coming up, it would take a huge package for him to leave Bristol and ESPN:
I have loved my time at ESPN and enjoy rural Connecticut. Others may curse ESPN’s location, but I consider it a blessing. ESPN is a great company with great people and I would only leave out of necessity or for a chance to do something different that would possibly be more appealing.
And while there’s been reports that ESPN will be undergoing some cost-cutting including some familiar on-air talent in the coming months, Buccigross understands what parent company Disney is trying to do and he’s not worried:
I am not insulted that ESPN and Disney is trying to figure out the future so it can plan and budget what it’s going to do. I’m not stressed. Whatever happens, happens. This company has a good batting average and I trust they will continue to do well. America loves sports and that’s not changing. Whatever happens I’m very optimistic about the future of ESPN and about my future. We both will be fine.
And as Buccigross continues to work his scheduled shifts, he also is negotiating his own contract:
I do not have an agent. I can’t stomach paying someone 10 percent of my gross salary for a simple contract negotiation every few years. Perhaps others with more complicated situations need one. I would rather talk to my employer directly. It may have cost me a little bit of money but ESPN has been very fair with me and, for now, not having an agent is how I like to operate.
So for now, Buccigross is focusing on calling the NCAA Frozen Four which will take place next week and his work. And while he’d rather remain with ESPN, he also understands that his bosses could choose not to keep him on. Buccigross says whatever happens, he’s ready to move forward whether his future is with ESPN or with someone else.