Jeff Passan joined ESPN in the fall of 2018, and has quickly become the network’s main MLB newsbreaker while making a variety of cross-platform appearances.
Now, according to a report from Andrew Marchand at the New York Post, Passan will be staying at ESPN for at least a few more years.
Via the Post:
While ESPN has been in cost-cutting mode, it has made exceptions. The hard-working Passan, who has the rare combination of being a news breaker and a TV personality, fits the mold. He is believed to have received a substantial raise.
ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro has a long history with Passan, having first hired him for a national spot when Pitaro ran Yahoo Sports. Passan, 41, left Yahoo for ESPN three years ago.
That substantial raise comes in part thanks to interest from a predictable sector: gambling companies. Those outlets are tossing a lot of money around right now as they attempt to expand into media and content creation. If you’re a “name” in sports media right now with an expiring contract, it’s probably not going to be that hard to land an increased offer to either consider or take back to your current outlet to get a raise.
Related to Passan, Marchand also notes that ESPN’s other two main insiders are on expiring contracts, and that ESPN would prefer to keep both:
Next up, ESPN will try to ink insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Adam Schefter. Both have contracts that are up in the summer of 2022.
Schefter and Woj both have substantially larger followings and longer histories with ESPN than Passan, so it’s possible ESPN could face even stiffer competition from outside outlets looking to make a big splash hire. Though both Woj and Schefter have also found themselves facing backlash during their tenure; Woj was suspended for his profane (if probably warranted) response to a United States Senator, while Schefter has had multiple issues pop up, right up through this morning. He’s also been linked by a report to a sportsbook already.