Last week, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports and Andrew Marchand of The New York Post both reported that Max Kellerman was likely to exit ESPN’s First Take and likely to move to the ESPN Radio morning slot. ESPN has now made that official as part of a release on their fall radio schedule, and added that Kellerman will also host an upcoming TV show (with no further details on that yet) beyond his current weekly Max On Boxing. Here’s more from that release:
ESPN Radio will reveal an updated weekday studio show lineup beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, featuring expanded show windows (Sept. 27) and select new voices with a continued focus on cross-platform appearances. All hosts will continue to appear across ESPN’s TV and digital shows, podcasts and more to further compelling, informative and entertaining discussions on key topics for fans throughout the day.
“We are excited about these next steps as we continue to build upon the impactful lineup we debuted last year,” said David Roberts, ESPN senior vice president, production. “These enhancements create even more cross-platform chances for hosts to better engage with fans throughout the day, while delivering timely, compelling content.”
…Max Kellerman will be expanding his ESPN Radio role from two to four hours each day by joining NFL Live analyst and Super Bowl Champion Keyshawn Johnson and NBA analyst Jay Williams on the network’s signature morning show (Keyshawn, JWill & Max), discussing the top stories and overnight developments with their own perspective and analysis. The show will remain in its current 6-10 a.m. timeslot. Kellerman had hosted The Max Kellerman Show on ESPN Radio from 2-4 p.m. since August 2020.
Kellerman will host a new ESPN television series (more details to follow), after serving on ESPN’s popular First Take program alongside Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim Rose since July 2016. More information on the new Kellerman show and on First Take’s updated format will be announced soon. Kellerman will also continue to host his weekly boxing show, Max on Boxing on ESPN2.
Kellerman had previously been hosting a solo ESPN Radio show from 2-4 p.m. Eastern since last August. To fill that slot, midday show Bart and Hahn with Bart Scott and Alan Hahn will be expanding by an hour (it was 12-2 p.m. ET, now it will run until 3 p.m. ET), and Mike Golic Jr. will also be expanding his show by an hour (it was 4-7 p.m. ET, now it will be 3-7 p.m. ET). Golic Jr. was previously teamed with Chiney Ogwumike, who now “will increase her expansive role across ESPN to include college and professional basketball analysis on various platforms such as SportsCenter, First Take, Get Up and more.” He’ll now be teamed with Chris Canty, who was previously co-hosting a morning show with Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg on 98.7 FM ESPN New York; DiPietro and Rothenberg will carry on with that show themselves. The rest of the daily ESPN Radio lineup (Mike Greenberg from 10 a.m. to noon ET, Sarah Spain and Jason Fitz from 7-9 p.m. ET, and Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET) remains the same.
The other significant change here is with Zubin Mehenti. Mehenti was named a co-host of that morning show with Johnson and Williams when it was announced last July (replacing Golic and Wingo), but he had been off it for quite a while due to health issues. The ESPN release here says “Mehenti will return to anchor ESPN’s marquee news and information show, SportsCenter, when he comes back from his current medical leave.” So he’ll be moving back into that SportsCenter rotation and away from radio.
As for Kellerman, it’s certainly interesting to see it confirmed that he’s moving to national morning radio, and that he’ll be teaming with Williams and Johnson there. And it’s notable that he’s going to be hosting a new ESPN TV series. It will be interesting to see what that turns out to be, and what First Take does to replace him, whether that’s with the Stephen A. vs The World format of rotating guest debaters they’ve floated or something else.