Jason Whitlock is no longer with FS1, as first reported by Bobby Burack and Ryan Glasspiegel of Outkick the Coverage. Whitlock’s contract expired on Sunday and the two sides were unable to come to an agreement.
The news came as a total surprise as Whitlock did not appear on today’s Speak For Yourself with observers then noticing the Speak For Yourself social accounts had removed Whitlock from the bios and branding of those accounts. Whitlock was also removed as a cast member from the show’s program guide listing and Whitlock also removed all mentions of Fox from his Twitter bio. No special announcement was made at the end of last week’s show or on today’s show regarding Whitlock’s departure.
Fox Sports and Whitlock each confirmed the news, via Andrew Marchand of The New York Post:
The show will continue as FS1 will begin looking for Whitlock’s replacement.
“Friday was Jason Whitlock’s last day with FOX Sports,” the network said in a statement. “We thank Jason for all of his hard work and dedication to the network, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Whitlock also confirmed the news, but declined to say what is next.
Whitlock returned to Fox Sports in 2015 after a high profile split from ESPN. Looking back at the initial press release announcing Whitlock’s return to Fox, a lot of Fox’s emphasis on his role seemed to point to his writing as the company announced the launch of J. School, “a newly minted FOX Sports Digital property being developed as an outlet exclusively for his work.” The site went dark less then 8 months later.
Whitlock would go onto co-host of Speak for Yourself alongside Colin Cowherd in 2016, before being joined by Marcellus Wiley in 2018 when Cowherd stepped away from the program. We wrote in 2017, the network seemed to be getting a lot of mileage deploying Whitlock as a conservative brand ambassador for FS1 as he made series of appearances on Fox Business Network, Fox News, Outkick The Coverage, and the Wall Street Journal.
The coincidental timing of Whitlock’s contract ending comes at an interesting time given he’s one of the most well known and vocal conservatives in sports media. Whitlock recently grabbed headlines when he called out LeBron James for his tweet on Arbery’s death which received a large wave of negative publicity.
Was this a case of Fox looking to cut costs, creative differences, or perhaps the network wanting to move away from someone who was driving a lot of negative publicity to the network? It’s hard to tell what played out here as clearly both sides are tight lipped on what led to the split.
As for what’s next for Whitlock? That remains to be seen, but Marchand reports that Whitlock is “believed to be looking into starting his own direct-to-consumer business.”