Skip Leaves ESPN; Switches To FS1

Amahni Fletcher, Staff Writer

After twelve years of working with the widely known sports network ESPN, Skip Bayless, an award-winning sports journalist, decides to part ways with them. During his career with ESPN, he had a widely successful show called First Take with sports journalist Stephen A. Smith, where Skip expressed his widely controversial opinions and debated heavily with Stephen Smith. This combo often reached over 400,000 viewers on ESPN 2 during the football season but still had a high and respectable 300,000 viewers during the football offseason.
Skip expressed some of his reasoning behind his resignation from ESPN. “Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” Bayless tells The Hollywood Reporter during an interview which discussed his leave. “It’s a Disney network. There are just certain boundaries that you can’t even tiptoe along. Not that we won’t have boundaries at Fox, because we will. They will trust me to go a little deeper. I can be completely honest on everything.”
“I’m not suggesting I’m going to become some sort of shock jock because that’s not me,” Skip adds when discussing his departure. “I say what I say because I believe it from the bottom of my soul and I can back it up. Now I feel like I can be completely honest, heart-and-soul, with full support from the people above me.” It’s apparent that Skip felt restricted when speaking his already controversial opinions on the ESPN network. The move to FS1 wasn’t prompted by malice but rather the simple desire to express more of his opinions without any censors.
This decision from Skip Bayless to leave ESPN was undoubtedly a tough one; afterall, he spent twelve years with the network. He sees this as a new challenge in his life, and in his own words he says, “You know that I live for challenges.”