ESPN buys out former SportsCenter anchor, ending his 15-year run

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Keith Farner | 26 minutes ago

A long-time ESPN employee has agreed to a buyout from the company a year and a half after his run as a “SportsCenter” anchor ended.

Michael Smith agreed to the buyout with ESPN on his four-year, $10 million contract, which has allowed him to take a job as the executive vice president and chief content officer for a Hollywood-based startup called “(Co)laboratory,” The New York Post reported.

Smith, 40, has had limited appearances on ESPN since his 6 p.m. “SportsCenter” with Jemele Hill ended after less than a year. The show began in February 2017. Hill agreed to her own buyout 13 months ago on a $10 million contract. Her most visible role now is as a writer for The Atlantic.

“I was ready for a new chapter,” Smith said. “I was ready for a new challenge. I’ve been at ESPN for 15 years. I’ve worn pretty much every hat imaginable. Realistically, the opportunities that were available to me at this point, I don’t know how much growth they truly represented, especially compared to this opportunity.

At his new opportunity, Smith will work with athletes, teams and leagues.

“I’m not done being on-air talent,” he said. “I’ll be the voice and the face of several projects for (Co)Laboratory. If the right opportunity presents itself, I’ll also do some on-air work outside of (Co)Laboratory.”

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Source:: Daily times

      

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