The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is reporting that Stephen A. Smith has signed a new five-year deal to remain at ESPN that will pay him close to $8 million dollars per year in salary.
That makes Smith the highest paid broadcaster for the World Wide Leader. Get Up! host Mike Greenberg was the leader in the clubhouse at $6.5 million per year.
It’s a smart move for ESPN and Smith.
Say whatever you want about his “hot takes” and his sometimes bombastic rhetoric, but he is among the hardest working people in the business.
This contract is earned and well deserved. Smith drives mega ratings for the network.
He will continue to be the centerpiece of the daily debate show First Take, and he’s started hosting SportsCenter leading into Wednesday night’s NBA games on the network.
The ESPN higher ups will continue to make sure Smith is omnipresent on ESPN linear, while also looking to identify a fit for him on their direct to consumer subscription service, ESPN+.
Smith began his journalism career in print media. He worked at Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record, New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He moved to local radio, went national eventually, and became a television fixture in 2005.
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