Starting next month, ESPN viewers and listeners are slated to get a much bigger dose of one of the company’s premier front-facing talents.
Max Kellerman, the longtime co-host of “First Take” alongside Stephen A. Smith, will be expanding his radio presence on the network, will get a new show of his own and will continue to host his boxing show on ESPN+, ESPN announced Tuesday.
Among the changes to programming include Kellerman joining Jay Williams and Keyshawn Johnson on the newly-named “Keyshawn, JWill and Max Show,” which will air from 6-10 a.m. ET every day.
The release didn’t explicitly say what will happen to “First Take” or Stephen A. Smith, only that “more information on the new Kellerman show and on ‘First Take’s’ updated format will be announced soon.”
Kellerman has hosted the show with Smith and Molly Qerim Rose since July 2016 after taking over for Skip Bayless, who left for his own show with Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports 1.
His possible departure from “First Take” was first reported by Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy last week.
While fans of “First Take” may have to get accustomed to not seeing Kellerman and Smith debate every day, Smith too could opt to expand his portfolio.
Back in February, he told InsideHook about his desire to branch out, saying he’s always wanted to host a game show or move into the late night TV circuit, citing Arsenio Hall as a big inspiration.
“Not right now because I’ve got these obligations, but down the line, in a few years, do I want to host my own late-night television show like Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, David Letterman and the late great Johnny Carson did? Absolutely,” Smith said in the article. “That’s what I really want to do someday, if I can pull it off. If I can’t, I’ll find something else to want. Who knows what the future possibilities hold.”
Smith got his first taste of what his future may hold when he hosted Monday’s edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” featuring guests Snoop Dogg and Olympic sprinter Allyson Felix.
The longtime ESPN personality spoke with Snoop Dogg about the impact NBA legend Kobe Bryant had on him to commemorate Bryant on his birthday.
ESPN’s new lineups take shape and its future officially begins Sept. 7, and when it does, all three of Kellerman, Smith and “First Take” could look and sound very different.
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