Report: ESPN to move Max Kellerman off 'First Take,' leaving Stephen A. Smith solo

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Max Kellerman’s time alongside Stephen A. Smith is apparently coming to an end.

ESPN is expected to remove Kellerman from “First Take” in the near future, according to Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy.

ESPN declined to comment, and it’s unclear when such a move could officially happen.

While nothing is reportedly finalized, Kellerman’s spot on the show isn’t expected to be filled. Instead, Smith will be alone with Molly Qerim Rose while other ESPN reporters, hosts and guests make appearances.

Kellerman has been on “First Take” for almost five years, as he replaced Skip Bayless in 2016 when Bayless left for Fox Sports, where he hosts a similar show with Shannon Sharpe.

ESPN's Max Kellerman
Max Kellerman is reportedly going to be leaving ESPN's "First Take." (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Kellerman is “still expected to play a very prominent role” with ESPN. He currently hosts the “Max Kellerman Show” on ESPN Radio and has a boxing show on ESPN2. He has hosted plenty of other shows across ESPN platforms throughout his time with the network, and was the original host of “Around the Horn.”

Per Front Office Sports, Kellerman could also join ESPN’s morning radio show, “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin.” Zubin Mehenti has missed significant time from the show this year due to health issues.

Smith, perhaps the most recognizable face at ESPN, reached a massive five-year contract extension with the network in 2019 that reportedly pays him about $8 million each year. The deal made him the highest-paid ESPN sportscaster, surpassing Mike Greenberg’s reported $6.5 million per year deal.

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