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Max Kellerman Leaving First Take For ESPN Radio

“He may not be leaving ESPN television either.”

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Max Kellerman will indeed leave First Take on ESPN. The moves were made official earlier today in a press release from ESPN.

Rumors first hit the internet last week that Kellerman would not be Stephen A. Smith’s daily opponent much longer. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported that First Take is set to be retooled as a “Stephen A vs. the world” affair.

Kellerman and Smith have been sparring partners for nearly five years. Stephen A. Smith has never been shy about telling Max Kellerman that debating him is beneath ESPN’s highest paid employee. In fact, according to Andrew Marchand, it was Smith that wanted Kellerman off First Take.

The future for Kellerman still appears to be bright at ESPN. He will be paired with his old ESPN 710 LA partner Keyshawn Johnson to handle morning drive on ESPN Radio. Currently, Johnson co-hosts the show with Jay Williams and a rotation of guest hosts sitting in for the absent Zubin Mehenti. Williams will still be a part of the new morning show, re-dubbed Keyshawn, JWill, and Max.

He may not be leaving ESPN television either. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post notes that his sources say that Kellerman could be at the center of a new 2 pm show on ESPN, which could move Jalen & Jacoby and Highly Questionable to ESPN2.

This move has set off something of a domino effect on ESPN Radio. The new lineup will see Greeny as the only show unaffected. Bart and Hahn will expand by an hour and run from noon until 3 pm. The recently announced Canty and Golic Jr will also gain an hour. That show runs from 3 until 7 pm.

As for Keyshawn and JWill’s former co-host, ESPN has confirmed Zubin Mehenti’s return to television. He is currently on medical leave, but when Mehenti returns, he will be part of the SportsCenter anchor rotation.

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Rece Davis Believes Final Regular Season College GameDay Show Typically Most Hectic Due to Coaching Changes

“There were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Rece Davis

College GameDay was in Columbus this past weekend ahead of Ohio State’s annual rivalry game against Michigan, and host Rece Davis said a number of head coaching announcements throughout the show made for some pretty chaotic moments.

Luke Fickell being named the new head coach at Wisconsin and former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule being hired at Nebraska were among the marquee hirings announced over the weekend.

On the College GameDay Podcast, Davis said trying to get information confirmed and incorporated into the show in real time was exhilarating.

“It was a bizarre, fun show that we’ve had over the years when we’ve gone to Ohio State/Michigan,” he said. “I remember the ’16 year that we extended the show to five hours. It was really fun, and then a really great game followed it. And there were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime. But there were a lot of bizarre things going on.”

Podcast co-host and senior college football reporter Pete Thamel echoed Davis’ sentiments, saying he would do a hit on the show, then take out his earpiece and immediately get back on the phone to work on getting the most up to date information.

“It was whoa,” he said. “We did the first segment…and normally I would’ve stayed and watched to see what the guys had to say, but I just walked off the stage and went back and started making calls.”

In addition to the Wisconsin and Nebraska hirings, Thamel was also working on trying to figure out the situation at Auburn. He helped get Rhule on the show as well, and he said it was cool the show’s team was able to book guests so quickly from different locations in the country.

“We literally went coast to coast on GameDay with good interviews on Saturday,” he said.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger: Company Will Chase Profitability Over Growing Subscriber Base

“We have to start chasing profitability. It will be demanded of us.”

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Change is abound at Disney, but it’s welcomed change. CEO Bob Iger, who was announced as the replacement for Bob Chapek last week, said his goal is to help get the company’s financial ship righted.

“We have to start chasing profitability,” Iger told employees and executives at a town hall. “It will be demanded of us.”

Iger announced one of his first moves in returning to the CEO role was to shake up its digital media and entertainment distribution division. That branch of the company oversees its streaming services like Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. Disney+ boasts tens of millions of subscribers, and Chapek focused heavily on reaching as many people as possible.

But Disney stock price has shrunk sharply over the course of the last year, and there have been other areas of the company in which there has been discourse. There was some belief that Disney could be up for sale.

Iger hopes things at the company can be turned around in due course, but he made one thing for certain: Disney and its properties are not for sale.

“Nothing is forever, but I’m very comfortable with the set of assets that we have,” he said. “I think they can serve our company, don’t expect any headlines soon about deals.”

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YES Network Considering Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly for Analyst Roles

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Could Yankees fans see and hear from two of the franchise’s most beloved former players on TV next season? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. The New York Post reported Monday the team’s YES Network appeared to have an interest in bringing in Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly.

But according to the network’s president of programming and production John Filippelli, it’s all speculative at this point.

“We haven’t had any in-depth discussion with either,” he told Andrew Marchand. “If they are A) available and B) interested, you probably at least have to have a conversation.”

Marchand reached out to Mattingly, who finished his run as manager of the Miami Marlins at the end of the 2022 season, and the former Dodgers manager seemed to indicate that there is another potential opportunity in the works.

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jeter will likely be a hard sell on getting into the booth. The understanding is the legendary former shortstop doesn’t have a big interest in getting into broadcasting like his former teammate Alex Rodriguez.

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