Bob Ley, ESPN’s Longest-Tenured Anchor Announces Retirement From Network

Ley, 64, has been with ESPN since its inception in 1979

Bob Ley at SiriusXM Studios in 2017. (Robin Marchant/Images)
Bob Ley at SiriusXM Studios in 2017. (Robin Marchant/Images)
By Evan Bleier / June 26, 2019 11:28 am

Bob Ley, the longest-tenured anchor in the history of ESPN, is hanging up his microphone at the end of this month.

Ley, who had been on sabbatical from Outside the Lines since the fall, made the retirement announcement on Twitter early Wednesday morning.

In his announcement, Ley said he was in “the best of health” and that retiring from the Worldwide Leader was “entirely” his decision.

“Across 40 years I have enjoyed a professional journey unimaginable when I joined ESPN on its first weekend of existence in 1979. Each day since has been a unique adventure, one I embraced for the challenge and unequaled fun of a job like no other,” Ley wrote in part. “I have been gifted by our viewers and consumers with a precious commodity — your trust. To be invited into your homes was a privilege I never took for granted, one I worked each day to uphold. Thank you for that.”

In a piece which ran last July, The Ringer referred to Ley as ESPN’s “most important broadcaster.”

“The network’s longest-serving anchor is the perfect figure to interpret the collision of sport and politics,” read the subtitle of the piece about the Outside the Lines host. “And the Worldwide Leader needs him now more than ever.”

The may need him, but ESPN won’t have Ley once this July begins.

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