ESPN Inks Stephen A. Smith to Megadeal Which Will Pay Him $8M Annually

Smith's deal with ESPN makes him the highest-paid broadcaster at The Worldwide Leader

ESPN Inks Stephen A. Smith to Megadeal Which Will Pay Him $8M Annually
ESPN TV personality Stephen A. Smith. (Cindy Ord/Getty for SiriusXM)
By Evan Bleier / November 8, 2019 10:15 am

The sports media landscape has a new champion.

It’s been a long time coming, but Stephen A. Smith has finally inked a new contract with ESPN which will make him the highest-paid broadcaster at The Worldwide Leader.

According to The New York Post, Smith’s new five-year contract will pay him an annual salary approaching $8 million per year, surpassing former ESPN top dog Mike Greenberg’s $6.5 million yearly earnings. Greenberg is the host of Get Up!ESPN’s struggling morning show.

Under the terms of Smith’s new deal, the 52-year-old will continue to appear on First Take each morning and continue to expand his role on SportsCenter, including taking over hosting duties on Wednesday nights ahead of ESPN’s weekly slate of NBA action. Smith will also be worked into content on ESPN’s subscription service ESPN+ and be phased out of his radio duties.

It’s been a meteoric rise for Smith, who parlayed a job writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer into a gig working as a weekday radio host for ESPN which began in 2005.

In The Post’s report about Smith is a nugget that ESPN may also want to take a run at signing CBS football analyst Tony Romo once his contract is up.

Smith’s contract could be the high point for ESPN broadcasters for a while, though ESPN could make a run at free-agent-to-be NFL game analyst Tony Romo. The QB-turned-analyst would be a huge upgrade for the network’s Monday Night Football broadcast.

However, he’d also likely be a pricey one as Romo may want to surpass John Madden’s record for an NFL analyst of $8 million with his next contract.

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