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SBD/January 5, 2017/Media
Chris Berman Leaving As Host Of NFL Shows, But Staying At ESPN With New Multiyear Deal
Published January 5, 2017
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NO REPLACEMENT CONSIDERED YET: Druley said that she has not begun to consider a replacement host yet and no names have been floated publicly for what is the highest profile on-air position at ESPN. The show went through significant changes this season, replacing mainstays like Tom Jackson and Mike Ditka with younger former players in Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Matt Hasselbeck. Berman remained as host, and Druley remarked that he quickly developed a rapport with his younger cohorts. In an emailed statement, ESPN President John Skipper said, “Chris is one of a kind. His innovation, passion, preparation and on-air acumen have helped define ESPN. He wrote the book on delivering highlights which still serves as the standard to this day. ... We look forward to Chris’ continuing contributions while understanding that his place on our Rushmore is assured.”
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: Berman in June spoke with THE DAILY about the possibility of retirement, saying at the time, “Retirement is a weird word. But I’ve got to say, the last few contracts have stopped on a given birthday. When it expired at 55 ... I wasn’t retiring at 55. Then 59. This is a three-year deal, so now it’s 62. There’s a reason I did it on my birthday. You still get paid on your birthday and the day after you don’t. You ought to get a cake out of it.” Steve Bornstein, who served as ESPN President through the '90s and remains one of Berman’s close friends, said, “Chris Berman, to me, represents all the positive values of ESPN. You see what you get. He’s the same person on the screen and off the screen. He really works hard. A lot of people don’t appreciate the research and time that all those guys and gals who are on the air go through to be very good. He puts in the effort. He always took the subject matter seriously. He took sports seriously. But he never took himself too seriously.”