One of the most popular sports television personality just got paid big, and he earned every penny he’s set to make.
Stephen Anthony Smith has been on television since 1999. He has had a radio show since 2005. He started his career on CNN/Sports Illustrated, he was 24-years old at the time. In August 2005, he began hosting a daily show on ESPN that ran for an hour, called “Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith.” On April 30, 2012, Smith joined First Take to “square off” against longtime First Take commentator, Skip Bayless. The show was called “Embrace Debate.”
In late 2014, Stephen A. Smith signed a multi-year deal with ESPN that would pay him $3M per year. After Skip Bayless left ESPN for a big-money contract in 2016, Smith switched agents in hope for a more lucrative deal. On July 25th, 2016, Stephen A. Smith got a new colleague in Max Kellerman to debate with on First Take. Smith gets a lot of unfair criticism, here’s what Max Kellerman had to say about Smith, “You know what’s great about working with Stephen A.? When the red light goes on, he performs, every time,” First Take co-star Max Kellerman said, “Sick, going through a family tragedy, I know he didn’t sleep, I know he was on SportsCenter late last night, I never have to worry about that little red light going on.” That is high praise from Max about Stephen A.
Stephen A. Smith, now 51-years old, is nearing a contract extension with ESPN. According to Andrew Marchand from the New York Post, Stephen A. Smith is nearing a contract extension with ESPN, worth $10M per year. This is a huge deal for Stephen A. Smith and possibly the sports industry as a whole. We can see more analysts and broadcasters getting paid more, not as much as Stephen A. Smith probably, but more than what they are getting paid now. Smith is set to become the “Richest Talent” in ESPN history, after being with the network for 14 1/2 years. Well deserved.
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