ESPN has had a number of high-profile departures from its stable in the last few months, with Grantland editor Bill Simmons and sports-anchor-turned-political-commentator-turned-sports-anchor Keith Olbermann both bidding the network adieu. Now the company has announced that another big name—this time, from the company’s sports radio network, ESPN Radio—will be taking his leave, with reports coming in that Colin Cowherd of The Herd will be departing ESPN for Fox Sports Radio.
Cowherd started with the company more than a decade ago, when he won an American Idol-style competition for a slot on ESPN Radio, launching the nationally syndicated version of his popular morning sports show on the network in 2004. Besides his radio work, he’s also appeared on ESPN itself, co-hosting for several years on SportsNation, which was produced at the time by current Fox Sports president Jamie Horowitz.
As with Olbermann, ESPN has emphasized the amicability of the parting, with network president John Skipper saying, “We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade.” Unlike with the fiery former MSNBC host, though, Skipper’s smiling declaration of friendship comes off as vaguely plausible; other than a feud with former SportsCenter mainstay Dan Patrick, Cowherd’s tenure hasn’t seen any of the big blow-ups or suspensions that marked the recent runs of his fellows-in-exile. Instead, it’s speculated that the motivations for the change are largely financial in nature.
There’s no timeline for Cowherd’s departure, although its expected to happen before the upcoming expiration of his current contract. It also hasn’t been officially confirmed that Cowherd will be making his way to Fox, although it was reported as such by writer James Andrew Miller. Miller also broke the news of Olbermann’s departure, and co-wrote an influential, warts-and-all oral history of the network, Those Guys Have All The Fun.