Longtime ESPN anchor Chris Berman will step away from his longtime position as the face of ESPN’s NFL studio coverage, NFL Draft and Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby after the NFL season, the network announced Thursday.
Berman, who arrived at ESPN a month after the network launched in 1979, will still make appearances on-air and will also serve in public-facing roles on behalf of the company.
He will continue to host ESPN’s “NFL Primetime” highlights show from the field after the Super Bowl as well as the NFL Conference Championship games. He will also offer opinion and perspective on historical events in the NFL, including still appearing weekly on “Monday Night Countdown.”
In addition, he will handle play-by-play for ESPN Radio during the MLB Divisional Playoffs and participate in ESPN’s annual ESPYS Awards.
“The whole experience here has been a dream come true,” Berman said. “When we started in 1979, I was just 24. Nobody knew if ESPN would make it, or, for that matter, if cable TV would make it. I certainly wasn’t sure I would make it, but I really didn’t care. We were too busy having a blast, talking sports with viewers who were just like us, even if it was during the wee hours of the morning. We got to band together here in Bristol, Connecticut, and put out a product of which we were all very proud.”
Berman has been named National Sportscaster of the Year six times in his career, along with the 2009 Pat Summerall Award, 2010 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among numerous other accolades. In 2015, Berman was just the fifth on-air personality to be inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.
ESPN will air an hour-long show documenting Berman’s career and impact – “He Did Go All The Way” – on Feb. 2.