ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Promises ‘First Take’ Will Be ‘Even Better’ Without Skip Bayless

“I’m alone. I’m all by myself. Because my guy, Skip Bayless, has decided to depart,” Smith says

Last Updated: June 21, 2016 @ 1:25 PM

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said he is going to miss his outgoing “First Take” co-host, Skip Bayless, but promised the show will be “even better” without him.

“As you can see, I’m alone. I’m all by myself. Because my guy, Skip Bayless, has decided to depart,” Smith said Tuesday during the network’s Upfront presentation at Minskoff Theatre in New York City. “Of course we’re going to replace Skip.”

“It’s MY show now,” the ESPN personality emphasized, and cited a few ways he’ll improve the show. “You will not be hearing about Tim Tebow, or the Dallas Cowboys, or Johnny Manziel.”

ESPN president John Skipper refused to speculate on who would replace Bayless when asked by reporters following the Upfront presentation.

“We don’t know yet,” Skipper said. “We believe it will be fine.”

Bayless’ departure is right around the corner. His final appearance on “First Take” is scheduled for the day after the NBA Finals conclude. Bayless reportedly jumped ship after 12 years with ESPN to take a job at Fox Sports.