Good news, sports and comedy fans: ESPN isn’t parting ways with at least one employee who has a sense of humor.
Kenny Mayne has re-upped his contract with the Worldwide Leader in Sports via a new, multiyear agreement. As part of the deal, the fan favorite anchor will add the title of Featured Contributor for Scott Van Pelt’s midnight ET “SportsCenter.”
“I did what?” the dry-witted Mayne asked in a press release.
Mayne returned to the “SportsCenter” anchor desk in 2013 after a five-year absence. He will continue on as guest anchor of the 1 a.m. ET edition of the so-called Big Show, which airs from ESPN’s Los Angeles studio and is hosted by Neil Everett and Stan Verrett. Mayne will also continue to be part of the road show, and produce features for “SportsCenter.”
“Happy to be back for more. It beats real work,” he said. “I fly to LA for a week, watch sports and make up words. Sometimes I literally make up the words. Pure gibberish. But Stan and Neil seem to get me.”
Additionally, as part of his new deal, Mayne will become a featured contributor to the midnight ET edition of the program hosted by Scott Van Pelt. That one hails from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.
“For 20 years, Kenny Mayne has placed his own indelible, if somewhat askew, stamp on SportsCenter,” said Rob King, ESPN senior vice president, SportsCenter and News. “We are truly delighted that he’ll continue entertaining fans, both from the SportsCenter set and from all corners of the sporting world.”
Mayne joined ESPN in May, 1994, as an anchor on ESPN2, providing five-minute score and news reports, and as a feature reporter. He’s surely grown since then.
The popular reporter occasionally anchored “SportsCenter” until assuming that role full-time in August 1997, and he remained in the position until 2008. Over the next three years, Mayne produced and starred in the ESPN.com original scripted series “Mayne Street.”
Later, he debuted “Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports” on the Disney-owned website, while juggling other ESPN duties.