“First Take” has named a variety of ESPN Radio hosts as temporary replacements for Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith on the television network’s hit morning show starting July 11.
Smith is on vacation and Bayless, who left ESPN for Fox Sports, has not been permanently replaced yet. In the meantime, Molly Qerim will host the show with a rotating group of radio personalities.
Steve Mason and John Ireland will join the show on Monday, while Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman will embrace debate on Tuesday. Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca and Rick DiPietro will appear on Wednesday with Freddie Coleman and Bomani Jones taking over on Thursday. The week will end with Jalen Rose and David Jacoby serving as guest co-hosts on Friday.
“We looked at a lot of people and we’re close to making a decision,” ESPN vice president of production Marcia Keegan told TheWrap last week when asked about Bayless’ permanent replacement.
“First Take” will not air this week as ESPN 2 is broadcasting Wimbledon. Last week, former ESPN personality Colin Cowherd hinted that Max Kellerman is close to landing the gig. During a Periscope session, Cowherd was asked about “SportsNation,” the show he used to co-host with Michelle Beadle that is now hosted by Beadle, Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley.
“Michelle Beadle’s a friend,” Cowherd said. “Max Kellerman’s leaving that show, he’s gonna be on ‘First Take.’ Yeah, it’s a done deal. Well, pretty much.”
It is unclear if a permanent replacement will be in place when Smith returns from his three-week vacation the week of July 18.