ESPN announced Thursday that radio host Colin Cowherd is leaving the network after more than 10 years of hosting The Herd. He's reportedly working toward an agreement to make Fox Sports his next stop.
ESPN Media Zone provided a statement from ESPN president John Skipper about the latest high-profile exit from the sports giant: "We've enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade. He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society. Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best."
Ryan Glasspiegel of the Big Lead reported Cowherd has a deal with Fox Sports in the works, but nothing is set in stone at this time. He noted a potential reunion with Jamie Horowitz, who previously worked with the outspoken personality on SportsNation at ESPN, could be a driving force behind the decision.
Cowherd is the type of controversial but popular voice who can draw an audience to the network with football season on the horizon.
On the flip side, ESPN has now lost three marquee voices in recent months. Bill Simmons, who helped build the 30 for 30 series as well as Grantland, and Keith Olbermann were also unable to agree to terms on new contracts.
Cowherd, in particular, has drawn the ire of some for his generalizations that connect the world of sports to society. His NBA takes have created backlash in recent years, as he's claimed race was the reason for the Indiana Pacers' low attendance and has taken several shots at John Wall.
Of course, controversy generates buzz, and that leads to ratings. It makes him an attractive free agent, to use a phrase from the sports world.
There's no doubt he's going to leave a big void for ESPN on the radio side and could be a major coup for Fox Sports, if that deal gets done. He doesn't mind being a lightning rod, and it's allowed him to make a name for himself.