Max Kellerman, longtime host and analyst on sports studio shows at ESPN and HBO, will become the new permanent co-host with Stephen A. Smith and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN2’s two-hour successful weekday morning live debate show, “First Take,” starting Monday, July 25 at 10 a.m. Eastern.
“I’m thrilled to join the excellent team at First Take,” said Kellerman. “Years back, on-the-air and in the hallways of ESPN Radio New York, Stephen A. and I would engage in detailed and thoughtful discussions on sports and every other topic you can imagine. To do that again, now for the First Take audience, is going to be a lot of fun.”
Stephen A. Smith added, “I’m ecstatic to have Max on board. We’ve known one another for years. We worked at ESPN New York together and we both love our boxing. More importantly, Max is smart, quick on his feet and is never — ever — afraid to go at anyone. Just the kind of partner I wanted. It’s time! Let’s go! Can’t wait!”
As he joins “First Take,” Kellerman will relinquish his roles on ESPN2’s Los Angeles-based studio show “SportsNation” and as co-host of “Max & Marcellus” on ESPNLA 710AM. His last day on ESPN Radio and his last appearance on SportsNation will both be Friday, July 15.
“First Take” is currently ESPN2’s most-watched regularly scheduled program. Kellerman officially replaces Skip Bayless who had been with the program since 2004 when it had been originally titled “Cold Pizza”. Bayless left the ESPN company to join Fox Sports which also houses former “First Take” producer Jamie Horowitz.
Previously, Kellerman appeared across ESPN as a SportsCenter contributor, a guest host of “Pardon the Interruption”, and the original host of “Around the Horn”. He also hosted a popular daily radio program for ESPN 1050 in New York. Long known to sports fans for his insightful ringside boxing commentary, Kellerman contributed to ESPN’s boxing series “Friday Night Fights” and provided ringside color commentary on “Tuesday Night Fights”. Kellerman will continue his role with HBO on “HBO World Championship Boxing”, “HBO Boxing After Dark”, “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley”, and “Face Off with Max Kellerman”.