Report: Stephen A. Smith in line to become highest-paid on-air personality in ESPN history
For most sports analysts, citing the on-field performance of an player on injured reserve or referring to a prolific passer as “more of a runner” would do enough damage to their reputation that it would have a negative impact on their future salary. That does not appear to be the case for hot take artist Stephen A. Smith.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post is reporting that Smith is in line to become highest-paid on-air personality in ESPN history. According to Marchand, multiple executives and agents believe Smith will make $8-10 million annually when he signs his next deal with the World Wide Leader, if he does not leave for rival Fox Sports or choose to go with a streaming subscription service.
Mike Greenberg, host of “Get Up!,” currently makes $6.5 million annually, the highest publicly-known salary at the network, per Marchand. The article goes on to list Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser and Scott Van Pelt as the other on-air talents viewed as “indispensable” in the eyes of ESPN execs. Part of the reason Smith is reportedly well-liked by ESPN executives is his willingness to go on the air while other on-air personalities complain of overuse. College football fans would probably be happier if Smith turned down some of those segment requests.