RadioOnFire.com – History is being made in the field of sports journalism, as the often polarizing and always animated Stephen A. Smith is set to become the highest paid on-air personality at ESPN.
According to sources close to the negotiation process, Smith will potentially be earning up to $10 million per year after his current contract runs out, one that reportedly pays him half of that figure in the $5 million range.
In contrast, Mike Greenberg is reportedly paid $6.5 million to host “Get Up!,” currently making him the network’s highest publicly known salary. Meanwhile, “PTI”’s Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser are believed to be in Greenberg’s neighborhood, as is “SportsCenter'”s Scott Van Pelt.
It’s no secret that over time Smith has become the face of ESPN en route to becoming a bonafide star, making him indispensable to the company who clearly sees him as must-keep personnel. A part of that appeal is said to be the fact that he always makes himself available to appear on air, while the other talent is known to complain if they feel they’re being overused. Therefore, the dramatic increase in pay can be considered compensation for all the overtime he’s put in over the years.
Otherwise, Smith might consider meeting with other networks and streaming services like Fox Sports, DAZN, Amazon, and Apple to gain even more leverage on negotiations, as his current contract is set to expire in June of 2021.
Either way, the Hollis, Queens native and former Philadelphia 76ers beat writer is on pace to receive a record payday.