Stephen A Smith has ascended the ranks at ESPN. Now he is in line to be the highest paid personality on the network.
According to a report by The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, the legendary First Take star could see his salary double from $5 million a year to $10 million annually.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 3, 2019
Smith has been with ESPN since 2005 and is easily one of the most famous at the network with his constant involvement on First Take, The Stephen A. Smith Show, ESPN’s NBA coverage and much more.
Smith’s current deal with ESPN is set to expire in 2021 and the two sides have yet to start negotiating seriously. A lot can still change before that happens. However, it sounds like ESPN is prepared to give Smith a substantial raise when the time comes in order to keep him under its banner instead of losing him to a competitor.
Get Up! host Mike Greenberg, by comparison, is paid $6.5 million per year, which makes him the highest-paid talent currently at the network. According to the report, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser from PTI are “believed to be in Greenberg’s neighborhood.”
Smith has earned his impending pay raise. When you think of ESPN, you think of Smith first. While through the years he has become more of a comedy act rather than a sports reporter, Smith still delivers award-winning content for the culture.