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Kavitha A. Davidson

ESPN Dumps Talking Heads for Moving Bodies

Colin Cowherd follows Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann out the door.
Moving van?

Moving van?

Photographer: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

ESPN is losing another major on-air personality. The Big Lead's Ryan Glasspiegel reports that Colin Cowherd is out after nearly 12 years at the Worldwide Leader. Rumor has it the loudmouthed, hot-take master who routinely delivers facile generalizations disguised as social commentary might be heading to Fox Sports to reunite with its new president, Jamie Horowitz, who produced "SportsNation" when Cowherd co-hosted with Michelle Beadle.

Cowherd's departure follows a string of high-profile exits from ESPN, including Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann. Though reports suggest ESPN lobbied hard to keep Cowherd, while it chose not to renew the contracts of Simmons and Olbermann, the company's recent personnel moves could be seen as shedding expensive salaries and cutting production costs at a time when its subscription base is shrinking and its rights deals with leagues are growing ever-more pricey. Simmons pulled in $5 million a year, while it reportedly cost $10 million to produce Olbermann's show. According to Jim Miller, co-author of the ESPN oral history "Those Guys Have All the Fun," the salaries of Cowherd, Olbermann and Simmons totaled $10 million a year.