Stephen A. Smith is on track to become the highest paid on-air talent in ESPN history.
The “First Take” co-host reportedly has two years left on his current contract, in which he gets $5 million per year. Multiple executives and agents said that Smith could become richer with an $8-10 million per year contract, according to a report published Wednesday by the New York Post.
The $8-10 million range is high in comparison with other on-air talent, with Mike Greenberg of “Get Up!” making $6.5 million per year, according to Fox News. Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser of “Pardon The Interruption” are also in the $6 million range according to sources. (RELATED: Turkey Vulture Crashes Into Stephen A. Smith’s ESPN Office)
Smith has not begun talks to renew his contract, but is considered a star at the network. Since 2017 ESPN has been cutting down on the size of it’s staff, but says it will be prioritizing personnel who the network views as indispensable. (RELATED: Stephen A. Smith Says People Have The ‘Right’ To See Colin Kaepernick’s Settlement)
Smith got his start at ESPN in 2005 when he was given his own show “Quite Frankly.” In 2009, Smith left the network to return again as a columnist in 2011.
Smith’s contract is up for renewal in June of 2021.