‘Sports is Dead’: ESPN’s Jim Nantz’s departure makes sense for the network
ESPN sports analyst Jim Natz has agreed to a new deal with ESPN that will see him remain as the network’s sports anchor for at least two more seasons.
Natz, who has been with ESPN for two decades, was fired Tuesday after a 19-year run with the network.
The deal will see Natz continue to work alongside ESPN senior vice president of programming Mark Schoof, a longtime friend of Natz’s, according to a source with knowledge of the arrangement.
Schoof and Natz are expected to announce a new partnership soon, according the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal negotiations.
Nantz will be joining ESPN’s NFL studio to work with NFL Network analyst and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The two men have been close friends for years, and Nats longtime partner, sports radio host and host Jim Rome, is joining ESPN from SiriusXM to work as a sideline reporter for the NFL Network.
In addition to Kaepernick, Natz is expected to work on NFL Network shows, including “The MMQB with Cam Newton,” as well as the ESPN Radio show “Redskins Nation.”
Natz is the first ESPN anchor to leave the network in nearly two decades.
Former ESPN anchor Dave Schilling, who is the president of ESPN and former ESPN senior VP of programming Mike Tirico, announced in October that he would step down as the networks flagship sports show.
Schilling and Tirico had a short relationship, but Schilling did not return to ESPN after the network terminated him for a series of inappropriate tweets in late March.
Natz will be replaced by Rome, who will join Tirico and Schilling as the only hosts of the network at the time.ESPN declined to comment on the deal.