Saturday September 30, 2023

Doug Kezirian, Andre Ward Are Out At ESPN

  • Contracts of sports betting insider and boxing commentator not being renewed.
  • Their departure is separate from 20 talents laid off on Friday.
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September 29, 2023 | Podcast
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More big names are leaving ESPN as the sports network tries to slash talent expenses.

The contract of sports betting insider Doug Kezirian won’t be renewed, sources told Front Office Sports. Boxing analyst Andre Ward also announced his departure from the network on Twitter. 

Kezirian joined ESPN in 2012 and hosted the “Daily Wager” show from 2019 to 2022. 

Ward, the two-time world champion boxer and former Olympic gold medalist, announced his departure on social media. 

“Tonight’s show was the last fight under my ESPN contract,” Ward tweeted. “It’s been a great ride and I’m going to miss the whole ESPN crew that I’ve worked with for the last six years. I’m excited about my future and the chance to work on new projects and endeavors. Great things are ahead.”

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Kezirian and Ward join a growing group of personalities whose contracts are not being renewed as ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro tries to save the jobs of behind-the-scenes workers by focusing on on-air talent contracts. 

Front Office Sports previously broke the news that the contracts of NBA analyst Vince Carter, “SportsCenter” anchor Neil Everett, NFL analyst Rob Ninkovich and NHL analyst Chris Chelios would not be renewed.

Their exits are technically separate from the 20 laid-off talents who were officially done at ESPN effective Friday. 

That list included big names ranging from NBA game analyst Jeff Van Gundy and Steve Young and Suzy Kolber of “Monday Night Countdown” to NFL analyst Keyshawn Johnson, TV/radio host Max Kellerman and NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay.

ESPN’s new separate exercise to closely examine long-term contracts could take up to a year, said sources. The network is individually informing talents they won’t be renewed as they approach the expiration of their contracts. 

ESPN declined to comment.

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