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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Shannon Sharpe Is Crafting Future Beyond Fox With Own Platform

  • Sharpe’s ‘Club Shay Shay’ Moving to The Volume.
  • Hall of Famer also nearing deal with Stephen A. Smith’s ‘First Take.’
Shannon Sharpe
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

During a Super Bowl party for The Volume, Shannon Sharpe was seen chatting up founder and then Fox Sports colleague Colin Cowherd.

Sharpe is gone from his full-time job at Fox – but his relationship with Cowherd continues. Today, they’re poised to announce a deal that will bring their media networks together.

The three-time Super Bowl champion’s next move could be announced as soon as Thursday with his move to ESPN’s “First Take”, according to sources.

Front Office Sports previously reported in mid-July that Sharpe was in negotiations to join “First Take” as a high-profile contributor. Smith confirmed the podcast talks, declaring, “I want Shannon Sharpe.”

ESPN declined to comment.

Sharpe’s popular “Club Shay Shay” show, which boasts nearly 1.25 million YouTube subscribers and 15 million views per month, will join Cowherd’s The Volume platform. 

Sharpe’s Shay Shay Media will jointly produce new programming with The Volume. Recent episodes include the Pro Football Hall of Famers interviews with Dwyane Wade, Steve Harvey, and Deion Sanders.

“I’m excited to partner with my friend Colin Cowherd and the creative team at the Volume,” Sharpe said in a statement.  “The Volume has built an amazing platform that is the right fit to help Shay Shay Media reach the next level. That includes developing new shows and bringing on new talent under the Shay Shay Media brand.”

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The Volume boasts personalities such as Cowherd, Richard Sherman, and Daniel Cormier. During its second year of operations in 2022, it generated 330 million downloads and two billion impressions.

“There are very few people in sports media that cut through like Shannon Sharpe,” Cowherd said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with him and his team Shay Shay Media and co-produce original content with them.”

The partnership validates Cowherd’s gamble to create his own company outside the Fox Sports orbit. “This is a huge day for Cowherd,” said a source.

Sharpe left his longtime role as co-host of FS1’s “Undisputed: Skip and Shannon” in June after a falling-out with Skip Bayless.

Just in time for the NFL season, Sharpe’s poised to join Stephen A. Smith’s “First Take” as one of a rotating team of guest debaters. The deal is not quite done. But Sharpe and ESPN are at the “10-yard line” in negotiations, said sources. 

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