Smith could be earning $10M a year after negotiations are settled.
Stephen A. Smith is reportedly set to become the highest paid talent in ESPN history, after years of wrongly predicting the NBA Finals, advising athletes to stay off the weeeed, and everything in between.
According to a report by The New York Post's Andrew Marchand, the legendary "First Take" star could see his salary double from $5 million a year to $10 million annually.
According to The Post, Smith's contract with ESPN is up in June 2021, but the negotiations are already well underway.
"Smith is in line to become the highest-paid on-air person at ESPN by potentially boosting his salary to $10 million per year, according to people with knowledge of the upcoming negotiations."
"The Post spoke with multiple executives and agents to figure out the number that Smith could garner, and the consensus was in the $8 million-to-$10 million range. By comparison, Mike Greenberg is paid $6.5 million to host “Get Up!,” which is the network’s highest publicly known salary. PTI’s Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser are believed to be in Greenberg’s neighborhood."
In addition to his daily duties on ESPN's "First Take," Smith, 51, routinely appears on other programs within the network and hosts his own radio show.
Though he sometimes appears clueless, like the time he attempted to breakdown the pivotal Chargers vs Chiefs matchup, Smith's inflammatory, yet entertaining, remarks are a near-invaluable asset that ESPN will want to keep on board as other platforms, such as John Skipper’s DAZN, look to poach talent.