Keyshawn Johnson a ‘top candidate’ to replace Shannon Sharpe
The ESPN workforce reductions are in full swing this Friday afternoon, as the network is severing ties with prominent individuals such as Jeff Van Gundy, Jalen Rose, Suzy Kolber, Steve Young, Max Kellerman, and more. However, one renowned ESPN personality who faced the axe might secure a smooth transition by joining a competing network. Speculations suggest that Keyshawn Johnson is a “leading contender” to join Skip Bayless and assume the position previously held by Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports’ Undisputed.
While some individuals within the talent pool may have been taken aback by their involvement in the ESPN layoffs, Keyshawn Johnson likely anticipated these developments. The network had already terminated his daily television and radio show, Keyshawn, JWill & Max, a week before the layoffs were implemented, resulting in his departure alongside Kellerman.
The outspoken Johnson can take solace in the fact that a potentially more prominent opportunity may be on the horizon. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Keyshawn “could emerge as a top contender to replace Shannon Sharpe as Skip Bayless’ debating counterpart on FS1’s Undisputed.”
It is worth noting that Johnson already resides in Los Angeles, the city where the daily television debate show is filmed. Moreover, he has spent the past two-plus years engaging in heated debates with Kellerman, who once took over Skip Bayless’ role on ESPN’s First Take.
Undisputed debuted in 2016, with Sharpe and Bayless serving as the show’s primary stars throughout its entire run. The duo has been accompanied by various hosts, including Joy Taylor, Jenny Taft, and the current host, Jen Hale.
Although Undisputed attracts approximately half the viewership of First Take on a daily basis, it remains FS1’s top-rated talk show, surpassing The Herd with Colin Cowherd and First Things First.
The ESPN layoffs are going strong Friday afternoon, as the network is cutting ties with top talent like Jeff Van Gundy, Jalen Rose Suzy Kolber, Steve Young, Max Kellerman, and more. One top ESPN talent who got the ax may find a soft landing spot, though, at a rival network. Rumors are that Keyshawn Johnson is a “top candidate” to join Skip Bayless and replace Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports’ Undisputed.
While some talent was surely surprised by their inclusion in the ESPN layoffs, Keyshawn Johnson likely saw the writing on the walls. The network canceled his daily TV and radio show, Keyshawn, JWill & Maxa week before the layoffs hit, and now he and Kellerman are out.
The good news for the outspoken Johnson is that a new, even higher-profile gig could be on the horizon. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, reports that Keyshawn “may become a top candidate to replace Shannon Sharpe as Skip Bayless’ debater on FS1’s Undisputed.”
Johnson already lives in Los Angeles, where they film the daily TV debate show. And he’s spent the past two-plus years arguing with Kellerman, who once upon a time replaced Skip Bayless on ESPN’s First Take.
Undisputed started in 2016, and Sharpe and Bayless have been the show’s main two stars for that entire time. They’ve also had several hosts join them, including Joy Taylor, Jenny Taft, and the current host, Jen Hale.
The show averages about half as many viewers on a daily basis as First Take does over on ESPN. However, it is FS1’s highest-rated talk show over The Herd with Colin Cowherd and First Things First.