Max Kellerman’s departure from “First Take” is official.
Kellerman sat opposite Stephen A. Smith on the two-hour debate show for five years, but ESPN announced Tuesday that Kellerman is leaving the show to join the morning radio program.
Front Office Sports first reported Kellerman’s potential move last week.
Alongside ex-NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and former basketball star Jay Williams, Kellerman will replace Zubin Mehenti, who has been absent for an extended period due to a medical issue. Mehenti will return to “SportsCenter” anchoring duties upon his return.
Kellerman will also be hosting “a new ESPN television series (more details to follow),” ESPN said in a release. The company also said plans on First Take’s updated format will be revealed “soon.” Kellerman’s weekly boxing show on ESPN2 will continue.
With Kellerman’s two-hour radio slot (2-4 p.m. ET) no more, the show of former NFL linebacker Bart Scott and Alan Hahn has been extended an hour from noon-3 p.m.
Chris Canty will replace Chiney Ogwumike as the co-host of the drivetime slot with Mike Golic Jr. That show has also been extended an hour (3-7 p.m.). Ogwumike, who has resumed her basketball career with the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, will have a role as an analysis on various platforms and other responsibilities that will emerge.
The new lineup is expected to go into effect the week of Sept. 27.
Stephen A. Smith steps in for Jimmy Kimmel
In January, Smith confessed to USA TODAY Sports his desire to one day host late-night television.
He came one step closer to that dream Monday night by stepping in for Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
(ABC and ESPN are both under the Disney umbrella.)
Smith’s opening monologue quickly involved his ubiquity with internet memes, and a taped skit about “meditation” included a typical screaming Smith and his patented “stay off the weed” decree. He also gave couples relationship advice virtually.
Smith’s gig lasted just one night.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Max Kellerman leaving First Take for ESPN radio show