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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Report: Paul Finebaum could leave ESPN by end of 2020

Pete Finebaum show

Paul Finebaum’s tenure with ESPN could be coming to an end.

The radio host and college football analyst could leave ESPN to start his own sitcom. According to Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal, Finebaum is pitching a show about his life and his call-in show to all four major networks, and there is interest. If that show were to come to pass, Finebaum would leave ESPN and the SEC Network, with his contract expiring next summer. There is some belief that Finebaum could leave the network at the end of the 2020 college football season.

In addition to a sitcom, Finebaum is looking at other opportunities. Those include Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, and DAZN. DAZN is run by John Skipper, who originally hired Finebaum at ESPN. Finebaum has also been spoken to about a startup akin to Bill Simmons’ “The Ringer,” which would put Finebaum at the top of a podcasting and editorial endeavor.

Finebaum has become highly influential, and his call-in show is a huge deal in SEC country. His takes have been noted and used as bulletin board material by various teams. Clearly, that high profile has given him options, and it certainly sounds possible that he may move on from ESPN quite soon.

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