Smith and ESPN have agreed on a five-year deal worth nearly $8 million per year, which sets him up to become ESPN’s highest-paid on-air personality. This contract will surpass ESPN’s Get Up! host Mike Greenberg, who earns $6.5 million a year.
Smith, along with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim, is a featured commentator on ESPN’s First Take weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, discussing and debating the sports topics of the day. He joined First Take permanently back in 2012. Smith appears on ESPN every day as a commentator on First Take and makes frequent appearances on SportsCenter where he is already hosting the show on Wednesdays, leading into NBA games.
The network is also reportedly trying to fit him in their ESPN+ subscription service while alleviating his duties on his ESPN Radio show next year.
The Omega Psi Phi member attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year, then he received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Smith began his career as a journalist in print media. He worked at Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record, New York Daily News, and The Philadelphia Inquirer before embarking to the radio and cable airwaves.
According to the ESPN site, “in September 2014, Smith began hosting the daily The Stephen A. Smith Show on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. In January 2017, The Stephen A. Smith Show moved to ESPN’s SiriusXM channel and simulcast on ESPN’s owned and operated stations in New York (98.7FM) and Los Angeles (710AM), airing 1-3 p.m. In January 2018, the program expanded to the national ESPN Radio network and is available across ESPN Radio stations throughout the country. In August 2018, The Stephen A. Smith Show joined the ESPNEWS weekday ESPN Radio simulcast lineup. Smith also hosts several SportsCenter specials on ESPN throughout the year (since 2018).”