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Stephen A. Smith is leaving ESPN

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Stephen A. Smith, an ESPN reporter and once a rising star who had his own show called ‘Quite Frankly With Stephen A.Smith’ on ESPN2, is leaving the station as of May 1. On his own website, Smith confirmed rumors that had been circulating that he would be gone at the end of his contract.

Through ESPN, Smith issued a statement: ‘It’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride, filled with great accomplishments, great memories and, most importantly, great friendships. It’s difficult to express how appreciative I am to ESPN for all it’s done for my career. But nothing lasts forever. It’s time to move on.

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‘While my love for sports has never dissipated -- of course, I’ll never let go of Sports -- my desire to venture beyond sports into the world of news, politics and entertainment has grown. Where that will take me? Who knows! But I’m about to find out. I’ll just do so with some degree of sadness, knowing all the friends I’ll leave behind.’

And also through a statement ESPN says: “We thank Stephen A. for his many contributions to ESPN and wish him well. We decided to move in different directions.’

‘Quite Frankly’ was highly promoted and ran from Aug. 1, 2005, through Jan. 11, 2007. Smith kept his job as a sports columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer while working for ESPN until he left the paper in 2008 after editors told him he would no longer be able to write a column but could stay as a reporter.

According to a media website, The Big Lead, ESPN and Smith could not come to a contract agreement.

-- Diane Pucin


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